Colorado Rockies: Brendan Rodgers talks about his return

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Brendan Rodgers #7 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait at the Colorado Rockies Spring Training Facility at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 19, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Brendan Rodgers #7 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait at the Colorado Rockies Spring Training Facility at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 19, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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After enduring right labrum surgery in July, Brendan Rodgers is ready to once again take the field and show he belongs with the Colorado Rockies.

Brendan Rodgers knows the question is coming, but he stands and listens to it regardless. It’s a question the top prospect for the Colorado Rockies has been asked many times. It’s a simple question, but not such a simple answer.

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"Rodgers has tested himself at the plate this spring, but he’s waiting patiently for the next hurdle he has to overcome: Playing in the field during a live game."

The 23-year-old knows he is close. Now is when patience has to be preached perhaps the most. Knocking on the door of returning to the game full time, Rodgers knows he is close and doesn’t want anything to come between him and taking the field for the Rockies for the first time since June 23.

And finally, on Tuesday in Scottsdale, it happened when Rodgers took over at second base to start the seventh inning.

"“Honestly, I say that I feel better health-wise and body-wise than I did last spring,” Rodgers said before Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. “I played pretty much every day last spring. Your body with these long games go through the wear and tear. I’ve had a lot of time to watch and now obviously I want to get back in there and play every day. But obviously there’s restrictions and stuff that after reconstructive labrum surgery, you don’t want to just dive back in and re-injure it. So I’m trying to be as smart as I can with it and do the right thing.”"

Being smart with his arm means taking things slowly, but Rodgers can also see steps along the way where the rehabilitation has moved into a new phase. That includes now being able to throw from up to 200 feet away.

“I kind of air it out when my arm is feeling good,” Rodgers smiled. “That’s pretty much every other day I’d say I go along, so about 180 (feet). Sometimes 200 feet. It’s really about how I feel and I’ve been feeling really good lately.”

That last sentence is a key for Rodgers. Said to be “a little bit ahead” of his return schedule back in mid-February, Rodgers will likely start the season at Triple-A as he focuses on getting back into the routine of playing every day … and the aches and pains that come with it.

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Whatever is next, Rodgers believes he is ready.

“I feel really good swinging. A few minor bugs and fixes that I’ve been working on in the cage but I feel like my body is moving well, swinging and throwing, so I’m feeling really good.

“You know, I’m definitely itching to get in there and get some more reps. We’re working through that. We’ll see, hopefully here in the next week, I get some more at-bats and some defensive time. Hopefully, today or this week sometime (it happened on Tuesday). Nothing really official until the lineup comes out.”

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