The education of Brendan Rodgers continues and Rockies manager Bud Black is thrilled to see it.
“His attention to defense is paying off,” Black said Tuesday before the Rockies hosted the White Sox at Coors Field. “Because he wants to be a complete player. He sees himself as a potential all-star and a potential great player. To do that, you have to play both sides.”
Rodgers’ latest lesson came Monday night in the Rockies’ tense, 2-0 win at Milwaukee. The second baseman misplayed a potential double-play grounder in the ninth inning, helping fuel a potential Brewers rally. But rather than hang his head, Rodgers tracked down Hunter Renfroe’s blooper into shallow right field and made a difficult catch. With the bases loaded, Rodgers snared Luis Urias’ sizzling live drive for the final out.
“I know that he felt good about that after the game,” Black said. “As bad as he felt when he tried to rush the double play ball, going back on Renfroe’s pop-up and then making that play off of Urias’ line drive, he felt good. There was redemption there.
“I want him to feel that way. Like, ‘Hey, I got a chance and I made the most of it.’ I’m proud of him.”
Rodgers’ turnaround at the plate has been remarkable. He hit .078 (4-for-51) with one double and no home runs in 14 games in April. But he entered Tuesday’s game slashing .294/.337/.472 with nine home runs, 20 doubles, two triples and 48 RBIs since May 1.
Injury news. Outfielder Kris Bryant did not play in Monday’s game in Milwaukee because of a sore foot and it was touch and go as to whether he would play Tuesday night. But Bryant was in the starting lineup, hitting third, though he was the designated hitter, not the left fielder.
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who’s been struggling, was placed on the 15-day injured list with a toe injury (sesamoiditis). Chacin’s stint on the IL is retroactive to July 23.
The veteran has been scored upon in six of his last seven outings and seven of his last nine since June 21. His 7.36 ERA is the highest among qualifying major league relievers.
Replacing Chacin on the 26-man roster is right-hander Justin Lawrence, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and is making his fifth trip to the big-league roster this season. He’s pitched very well with the Isotopes, being scored upon just once in seven appearances since July 6, good for a 1.23 ERA while holding opponents to a .083 average.
Starting shortstop Jose Iglesias, who’s been the subject of trade rumors as next Tuesday’s deadline nears, was out of the lineup Tuesday after fouling a ball off the top of his left foot in Monday’s game. Tests showed no broken bones in Iglesias’ foot but Black said Iglesias was still very sore.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (6-6, 5.12 ERA) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-5, 4.98)
1:10 p.m. Wednesday, Coors Field
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Senzatela has pitched reasonably well at Coors Field this season, going 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in nine starts. He’s made just one career start vs. the White Sox, allowing one run in one inning of relief on July 7, 2017 at Coors. The right-hander was on the mound in Milwaukee for Colorado’s first game after the all-star break. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four across five innings in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to the Brewers. He gave up home runs to Willy Adames and Andrew McCutchen in the third inning.
Giolito is coming off a rough start. He allowed six runs and nine hits and lasted only three innings in an 8-2 loss to the Guardians on Friday. He gave up four runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer by Andres Gimenez. The right-hander has been tagged for at least five runs in four of his last seven starts, adding up to a 6.87 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP over that stretch. He’s faced the Rockies just once, in Chicago, giving up four runs on six hits, including two homers, while walking two and fanning two.
Trending: Utility player Garrett Hampson, who’s been seeing a lot more playing time recently due to Rockies injuries, has made the most of his chance. He entered Tuesday having hit safely in each of his last eight starts and in nine of his last 10 since June 26. During those starts, he’s hit .324 with three doubles and one triple.
At issue: Third baseman Ryan McMahon entered Tuesday night’s game in a wicked slump, going 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts since returning from the all-star break.
Thursday: Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (9-6, 2.72) at Rockies RHP Jose Urena (1-2, 3.13), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Friday: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.49) at Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (6-5, 4.48), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM