Mar 27, 2014 8:11 PM by Greg Smith
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Rockies continued to trim their roster Thursday, sending five players down to the minors as they near their 25-man opening-day roster.
The players optioned were catcher Mike McKenry and infielders Josh Rutledge and Ryan Wheeler. Outfielders Jason Pridie and Tim Wheeler, both non-roster invitees, were re-assigned to the minors.
Rockies catcher Jordan Pacheco
Jordan Pacheco has made the roster and will be the Rockies' backup catcher in 2014. (Denver Post file photo)
A major-league source also said that utility infielder Paul Janish has been told he has not made the team.
What became clear after Thursday's moves is that Jordan Pacheco is the backup catcher for Wilin Rosario, and Charlie Culberson will be the primary utility infielder. Pacheco could also be called on to play spot infield duty.
The primary reason for Rutledge's demotion is that the club wants to make sure he gets plenty of playing time and at-bats. Manager Walt Weiss loves Rutledge's athleticism, but wants to make sure Rutledge works out some kinks in his swing.
The major decisions to come include:
* Will the Rockies pick Corey Dickerson or Charlie Blackmon to be their fifth outfielder? Could the Rockies go with six outfielders? It's looking very likely.
* Will lefty Franklin Morales be a starter or end up in the bullpen? What the Rockies decide there will impact the fate of Tommy Kahnle. It appears that Kahnle will make the team, for now. They would have a decision to make when Boone Logan rejoins the team. Logan's likely to open the season on the disabled list as he continues his comeback from last October's elbow surgery.