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Inbox: What will Rockies do at second base?

@harding_at_mlb
July 30, 2020

DENVER -- As the 4-1 Rockies prepare for the home opener on Friday against the Padres, second base is our first question. But the answer has less to do with second base than Ryan McMahon’s bat. **What are the Rockies going to do at second base? Continue to platoon, or

DENVER -- As the 4-1 Rockies prepare for the home opener on Friday against the Padres, second base is our first question. But the answer has less to do with second base than Ryan McMahon’s bat.

What are the Rockies going to do at second base? Continue to platoon, or does Buddy have a plan for a regular starter?
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@coloradojim

The best way to look at it is through an offensive prism. McMahon bats sixth in the order, and has done so every game, though a poor matchup or the need of a day off could change that.

And Daniel Murphy will bat fifth, unless matchup or need for rest dictate otherwise.

Those factors determine whether McMahon plays first or second on a given day, with either Chris Owings or Garrett Hampson filling in at second as needed.

Offensive expectations are high for McMahon. He went 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts in the three games at Texas, but manager Bud Black said he, hitting coach Dave Magadan and assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar felt McMahon was just missing some pitches he often would have driven. The 4-for-8 performance in Oakland was more like it; the amount of damage he does with the swings should increase.

Have the Rockies decided on the No. 5 starter yet? Neither has pitched in the first five games.
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@RWOrockmtnhigh

No, and if they keep righty German Márquez on regular rest they don’t need one until Tuesday night against the Giants. Chi Chi González and Jeff Hoffman each threw lengthy bullpen sessions in Texas but were available out of the bullpen in Oakland. The Rockies have held off on the decision just in case a starter struggles early in a game.

While it’s good to get guys work, the fact they haven’t pitched is good for the Rockies.

Is the ninth inning pecking order Wade Davis, Jairo Díaz ... Daniel Bard??
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@ShoelessJoeHQ

So if you work from the ninth inning and back, Davis closed two games in Texas and began the year as the primary closer. It’s hard to declare him the closer all the time, since the Rockies are about to play 33 games in the next 34 days. Díaz has thrown a couple of eighth innings, but it’s clear that Carlos Estévez has gained some trust in key situations as well.

This is where pitchers like Bard -- and Yency Almonte and Tyler Kinley -- become important. With workloads expected to be heavy, they’ll likely to be called upon to float to a later inning, if necessary. All have pitched well early.

And Scott Oberg, on the injured list with a back strain, should be available sooner than later. Oberg, based on his success and experience, could be the one to spell Davis in the ninth, or even take over the inning if necessary.

Also, expect left-handed relievers Phillip Diehl and James Pazos, who saw no action on the season-opening trip, to come into play in key situations.

Ideally (in the views of management), when during this season do we see Brendan Rodgers? Limited sample size, but you will never convince me that Owings (0-6 in 2020, .139 batting average last year) deserves any at-bats before a first-round pick who is 23.
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@NickMiso

I thought Rodgers -- the Rockies' No. 1 prospect -- was going to make the squad out of Summer Camp, but positionally, it wasn’t a fit. Owings and Hampson have each played in the outfield, and that seems how the roster is structured.

This is not the best situation for Rodgers or outfielder Yonathan Daza. In a normal year, both would have regular Triple-A playing time and would be called up in the event of injury. In Rodgers’ case, he might have been the first option at shortstop if something were to happen to Trevor Story.

How and when Rodgers’ chance will come is hard to predict. Not only is he getting his repetitions at the alternate training site as opposed to in Triple-A, but the big league roster will reduce from 30 to 28 soon, and eventually to 26.

It’s imperative for Rodgers to get a good offensive foundation, especially if he is not just called up but placed in the regular lineup.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.