The Rockies are hurting down on the farm.

Manager Bud Black confirmed Friday that two of the club’s top prospects — left-handed starter Ryan Rolison and corner infielder Colton Welker — will undergo shoulder surgery and are lost for the season.

“It’s unfortunate because both guys were so close to trying to solidify themselves as major-leaguers,” Black said before the Rockies hosted Atlanta. “Welker showed some hit-ability and some versatility and was on the cusp of improving.

“Rolison was not quite as close. But he was a college pitcher from a good conference and projects to be a major league pitcher.”

Rolison, 24, Colorado’s top pitching prospect, was drafted in the first round out of Mississippi (22nd overall) in 2018. He suffered a left shoulder strain during spring training and was shut down in early April. He was put on the Rockies’ 60-day injured list and won’t pitch again this season. Surgery is planned for later this month.

Given how poorly Rockies starters have been performing, losing Rolison is a big blow. Rookie right-hander Ryan Feltner is already working as the team’s sixth starter, and right-hander Peter Lambert, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020, is pitching limited innings at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Welker, 24, sustained the same kind of shoulder impingement in the labrum that forced infielder Brendan Rodgers into surgery in 2019, according to a report by The Athletic.

It’s been a rough road for both Rolison and Welker.

Last season, Rolison made just 10 starts at Triple-A Albuquerque. His season was stalled by a ruptured appendix, and then, just when he was about ready to return, he suffered a broken hand when a fly ball hit him during batting practice.

Welker has essentially missed three consecutive seasons. The pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor-league season. In 2021, Major League Baseball suspended Welker for 80 games after he tested positive for a steroid commonly known as oral turinabol. The Rockies called Welker up late in the season for his big-league debut and he appeared in 19 games, hitting .189 (7-for-37).



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