The Colorado Rockies use a new machine to improve their skills on the field

Colorado Rockies infielders use what third baseman coach Stu Cole calls the “Visine Machine.”

DENVER — Rockies third baseman coach Stu Cole is on the field every day, throwing light balls into what he calls the “Visine Machine.”

It really is called a Heater Power Alley Pro and it fires ground balls at players 10 feet away, typically at a speed of 15 miles per hour. The Rockies started using it a few months ago after seeing the San Francisco Giants use it.

So why is it called the Visine Machine? Ask Cole.

“The ‘Visine Machine’ because it’s red and we always say ‘Hey, it’s time to break out the red.’ Guys love it,” Cole said. “I mean, they love being out there every day, pre-practice and taking their pre-game reps and stuff like that. We have guys lining up to use the machine.”

Guys like utility Connor Joe, rising rookie Elehuris Montero and second baseman Brendan Rodgers.

In his first 51 games this season, Rodgers committed a career-high seven errors at second base. Two months later, after using the ‘Visine Machine’ every day, he had only committed two.

“It’s almost like hitting the cage for me,” Rodgers said. “It’s part of my routine. I had two bad, really bad weeks at the beginning of June and it really frustrated me. You know, I wanted to improve. You can never really judge jumping. The use of this machine really reinforces bad jumps and soft hands.”

Rodgers credits coach Cole for bringing the energy and helping players with the machine on a daily basis

“Stu is there for us, man. He works hard and he’s here every day.”

And Coach Cole is seeing his hard work pay off, just as Rodgers has seen improvements on the pitch.

“Well, that means a lot to me,” Cole said. “We are very happy to see a player improve and work on his craft and improve as the season progresses.”

Rodgers has had success with his bat this season, most recently hitting an RBI single to beat the Giants. Now his glove has improved and it’s all due to his hard work.

“I wanted to do something where I felt a little more ready for the game,” he said. “I found something that will probably stick with me for the rest of my career.”

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