DENVER -- The Rockies' instructions for second baseman Josh Rutledge, sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 22, were simple: Play and relax.
Entering Friday, Rutledge was batting .240 with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs in six Minor League games. The Rockies want him to work on playing second base, since he was a shortstop last year. Because of the need to give other players time off, Rutledge played short Thursday and will do so again Friday for Colorado Springs.
Manager Walt Weiss expects Rutledge to find his comfort level.
"It helps to be able to slow down a bit," Weiss said. "There's always pressure in this league, I don't care who you are. That's built into the game. There's no question the second year is a difficult year. That's why they have a name for it [the sophomore slump]. It's a tough year, and a lot of guys have had to deal with that.
"'Rut's' going to be a really good Major League player for a long time. It's an opportunity to catch his breath right now."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Read Harding's blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.