On Tuesday, the Colorado Rockies made a roster move in order to give a less experienced player a chance to show the franchise what he could bring to their future. According to manager Bud Black, it likely won’t be the last call-up from Triple-A Albuquerque in what could be a growing youth movement.
With the Rockies out of the postseason race, the call-up of Rio Ruiz on Tuesday paired with the release of veteran first baseman Matt Adams was a classic example of choosing what could be brought to the field versus what was already known.
Yes, you can expect the Colorado Rockies to continue giving younger players at-bats and innings as the season progresses.
Look at the box score of Colorado’s 12-3 win in Anaheim over the Angels on Tuesday night and you’ll see plenty of contributions from players who the Rockies need to see more of throughout the rest of this season. Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, Connor Joe, and even the just-called-up Ruiz registered hits for the Rockies on a night when the offense showed that it can actually hit and produce runs on the road.
As our own Noah Yingling wrote before the season began, the 2021 campaign could be one of the more important in Colorado franchise history because the team needs to see what it has in its younger players who have not had a chance to log consistent at-bats at the Major League level. The departure of Adams to give way for Joe and Ruiz was the first step in what could be a new few weeks filled with newer faces peppering the lineup, Black hinted.
"“We told Matt last night that the at-bats were obviously not where he wanted them to be in the last month, and moving forward they’re probably going to be similar,” Black said. “This will give us a chance to look at Ruiz, maybe (Alan) Trejo, and eventually maybe (Ryan) Vilade. Some of the guys at Triple-A who could be future Rockies.”"
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Later in his pregame talk with the media, Black even mentioned that Colton Welker, who played his first game in the Arizona Complex League earlier this week after returning from an 80-game suspension without pay for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), could still make it to the Majors in 2021.
"“There’s a chance for sure,” Black said. “There’s a definite chance that we can get him ready for later in the year if we think that to be the right thing to do for him and the club.”"
And it isn’t just at the plate where the Rockies are seeing what they have in younger players. Lucas Gilbreath, Ben Bowden, Justin Lawrence, Antonio Santos, and others have been getting and will continue to get their chances in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen.
With an eye toward the future, Colorado will see what it has in the near-term on the field, heading into a trade deadline and an offseason where a healthy dose of roster turnover could occur.