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Rutledge optioned to Triple-A for second time

Rutledge optioned to Triple-A for second time


DENVER -- The disappointment of 2013 continued for Josh Rutledge, who began the year as the starting second baseman but on Monday received his second demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.

Manager Walt Weiss needed Rutledge's roster spot because the Rockies recalled left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz from Double-A Tulsa to start Monday night's game against the Marlins.

Last year, Rutledge hit .274 in 73 games after being called up from Tulsa to replace shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who missed most of the year with a right groin injury.

The Rockies banked on Rutledge handling the switch to second base, but sent him down to Colorado Springs on May 20. He was on and off offensively at .242, but the Rockies felt he could relax and complete the position transition under less pressure if he did it in the Minors.

The team recalled him after Tulowitzki suffered a broken rib on June 13, but between Rutledge's return and Sunday, he hit .143 in 70 at-bats and saw his playing time evaporate. DJ LeMahieu has earned the second-base job.

"We just needed Josh to get at-bats, and the way it's gone up here and the way DJ has played, it would be tough in the near future to get consistent at-bats," Weiss said. "I told Josh we still think enough about him that it's important that he gets consistent at-bats. If we didn't think of him as fitting into our future plans, then it wouldn't matter that he was not getting consistent at-bats."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his 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.

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