There has been plenty of justifiable excitement over the recent promotion of Brendan Rodgers (the team’s number one prospect) to the major league club, but one former prospect turned big league intrigue is now on the outside looking in. Thomas Harding caught up with Ryan McMahon, the corner infielder turned second baseman, about Rodgers joining the team and how it has affected his playing time and mental approach.
In the two games Rodgers has been with the Rockies, he has started both at second base while McMahon was riding the pine. Honestly, it’s been a bit of buzzkill and an unfortunate side effect of Brendan’s call up. Ryan has a great deal of potential still and I’d hate to see that wasted. Luckily, according to Bud Black, it’s a temporary issue while the team wants to get a long, hard look at Rodgers. McMahon is expected to be a solid part of the 2B rotation, and both kids will be playing their hearts out to make a solid impression.
Kevin Henry of Rox Pile delves deeper into the Rodgers and McMahon playing time discussion and offers his thoughts on how Bud Black could—or should—balance their starts.
I have one strong opinion on the matter, which Henry brings up, which is to give McMahon more time at first base so he can still share the field with Rodgers while they both continue to develop. This would of course mean less playing time for Mark Reynolds and Daniel Murphy in particular, but with Murphy not looking great at the plate while nursing a finger injury, now might be the perfect time to give the veteran more rest while the kids play.
Maybe one of the most surprising storylines of the year, depending on where you landed on the Rockies not adding a catcher in the offseason debate, is the incredible season Tony Wolters is putting together so far. Sure, he has always been a great defensive catcher, but now he’s hitting, too, and his athletic abilities behind the plate only seem to be improving.
Patrick Saunders of The Post talked to Tony and wrote about the former infielder’s season of redemption and how it has all come together. Wolters has gone from a .170/.292/.286 hitter last year to currently slashing .298/.346/.415. You might want to scream “small sample size,” and that’s fair, but his 105 plate appearances are actually just about half way to the 216 he had last year. That’s nothing to scoff at.
Like I mentioned, his defense is still some of the best in the business. As Saunders points out, Wolters entered Saturday leading the NL in SB% at 55.6 and ranked second among NL catchers with eight total runners caught stealing. His 5 DRS is tied with J.T. Realmuto for 3rd place in baseball, but his mustache-to-awesome ratio comes in at number one in our hearts.
Following Friday’s debut of the recently promoted Brendan Rodgers, Aaron Hurt is now wondering: who will be the next Rockies prospect we should watch for to make the big leap to the show? Excluding all the names who have already made the trip (i.e. Yonathan Daza, Josh Fuentes, etc.), Hurt offers four names who are very real possibilities to don the purple pinstripes in the near future. Interestingly, three of the four are pitchers, which is another sign of the club’s recent emphasis on drafting and developing major league caliber arms.
Dick Monfort, part-owner, managing general partner, chairman, and CEO of the Rockies, traveled with the Rockies on their recent trip to Boston and made a stop with his team in Hartford, where the Double-A affiliate Hartford Yard Goats call home. Dick sat down with Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant and discussed the strong relationship between the Goats and Rockies, how valuable he sees the Hartford organization, the shifting landscape of modern baseball (i.e. the increase of the “three true outcomes”), and more.
On the farm
The Isotopes exploded for 12 runs on 17 hits Saturday, and were led yet again by Yonathan Daza (4-for-6, HR, 3 RBI, SB) and Pat Valaika (2-for-6, HR). Brian Mundell also joined in with two doubles and two RBI, while Josh Fuentes had a three-hit night (all singles).
In Hartford, Vince Fernandez had a big night by going 2-for-4 with a home run—his 11th of the year—and two RBI, and raised his slash line to an impressive .292/.393/.625. Most notable in Vince’s repertoire is his power, and it has been on full display so far for the Goats.
Also of note from Hartford’s game against New Hampshire was Chris Rusin’s outing. He struggled the last two games of his rehab and on Saturday he pitched 2.0 innings and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks. I’m also not sure why he went from Albuquerque to Hartford to continue his assignment, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
High-A: Lancaster JetHawks at Visalia Rawhide—PPD