There was a collective sigh of relief from the Rockies organization and fans on Monday when Brendan Rodgers’ name appeared on the Albuquerque Isotopes’ lineup card. As Tyler Maun explains here, Brendan was hit in the head by a pitch on Saturday night and was removed from the game as a precaution after crumpling to the ground. Brendan also sat out Sunday, but he appears to be just fine, folks.
Rodgers proved it with a bang—well, two bangs—on Monday in his triumphant return to the ‘Topes lineup. He hit two home runs as a part of a four-hit game and raised his season slash line to .351/.419/.641, which is very good. The Rockies have also been getting very little production out of their other 2B options, and naturally the question of “when will Rodgers get promoted?” is starting to rise to the forefront of Rockies discussions once again.
It’s hard to argue with Brendan’s production. As the team’s top prospect who has been working on living up to incredibly high expectations, it’s good to see—and I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that he deserves the opportunity to join the big league club. But is the front office is ready to commit to Brendan as an everyday player? If he’s only given a bench role at this point—sadly—it’s probably not worth it yet. Let the kid play!
As fate would have it, Garrett Hampson was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, as well, leaving a glaring need for an infielder—maybe a highly touted second baseman?—on the Rockies roster. The stars seemed to be aligning for Rodgers to break down the door to the majors, but alas, fate can be cruel. Instead, Pat Valaika was brought up and quickly inserted into the starting lineup against Chris Sale and the Red Sox.
According to Kevin Henry, this was the right move. He says there is no guarantee Brendan would get consistent at-bats, which could be vital to his confidence and development. Kevin is right, of course, mostly because it appears the 2B job is still Ryan McMahon’s to lose. RyMac has been underwhelming so far this year, but shown flashes of greatness, too.
It’s a complicated and crowded infield, and the last thing we want is Rodgers and his flaming hot bat rotting on the bench. The Rockies have an unfortunate track record of calling up prospects and not committing playing time to them (see: Raimel Tapia), so will this time be any different? I don’t have that answer, but I sure do hope so.
Continuing the prospect discussion, Logan Whaley takes a look at three Rockies prospects who could all be making an impact for this team by next season. It’s an interesting list in that it ranges from very obvious, to nodding while scratching your chin in contemplation, and ending on the unexpected, but there’s a compelling argument for all three names. Logan makes a great point that while the Rockies don’t have a top-10 farm system anymore, their farm system is still ripe with legitimate talent—it’s good to be a Rockies fan!
I’ll end with this piece from Richard Justice of MLB.com. Richard lays out nine intriguing relief pitchers who could be traded this summer to contenders in need of bullpen help. The Rockies do not have anyone on their team land on this list, but I include it because I wonder if the Rockies will end up being one of those teams looking to add a reliable reliever.
Entering play yesterday, the Rockies bullpen had the 14th highest ERA and FIP in baseball, as well as the 15th best fWAR—in other words, mediocre and middle of the pack. More concerning is they ranked second to last in K% (worst in NL) and 21st in LOB%. They haven’t been striking out many batters, and as a result, have been letting more inherited runners score. It’s a recipe for disaster, and if they plan on competing in this suddenly competitive NL West, the Rockies should strongly consider bolstering their bullpen.
On the farm
Brendan Rodgers just keeps hitting, and had himself another multi-hit game for the ‘Topes including a double and RBI. He also had himself a multi-error game, which brings him to seven on the season. I wouldn’t worry too much, as a guy by the name of Nolan Arenado also had a multi-error game yesterday. These things happen.
On the rubber, Ryan Rolison did Ryan Rolison things and pitched six innings for the JetHawks while giving up only three hits, one run, two walks, and he struck out eight. He lowered his season ERA to 1.17 and has struck out a total of 37 batters in 38.1 IP. His WHIP went down to 0.94, and Ryan keeps proving he can get better while his level of competition does, too.
In all honesty, I hope Ryan has a bad game soon just so we can see how he responds to getting hit around a little bit. At this rate, though, it might be awhile...