"Honestly, the way that it looks like it's heading, is if we carry the two catchers in Hundley and McKenry, then Rosario lines up now as that half half-catcher who plays first base," manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday before the Rockies played the White Sox."
Weiss cited having Rosario and Michael McKenry as flexibility off the bench, especially on offense.
"This allows you to pinch-hit a catcher during a game because you are protected, which is huge," he said. "The way we design our roster, most of the time, is that we are carrying 13 pitchers — with eight guys in the bullpen. That leaves us short on the bench.
"If you have a four-man bench and you can’t use your catcher — because you are afraid to lose your backup catcher — then you have a three-man bench. So you are really short-handed. Having a guy who can go behind the plate allows you to pinch-hit a catcher."
Rosario missed Tuesday's game and won't play Wednesday so that he can mourn the death of his grandfather.
"The first couple days, I felt a little out of balance, but after I take ground balls and then catch again, I get in a rhythm," Rosario said. "Whatever I do at first helps me to catch. Because the soft hands you need at first are the same as when you're catching. I feel like it's better to play first and then catching, but once I get it, I don't think it'll be too much of a difference."
Rosario is expected to serve as a backup at both catcher and first base this season. He entered play Wednesday 5 for 14 with two home runs, both of which came in Tuesday's game.
But with Colorado wanting to utilize his offense — he's hit over .300 the past three seasons — the organization is doing what it can to get him plenty of at-bats. Therefore, with Nick Hundey at catcher, the Rockies are looking at Rosario to play catcher, first base and come off the bench as a pinch-hitter.
Though Rosario would like to prove he can be a solid catcher in the big leagues, he's enjoying his new role with the Rockies.
"This year is more simple," Rosario said, per MLB.com. "I ask my teammates how I look, and they say I look at lot different. It's not as much pressure as in the past. If I catch, I'm going to enjoy doing it. If I play first base, I'm going to enjoy doing it. It's just that I love to play."
Rosario showed off his athleticism, saving two possible errors during the appearance. The club is trying to work Rosario in at the position after signing Nick Hundley in the offseason. Rosario has been taking extra fielding practice at first during camp. Rosario is expected to see equal time at first and behind the plate this spring.
The 26-year-old hit .267/.305/.435 over 382 at-bats last year.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs L.A. Dodgers|
|vs L.A. Dodgers||41||11||2||.311||.488||.268|
|vs Greinke (Career)||9||1||0||.222||.182||.111|
|Last 7 Games|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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