On Tuesday afternoon, it was the bottom of the first inning during an early spring training skirmish. Colorado Rockies star second baseman Brendan Rodgers made a fairly routine diving stop on a grounder off the bat of Texas Rangers left fielder Robbie Grossman. When Rodgers didn’t immediately get up, it was clear something was wrong and teammates Ezequiel Tovar and Nolan Jones rushed to his aid. After a lengthy consultation, the Rockies athletic training staff escorted Rodgers off the field as he gingerly treated his left arm. The official diagnosis ended up being a dislocated left shoulder. More testing would need to be done, but fans were optimistic he would return soon.
Unfortunately that won’t be the case. Thomas Harding, Rockies MLB.com beat writer, announced today that there was more damage than expected to the shoulder capsule. Rodgers would not return to play any time soon and season-ending surgery was a possibility.
#Rockies 2B Brendan Rodgers (dislocated left shoulder) has more damage than expected to the shoulder capsule. Doctors are still checking, but surgery is possible, which could threaten his season.— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) March 2, 2023
This is definitely a tough break for Rodgers, who overcame a brutal April slump to become the Rockies’ most valuable player by rWAR. He played his first full season as a starter while playing some excellent defense at second base to earn his first career Gold Glove Award and the Fielding Bible Award for his position.
Despite the bad break, the Rockies do have some options with Rodgers out. Ryan McMahon plays admirable second base defense and could be easily moved. This would also give playing time to guys like Elehuris Montero and Nolan Jones at third base. They also have Alan Trejo, Cole Tucker, and Harold Castro present at spring training.
Rodgers’ injury being more serious than expected wasn’t the only bad news in store for Rockies fans today. Harding also announced that left-handed reliever Lucas Gilbreath recently had an MRI on his elbow and is facing Tommy John Surgery.
#Rockies LHP Lucas Gilbreath, whose 2022 ended with a PRP injection, has had an MRI, and Tommy John surgery is likely. Gilbreath says, "We're still looking into different options."— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) March 2, 2023
After a strong rookie campaign, the local lefty battled injuries in 2022. However, in between those injuries he was one of the Rockies’ best arms. From May 14th to August 4th Gilbreath had an ERA of just 1.35 over 34 appearances and 33 1⁄3 innings. In August, he began to struggle and would eventually have his season ended when he was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. It was originally thought that the damage would not require surgery and Gilbreath opted to receive injections of platelet rich plasma while focusing on rehab.
With Gilbreath now potentially out for the season, the Rockies are down a lefty in the bullpen. Fernando Abad, Logan Allen, Ty Blach, and Josh Rogers are all with the Rockies camp as Non-Roster Invitees.
Long story short, the Rockies are already dealing with two major injuries to their starters. But the good news is that they have almost a full month to figure things out before Opening Day on March 30 against the Padres.
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This is a developing story and Purple Row will provide updates as they become available.