On Sunday morning, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black gave an update to the media (including Rox Pile) on the health and playing status of top prospect Brendan Rodgers.
In an exclusive interview with Rox Pile during baseball’s 2020 hiatus, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black proclaimed Brendan Rodgers was “ready to go” when and if baseball activities restarted. Now, after he had the chance to watch Rodgers at Coors Field on Saturday during the first day of spring training 2.0, I asked Black what he thought about the 23-year-old’s progress from labrum surgery that cut his 2019 season short.
"More from Colorado Rockies NewsA Colorado Rockies ThanksgivingColorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the seasonColorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers seriesColorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San FranciscoWhat Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023“He’s moving great. The arm feels good,” Black said. “We’re concerned about the arm coming back from surgery but he’s had some good workouts here. Through spring training one, he was progressing. I know Keith (Dugger, Rockies head trainer) was working real hard with him on a daily basis to strengthen his shoulder and making sure that he hit the medical markers to progress. And now he’s full go.“He’s looked great. He’s moving around well. He’s swinging the bat well. There’s no apprehension or tentativeness as it relates to the shoulder so he’s good to go.”"
With Rodgers returning to full health for the Rockies, now Colorado has to figure out where and how to insert him into the lineup during a shortened season. Rodgers saw action in just 25 games last season, playing second baseman for 16 games and shortstop for nine. With Colorado’s starting middle infield looking in place with All-Star shortstop Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon, who had an impressive season at second in 2019, Black seemed to indicate that Rodgers could see more time at second than shortstop again in 2020.
With the designated hitter in play this season, that could move McMahon over to first when Daniel Murphy is in the lineup as the DH. That shift could open a position for Rodgers at second. With that in mind, Black said on Sunday he wanted to make sure Rodgers was ready to succeed at a position that may not be his most natural.
"“His natural position to shortstop,” Black said. “But if you asked Brendan, he feels most comfortable in short, but I’m sure if you also asked him, he’ll tell you I feel comfortable at second too. We’ll give him a lot of reps at second. A lot of ground ball work, whatever we can do to get him as comfortable at second base as he is at shortstop.”"