Top Prospect Rodgers Is Ready, Willing & Believed Able to Get Back on the Field
Brendan Rodgers, the top-ranked prospect in the Rockies organization, is anxious.
He has been told he will be the DH for the Rockies next Friday against the Royals, although, pending the approval from head trainer Keith Dugger, that could be moved up a day when the Rockies have a split-squad alignment, hosting the Royals at Salt River Field and playing at the White Sox Thursday afternoon.
Either way, Rodgers is looking forward to that moment.
“From what we have discussed, we have a week by week plan,” said Rodgers. “I’ll DH two days, and then play second base for four innings.”
Doesn’t sound like much, but it is a lot for the 23-year-old Rodgers, the third player selected in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, behind Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 pick overall by Arizona which traded him to Atlanta, and Alex Bregman, the No. 2 pick overall by the Astros.
They both have established themselves in the big leagues. But then they were both college products. Rodgers was signed out of high school, and when he debuted with the Rockies at Philadelphia last May 17 he was only 22 – the same age as Swanson and Bregman when they got their first big-league opporutnity. Rodgers had barely graduated from Lake Mary (Fla.) High School when he signed with the Rockies.
And the highly-touted Rodgers, who was offered a scholarship out of high school by Florida State, is anxious to get back into game action.
He has been on the sideline watching since suffering a shoulder injury in a game against the Dodgers last June 23.
“Just overuse,” he said. “I really felt it in Los Angeles when I made a throwing error to first. I airmailed one and felt a weird sensation down through my forearm to my fingers.”
He eventually underwent reconstructive labrum surgery, “a big surgery. I had eight anchors in it.”
The challenge, Rodgers admitted, will be keeping his emotions under control.
“Not trying to overdue it,” he said of how he has to approach the return. “Not trying to put pressure on me. I don’t need to. Just play hard and play smart. … Biggest thing is not lying to yourself, saying I feel good when I don’t.”
He is mentally beyond ready about getting on the field, when the game is being played.
“I feel healthy, feel good,” he said. “I’ve taken care of it as much as I can recovery wise. I am confident where I am.”
And he has certainly been under watchful eyes.
“I worked out,” he said. “It was two times a day, training and therapist. Sometimes the PT was harder than the training.”
He spent the first three months of the off-season back in Florida, but arrived in Scottsdale the first week of February, getting ready for that chance to return to action.
And that chance is on the calendar now.