The hits keep coming for teams this spring, as far as injuries are concerned. Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers dislocated his shoulder this past week, and after a more extensive look at it, manager Bud Black indicated that there’s more damage than originally anticipated. Rodgers may very well miss a healthy chunk of the 2023 season, in what is a big blow to the Rockies lineup.
A Look at Rodgers
26-year-old Brendan Rodgers looked like he was beginning to come into his own in 2022. From a defensive standpoint, the former top ten MLB Draft pick established himself as a strong defender in the at second. Rodgers, who did spent parts of 2019-21 moving between second and short, played exclusively at second baseman in 2022. Rodgers posted a +3 Outs Above Average in the field last year, en route to his first NL Gold Glove.
Rodgers’ bat has been a bit of quandary thus far, but he showcased what he could be capable of throughout a good chunk of the 2022 season. After batting just .071 in the first month of the year, Rodgers hit .301/.347/.459 from May 1-August 31 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs. Rodgers’ .301 batting average ranked third among second basemen, behind only batting champions Luis Arraez and Jeff McNeil.
A disciplined hitter with good power and bat-to-ball skills, Rodgers did struggle again in September. But in the spring and summer of last year, Rodgers established himself as a key piece of the Rockies future. Now, it’s possible that Colorado fans may not see much of the budding infielder in 2023.
What it Means
We are still four weeks away from the start of the regular season, but injuries have begun to pile up across the league. Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux tore an ACL ducking a throw during a Spring Training game late in February. High-end starters Tyler Glasnow and Joe Musgrove both will miss several weeks of game action after sustaining injuries in camp, and now an injury to Rodgers. Now that he’s set to miss at least a good chunk of the regular season, his injury further complicates the Rockies’ Opening Day lineup.
Last month, outfielder Randal Grichuk confirmed that he underwent sports hernia surgery that will keep him out for most of Spring Training and possibly some time in the regular season. Rodgers and Grichuk were two of the Rockies’ more productive hitters last season, in what was a rather thin group for much of the year. And if the 26-year-old could have stayed healthy in 2023, it’s not unreasonable to think that Rodgers — who does possess good power and strength — might have been able to put up stronger numbers with Colorado this season.
It’s not going to be particularly easy for Colorado to replace Rodgers’ impact on the diamond. Per MLB.com, infielder Alan Trejo is in the mix to receive additional playing time in the wake of Rodgers’ injury. The 27-year-old Trejo doesn’t have the potential, nor the tools of Rodgers. But, Trejo does own decent bat-to-ball skills and did consistently put up anywhere from 10-17 home runs a season in the Minors.
Colorado also has infielders Harold Castro, Coco Montes, and Cole Tucker in camp. Not to mention, third baseman Ryan McMahon, who’s played 222 career games at second, could be considered a nuclear option — given that the Rockies do have two players in Nolan Jones and Kris Bryant that could play third. But, would the Rockies be willing to move a very good defensive third baseman off his natural position?