The Colorado Rockies weren’t going to be very good this season regardless as they are given an over-under season win total of just 65.5, but they likely got worse this week with the news that second baseman Brendan Rodgers, once one of the most highly touted prospects in the majors and a good player, could miss the season due to injury.
This is something that affects Colorado’s odds to win World Series this season.
Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers May Miss 2023 MLB Season Due To Injury
The 26-year-old Rodgers dislocated his left shoulder during Tuesday’s spring training game in Arizona. Not ideal but by itself usually not a season-ending issue. However, manager Bud Black said doctors have looked at the MRIs and at least one other opinion is being sought, but “there’s trauma to the capsule into the joint and all the surrounding tissues that keep the shoulder intact and secure.” Surgery is possible, which likely would end his season.
Last year, Rodgers struggled for the first month – he started April in a 4-for-51 slump — but was outstanding in the middle of the season, finishing with a .266/.325/.408 slash line, 13 home runs and 63 RBIs. A total of 45.9% of his batted ball events were hit at 95+ MPH, second-best on the Rockies among regulars. Rodgers had quite a few memorable moments, with his three-homer game that included a walk-off in extras against the Marlins on June 1 at the top of the list.
He also won a Gold Glove Award. Rodgers’ 22 Defensive Runs Saved was not only the best among all second basemen in MLB, but also the second best DRS among all MLB players. His Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) was the best among all MLB second basemen while his UZR/150 was second best. Rodgers also won the Fielding Bible Award for second basemen.
“That’s the frustrating thing for Brendan and for us, because we’ve talked about his place on this team and where he is in his career,” Black said. “I was going to quit referring to him as a young player. This is now his time. This setback is a tough one because I really do think that he was ready for a big year.”
The first opinion Rodgers received on his shoulder recommended surgery but he’s seeking a second opinion. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the injury occurred to his non-throwing shoulder. During his 2019 rookie season, Rodgers underwent season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder. He also lost a few weeks during the 2020 campaign to a capsular strain in his right shoulder. Rodgers was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, and will make $2.7 million in 2023.
If Rodgers is lost for the season, the team would likely replace him internally rather than pursue a free agent such as Jose Iglesias, who spent the 2022 season with the Rockies. Alan Trejo, who bounced between Triple-A and the majors last year while filling a utility role, is a candidate. Ryan McMahon, a two-time Gold Glove finalist at third base, has significant time at second in the majors.
The Rockies could think about moving Kris Bryant from the outfield to third and McMahon to second. Bryant was a former NL MVP with the Chicago Cubs when he played primarily third base.
The bad news doesn’t stop there as the Rox also could be without reliever Lucas Gilbreath for the season due to expected Tommy John surgery for the lefty. Gilbreath is still seeking more opinions on his left elbow, but the writing is probably on the wall for him to go under the knife. He missed time down the stretch in 2022 due to what was diagnosed as a flexor strain, then aggravated the injury when he began mound work this spring at Rockies camp.
Last year, Gilbreath set career highs in innings (43.0) and strikeouts (49) and matched his career high with 47 appearances (2021). Through a span of 28 games May 14-July 22, he posted a 0.64 ERA (28.0 IP, 2 ER) with a .189 opponent batting average, the third-lowest ERA among all Major Leaguers through that span (min. 20 games). Since his final recall from Triple-A on May 8 through the end of the season, he posted a 3.18 ERA (39.2 IP, 14 ER) with 22 walks and 46 strikeouts over 43 appearances, limiting opponents to a .225 average with seven extra-base hits and one home run (0.23 HR/9).
Colorado opens the regular season March 30 at a loaded San Diego team. The Rockies went 68-94 (.420) in the 2022 season, tied for the fifth-most losses in franchise history, their most since also going 68-94 in 2015.
Colorado Rockies vs San Diego Padres
When: Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 4:10 PM
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
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2023 Colorado Rockies Injuries
|Lucas Gilbreath||RP||Out indefinitely – Elbow||Thu, Mar 2|
|Gilbreath is out of commission with a left elbow injury, and he will miss an extended period.|
|Brendan Rodgers||2B||Out indefinitely – Shoulder||Thu, Mar 2|
|Rodgers sustained a left shoulder injury, and the severity of the ailment is unknown.|
|Jake Bird||SP||Early April – Oblique||Thu, Feb 23|
|Bird is sidelined with a left oblique strain, and he is expected to miss four to six weeks.|
|Ryan Rolison||SP||Mid June – Shoulder||Sat, Feb 18|
|Rolison is idle due to a shoulder injury, and he is projected to remain sidelined until at least the middle of June.|
|Antonio Senzatela||SP||Mid May – Knee||Thu, Feb 16|
|Senzatela is on the mend after undergoing surgery to repair the torn ACL in his right knee, and he is not likely to make his season debut until the middle of May.|
|Randal Grichuk||RF||Late March – Hernia||Thu, Feb 16|
|Grichuk is recuperating surgery for a bilateral sports hernia, and he is not expected to be available until the latter part of March.|
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