Rodgers appears on track to debut with the Rockies at some point in 2019, but cracking the Opening Day roster was always an unlikely outcome. With Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado locked in long term on the left side of the infield, Rodgers should see most of his action at second base at Triple-A Albuquerque this season in preparation for an eventual move to the big leagues. The Rockies will first see if either Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon can be a viable option at second base before potentially giving Rodgers a look.
Rodgers went 1-for-2 with two RBI in Thursday's game against the Dodgers.
Rodgers drove in a run during the first inning on a sacrifice double play, and he plated another in the third on an RBI single to left field. He's 2-for-11 with three RBI and two runs scored so far this spring as he continues to compete for a job at second base.
The invitation comes as no surprise, as Rodgers was reported to be in contention for the team's starting second-base job earlier in the offseason. Rodgers' unimpressive .232/.264/.290 line in 19 games at Triple-A Albuquerque suggests he needs a bit more time to develop, though, and the Rockies would probably prefer to keep him down to start the year in order to secure another year of team control. Rodgers could certainly push likely favorite Garrett Hampson for a job later in the season should he start strong at Triple-A.
Rodgers will compete for the starting job at second base during spring training, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.
The Rockies will give Rodgers -- one of the team's top prospects -- a chance to stake his claim on the starting keystone gig during camp, though the 22-year-old seems more likely to open the season in the minors after struggling in his first taste of Triple-A in 2018 (.232/.264/.290 in 19 games with Albuquerque). Fellow prospect Garrett Hampson appears to be the frontrunner to break camp with the job, though Ryan McMahon and Pat Valaika are also options.
Rodgers is recovering from shoulder tightness, which is why he was scratched from the Arizona Fall League roster, Tracy Ringolsby of InsideTheSeams.com reports. "Instead of trying to push it to get him ready for the fall league we decided it was best to allow him to rest and strengthen this offseason," said Zach Wilson, Rockies senior director-player development. "It's a minor issue but best to get him physically ready for 2019."
The AFL would have been a good opportunity for Rodgers to rehab his prospect stock against less advanced pitching, as he struggled mightily (.232/.264/.290) after a late-season promotion to Triple-A. He was replaced on the AFL roster by Tyler Nevin. Rodgers should return to Triple-A at the start of the season while fellow prospect Garrett Hampson gets a crack at cementing himself as the Rockies' everyday second baseman.
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