Josh Rutledge was given an opportunity in 2014 to prove that he can be a valuable member of the Colorado Rockies future. He is young enough for the jury to continue deliberation, but early testimony is not in his favor.

For the Colorado Rockies there is at least one solemn truth: their best player — Troy Tulowitzki — does not have reliable health.

The conundrum is that even while playing in only 91 games this season, Tulo was still good for 5.1 fWAR, making him the 12th most valuable player in the National League. He was on pace for an MVP season before being shut down in August, which surprised precisely nobody.

This means that Colorado, if they intend to keep their superstar — who is still a full win more valuable in 91 games than Ian Desmond was in 154 — they absolutely must employ a reliable backup who can at least break even in the WAR department.

Josh Rutledge was given the chance to be that guy this season and posted a -.90 WAR in 105 games played.

What happened

Tossing out WAR totals an moving on is ill-advised but I’m afraid a combination of other stats, and a thorough eye examination, show that WAR is perhaps being a bit kind.

His .269/.323./.405 line might look at least okay, but for a player whose main contribution is supposed to be on the offensive side of the game, those numbers just aren’t enough for an every day player at Coors Field. Rutledge burst back onto the scene early in the season, but as he became needed at third and second base, his lack of defensive prowess at third and second base became a story line in several Rockies losses.

Maybe the poor defense sapped his overall confidence and his hitting suffered …read more