Vilade was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. Vilade was recalled last Saturday and wound up going 0-for-6 across his first three major-league games. He'll return to Albuquerque to make room for Friday's starting pitcher Peter Lambert on the 28-man roster.
Vilade had his contract selected by the Rockies on Saturday and will make his major-league debut hitting seventh and starting in right field against the Nationals. Vilade has spent the entire 2021 season with Triple-A Albuquerque, where he hit .286/.339/.420 across 477 plate appearances. While that was only good for an 88 wRC+, he'll have the chance to make an impression on the big-league club in hopes of securing a consistent role in 2022. Charlie Blackmon falls out of the starting lineup Saturday to make room for Vilade, though Yonathan Daza, Garrett Hampson, Raimel Tapia and Sam Hilliard could all sit more regularly in the last few weeks of the season.
Vilade was invited to Colorado's big-league camp Tuesday. Vilade will get to spend some time with the Rockies' big-league coaching staff but is probably at least a year away from joining them on a permanent basis. He impressed in 128 games for High-A Lancaster in 2019, hitting .303/.367/.466 with 12 homers and 24 steals, but the canceled minor-league season last year prevented him from continuing his climb up the ladder.
The Rockies added Vilade to their 60-man roster pool Monday. Vilade was one of nine new additions to the roster pool made by the Rockies, but none of those players are considered prime candidates to join the big-league roster in the immediate future. In Vilade's case, his inclusion in the pool is most likely a measure by the Rockies to more closely monitor the development of one of their top prospects at their alternate training site. Had the minor-league season not been cancelled this season, Vilade likely would have began the campaign at Double-A Hartford after he slashed .303/.367/.466 with 12 home runs and 24 stolen bases in the California League in 2019.
Vilade won't play any more shortstop but will instead focus on third base, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports. Vilade was exclusively a shortstop for his first two professional seasons, but he has a third baseman's build, so a transition to the hot corner was always likely. At the major-league level, trade rumors have been swirling around third baseman Nolan Arenado for quite a while, while shortstop Trevor Story doesn't appear to be going anywhere, so the position switch may increase Vilade's chances of eventually making the team.
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