Colorado Rockies: Who does Brendan Rodgers replace if he is called up?
By Aaron Hurt
Over the last week, the noise for the Colorado Rockies to call up their top prospect, Brendan Rodgers, has only gotten louder.
This season, the Colorado Rockies have gotten little production from the second base position. The duo of Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson have combined to be in the bottom third of the Major League in most major statistical categories, including third-to-last in Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Add in the fact that Rodgers, the #14 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America, has been running roughshod over Triple-A pitching, hitting .333/.398/.588 in 114 at-bats, making his call-up becoming more inevitable by the day.
When that inevitable and highly anticipated move is finally made, there is one big question remaining: Who does he replace on the Rockies’ roster?
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On the surface, the obvious move would be to send Garrett Hampson down to Albuquerque and be done with it. Hampson has struggled early on and a move down to the minors, where he could see everyday playing time, could do him wonders.
However, there is another option on the table that would be extremely difficult for Bud Black to get behind: Releasing veteran first baseman Mark Reynolds.
The 35-year-old Reynolds has been a total disappointment backing up Daniel Murphy. In 61 at-bats, he is batting .180/.325/.361 with three home runs, 11 RBI, eight runs scored, and an absolutely head-shaking 27 strikeouts (44 percent K rate).
This move is intriguing because the roster becomes even more versatile. Rodgers, a natural shortstop, can play multiple positions around the infield. Hampson has some useful experience in the outfield and McMahon can become the backup at first base and at third.
And let’s not forget about Ian Desmond. The most criticized Rockies player in recent memory has finally lost his starting spot in the outfield to Raimel Tapia (at least we all hope he has, but Bud Black might have a different opinion). This demotion would allow them to use him as the super-utility player they envisioned he could be when they signed him before the 2017 season. He could be the fourth outfielder, spell Trevor Story at short in a pinch, and most importantly, be the right-handed bat at first. Yes, he was a bit of an adventure defensively at first, but thankfully, he wouldn’t be starting on an everyday basis.
Brendan Rodgers is making the decision to call him up to the Majors easier by the day. The hardest part may be deciding who he replaces when they pull the trigger.