The Rockies have set their 30-man, Opening Day roster, per a club announcement. Notably, top infield prospect Brendan Rodgers did not make the cut and has been optioned to the team’s alternate site. The club also revealed that righty Peter Lambert, who has been sidelined with forearm pain, underwent Tommy John surgery and has been placed on the 45-day injured list. Placing Lambert on the 45-day IL opens a 40-man spot which was needed to accommodate the selection of non-roster players Matt Kemp, Daniel Bard and Chris Owings, which were reported last week.
That Rogers didn’t make the cut comes as something of a surprise. Shoulder surgery torpedoed his would-be debut campaign last year — he received 81 plate appearances before being injured — but the former No. 3 overall pick is still viewed as a top prospect and vital part of the Rockies’ future. While he won’t begin the year with the club, it still seems safe to expect that Rodgers will get a decent run in the big leagues this year, so long as he’s healthy. With Trevor Story entrenched at shortstop through at least 2021, Rodgers’ most immediate path to the everyday lineup is at second base.
The addition of the universal DH in 2020 should allow Colorado to play Daniel Murphy at DH more, with Ryan McMahon occupying first base, which would ostensibly clear a spot for Rodgers. For the time being, though, perhaps the preference is to get Garrett Hampson and McMahon some reps at the keystone while continuing to work Rodgers back into to MLB readiness.
The loss of Lambert not only for this season but for most or all of 2021 also stings for the club. He wasn’t expected to open the year in the Rockies’ rotation, but he was considered to be among the organization’s premier pitching prospects heading into 2019 and even made the back of some top 100 rankings at the time. Last year’s MLB debut didn’t go well to say the least — 72 runs in 89 1/3 innings — but Lambert only recently turned 23 this summer. He may be out until the 2022 season at this point, though he’s at least young enough that he has ample time to bounce back and still establish himself in the big leagues while in the midst of his prime years.