It’s no doubt that the Colorado Rockies had their infield plans scuffled when second baseman Brendan Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury during spring training. With Rodgers unlikely to return this season, the Rockies made a new plan and moved Ryan McMahon over to second base. McMahon plays the position well and it would allow a younger player in Elehuris Montero to play third base. That plan got scuffled too.
Displeased with Montero’s defense at the hot corner, Montero was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque and transitioned into a full time first baseman and designated hitter. McMahon was moved back to his spot at third and the Rockies changed course at second base by platooning Alan Trejo and Harold Castro.
This platoon has worked well for the Rockies over the last month. Both have a .987 fielding percentage at second and both are performing more than adequately at the plate. However, the Rockies are getting younger by necessity and their younger players and prospects need playing time and evaluation. Nolan Jones is starting at first base, Brenton Doyle is an everyday center fielder, and Coco Montes is ready for big league playing time. The Rockies will have to make a decision for the sake of his potential big league career.
Coco Montes is off to a fabulous start with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. In 52 games and 216 at-bats he’s hitting .329/.404/.560 with 42 RsBI 14 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. He shows strong plate discipline, having drawn 28 walks to 56 strikeouts.
He is also a versatile defender, something we know the Rockies value. While Montes is primarily a second baseman (250 1⁄3 innings in 2023), he can also play shortstop and third base well.
As we’ve discussed before here at Purple Row, the time is right for Coco Montes to join the Rockies this season. What this means is that the Rockies are left with a tough decision to make. In order to make room on the 40-man roster and get Montes regular playing time, the Rockies will need to decide who their alternate second baseman and utility man will be. They will need to choose between Harold Castro and Alan Trejo.
I’ll preface this by saying I like both Trejo and Castro. There isn’t really a “wrong” choice here, but that’s what makes it more difficult in my opinion.
Alan Trejo is 27-years old and has been with the Rockies organization since he was drafted by the club out of San Diego State in 2017. He has very little left to prove in the minors and would be a welcome addition to any big league club.
After his initial cup of coffee in 2021, he had a career season with limited MLB action in 2022 and has performed solidly at the plate in 2023. Currently Trejo has two weak points: his low on-base percentage and a lack of pop in his bat. The latter is something that’s affecting the Rockies roster as a whole. The club currently has the fifth fewest home runs in the league.
Alan Trejo Career MLB Batting
Primarily a shortstop—and the starting shortstop for the Mexican National Team during the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Trejo has spent the majority of his time at second base this season with a .970 fielding percentage and one DRS. He has also recently added third base to his repertoire. Trejo has a strong arm and good hands, but is currently defensively limited to the infield.
Hittin’ Harold Castro is two years older than Trejo at 29-years old. Castro is having a somewhat better season at the plate compared to Trejo in terms of batting average at .271, but his on-base and slugging percentages are on a similar level. Castro’s current performance is very much on par with his last few seasons with the Detroit Tigers.
Harold Castro MLB Batting 2021-2023
Castro is much more of a true super utility man and Swiss army knife with his glove. Throughout his career he has played every defensive position save for catcher. This season with the Rockies he has already clocked reps at every position but catcher and first base.
Interestingly, both Castro and Trejo have been called into service as a pitcher multiple times during their MLB careers thus far.
Harold Castro vs Alan Trejo MLB Pitching
Both Alan Trejo and Harold Castro are capable and versatile big league ballplayers. Unfortunately the Rockies need to afford their younger players and prospects regular playing time, and the next man up is Coco Montes at second base. It will be a tough decision, but the Rockies need to decide who their secondary second baseman and utility man will be sooner rather than later. Coco Montes needs to be playing with the Rockies.
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The Rockies rotation is in... not great shape. One of the worst units in the league, the Rockies turned to Dinelson Lamet to bolster the beleaguered bunch. Lamet struggled in the first two innings of his first big league start since 2021. He did round into form with a 1-2-3 third inning before ceding the mound to Peter Lambert. Skipper Bud Black did like some of what he saw from Lamet and will give him another opportunity to start, but what choice does he really have when the pitching depth is this thin?
Noah Spirek over at Blake Street Banter breaks down the hot and not list to round out the month of May. Who are the top performers, who is cooling off, and what should we look for in June?
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On the Farm
The Isotopes simply couldn’t plate runs against the Bees despite seven hits and three walks on the night. Aaron Schunk continues to hit extremely well for the Isotopes, going 3-for-4 and plating Albuquerque’s only run of the night via a solo home run in the second inning. Yonathan Daza was also 2-for-4. Noah Davis struck out six batters and allowed just two hits over four shutout innings in his rehab start.
Noah looking sharp— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) June 1, 2023
That's 6⃣ strikeouts through 4⃣ scoreless frames.
E4: Isotopes 1, Bees 0 pic.twitter.com/CzTiczbUDi
It was a tough night on the mound for Nick Garcia, who gave up five earned runs on nine hits and three walks Jacob Kostyshock and Stephen Jones both worked scoreless innings in relief but the Yard Goats offense was unable to catch back up. Grant Lavigne and Bladimir Restituyo both had two hits on the night, with one of Lavigne’s being a solo home run in the eighth inning.
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