Top prospect Rodgers gets spring game action

Rusin, being considered for Rockies rotation, throws two scoreless innings

Top prospect Rodgers gets spring game action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies created a buzz among those who follow prospects when they put shortstop Brendan Rodgers, the third overall pick in the 2015 Draft, on the lineup card in the sixth inning of Sunday's game against the White Sox at Glendale, Ariz.

The shock didn't bother him too badly. Rodgers doubled and scored during a 7-3 loss to the White Sox.

Rodgers, ranked 15th on the MLBPipeline.com Top 100 Prospects list, was selected out of Lake Mary (Fla.) High School, but he has spent much of the offseason in Scottsdale. Minor Leaguers haven't reported to camp, but he is working out at the Rockies' complex. The invitation to board the bus for Sunday came as a surprise, after he had stepped into the cage for live batting practice against Rockies starter Chad Bettis, closer Greg Holland and relief prospect James Farris on Saturday.

"I got to face some big league live arms, and that was my first live pitching," Rodgers, 20, said. "I was tracking the ball pretty well, seeing it well and putting some good swings on it, trying to get some rhythm. Then they asked me."

Rodgers on being in the lineup

Rodgers said his parents wanted to make the trip from Florida, but he said it was better to wait until their planned trip later in the spring than to spend the money on such short notice.

Worth noting:

• Plenty of young, talented pitchers are vying for the rotation spot up for grabs. But manager Bud Black said he is not overlooking lefty Chris Rusin, who faced six batters in two efficient innings of Sunday's 6-1 home victory over the D-backs. Last year, 22 of Rusin's 27 appearances came out of the bullpen, and Rusin was 1-4 with a 5.08 ERA as a starter.

"We're thinking about this fellow as a starting pitcher," Black said. "He's versatile enough to go back into the bullpen if needed or if that's best for our staff, but [Sunday] is a snippet of what he can do."

Black on Rockies' pitching

• Rockies Minor League first baseman Correlle Prime, who singled in a run against the D-backs, delighted in mentoring Rockies free-agent signee Ian Desmond in first-base play. Desmond had mentored Prime, a fellow Florida resident, during his young career.

"I was surprised when Ian told me, 'I'm signing with the Rockies as a first baseman,'" Prime said "I was like, 'What? That's crazy.' He's one of the best dudes I've ever met, a mentor and a role model. It's pretty cool for it to come full circle like that, with him trying to pick my brain. I can't tell you how much work he put in."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.