Rockies infielder Brendan Rodgers can’t break out for breaking down.
B-Rod is broken. Again. At age 26, Rodgers’ much-anticipated breakout major-league baseball season could be over before it begins, put in jeopardy by a shoulder injury the team fears could require surgery and months of rehab, removing his bat from a Colorado lineup already decidedly lacking in offensive punch.
The oft-injured prospect the Rockies have been touting as their next big thing for years is back on the shelf, sitting next to franchise owner Dick Monfort’s impossible dream of this team playing .500 baseball.
Good luck with all that, Dick.
In fact, I’m willing to bet Monfort a Coors Light on the party deck that his ragtag Rockies playing baseball as background noise at the best outdoor bar in LoDo will come closer to losing 100 times than winning 81 games.
This is a bummer for B-Rod. An MRI revealed the damage to his left shoulder is significantly worse than hoped when he dislocated it diving for a baseball during a Cactus League game earlier this week.
“The setback is a tough one,” Rockies manager Bud Black told MLB.com on Thursday. “I think (Rodgers) was ready for a big year; he was in great shape and in a good frame of mind mentally, with confidence. Everything was going in the right direction for success, and now this is a blow.”
Although Black acknowledged the possibility surgery could wipe out Rodgers’ entire season, we know he will stubbornly refuse to surrender to the reality of being stuck managing a squad that now seems more doomed than ever to finish last in the tough National League West. Well, because Black always appreciates my help, not to mention my baseball acumen, I’m here to offer a friendly suggestion on how to best overcome the absence of Rodgers.
In the wake of this unfortunate injury to Rodgers, why not try something truly radical and let Kris Bryant earn that big, fat $182 million contract at the position where he became an all-star during his glory days with the Chicago Cubs?
Put Bryant at third base, where he has played the majority of the 926 games in his major-league career. When Bryant was the MVP of the National League in 2016, hitting 39 homers and driving in 102 runs with an OPS of .939, his primary position was the hot corner. A year ago, after the Rockies gave Bryant way more money than made sense as a free agent, they decided to play him exclusively as an outfielder and designated hitter before he broke down with injuries that limited him to a meager 181 plate appearances.
I say let Bryant play third and bat fourth, demanding he carries the team in a way that should be expected from a player with his resume and salary.
Shift Ryan McMahon, whose sweet swing has never translated into the truly impactful power desired from a corner infielder, back to second base to capably fill the hole left by Rodgers. When B-Rod regains his health, whether it’s sometime this season or in 2024, let the defensive versatility of McMahon be maximized as a super utilityman that can reliably make a contribution at three infield positions.
Even with a healthy Rodgers in the lineup, the Rockies figured to be a contender for nothing except the worst team in the major leagues. And now, with B-Rod broken? This is a ballclub that could be hard to watch, especially if Colorado can’t find a solution to the regional sports network turmoil that has come knocking on its door.
Unless Bryant provides a big bang for the buck, he could be the $182 million face of the worst team in Rockies history.
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