Rockies’ Ryan Rolison, Colton Welker Expected To Undergo Shoulder Surgery

The Rockies will lose two players — left-hander Ryan Rolison and third baseman Colton Welker — to shoulder surgery, reports Nick Groke of the Athletic. According to Danielle Allentuck of the Colorado Springs Gazette (Twitter link), both players will be out for the rest of the season.

Rolison may be the more well-known of the duo, even though he’s yet to make his major league debut. Colorado selected him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 draft, and he’s been one of the more highly-regarded arms in the organization for the past few years. The Ole Miss product’s stock has dipped a bit recently, however, as he’s not had a ton of reps since the end of the 2019 campaign.

After the pandemic resulted in the cancelation of the 2020 minor league season, Rolison was limited to 14 starts last year. He underwent an appendix procedure and missed two months between June and August. Even when healthy, Rolison struggled to a 5.91 ERA through ten Triple-A starts — albeit in a very hitter-friendly environment in Albuquerque. Baseball America nevertheless ranked him the #4 prospect in the system over the offseason, writing that he could be a back-end starter, but he’ll now lose a full season of reps.

Colorado added Rolison to the 40-man roster over the winter, but he’s spent the entire season on the 60-day injured list. He’ll collect a full year of MLB service time and a $700K salary while rehabbing.

Welker is also on the 40-man, counting against the roster while on the minor league injured list. Colorado could recall him and put him on the MLB 60-day IL to free a spot, although they’d have to pay him the prorated portion of the league minimum for any time on that list.

The 24-year-old infielder appeared in ten games with the Isotopes, hitting .324/.422/.514. He’ll lose virtually all of the season, his third straight limited campaign. After the 2020 season cancelation, Welker missed most of last year serving an 80-game suspension following a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. He made his big league debut last September, appearing in 19 games.

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