Second baseman Brendan Rodgers, who was having an excellent spring training and was hoping for a breakout season, will be out for at least a month because of a strained right hamstring.
Manager Bud Black provided the update Friday morning after Rodgers went through a series of tests.
“A little bit of bad news there,” Black said. “The trauma to the hamstring is a little bit worse than was originally anticipated, based on how Brendan was feeling. So the length of time is now probably stretched out a little bit longer. I don’t really want to put a timetable on it, but it will be more than a month that he’ll be out.”
Second base was all but guaranteed to Rodgers and he was backing up the club’s faith in him, putting up a Cactus League slash line of .348/.400/.652, with two home runs and a double in 25 plate appearances. He also was showing a nice comfort level around the second-base bag.
The hamstring injury, suffered when Rodgers tried to steal a base in a Cactus League game last Saturday, is the latest setback for the 24-year-old, who was the third overall pick in the 2015 draft. Rodgers had shoulder surgery in July 2019 and missed the rest of that season. He also had a hamstring issue last summer at the Rockies’ alternative camp.
Rodgers, long the club’s top prospect, has played just 32 games in the big leagues, with a .196 batting average, no home runs and a .462 OPS.
With the April 1 opener vs. the Dodgers at Coors Field less than two weeks away, the Rockies will have to alter their starting lineup.
Ryan McMahon was going to be the everyday third baseman but he’ll now slide back over to second base where he started the last two seasons. Black believes McMahon has developed into an above-average defensive second baseman. Josh Fuentes, who can play both first and third, will likely be the starter at third base to begin the season.
“Like we’ve said all along, we like the versatility of our group, right? We like that,” Black said. “We like the fact that McMahon can play third or second. Josh is going to play third base again today. He had a great game defensively at third base against the Dodgers (on Monday).”
Rodgers, naturally, was discouraged to hear the news, especially since he’s been playing so well.
“He was bummed, he was sad,” Black said. “Because — we’ve talked about it, and I think he’s talked about it — he really felt as though this year could be a year for him to really come out and show the talent that he has.
“And I think he was really excited for that opportunity. In a lot of ways, right? He felt it physically, I think mentally (too). He was ready to take on the challenge of being an everyday big-league player.”
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