Here is a sobering statistic: Since 2000, the Rockies have had 12 different second basemen take the field on opening day.

The last Rockie to start consecutive opening days at second base? Mike Lansing, in 1999 and 2000.

Josh Rutledge wants to be the guy who stops that revolving door. He plans to be the guy who teams with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to give the Rockies an airtight defense up the middle, replete with sparkling double plays. He thinks he can provide power near the top of the order.

In short, the polite, softspoken 23-year-old from Alabama believes in himself and believes he's the long-term answer at second base.

The stats say Rutledge is mired in a slump. He entered Friday night's game against the Reds hitting only .222, including five strikeouts in 27 Cactus League at-bats. After his stunning big-league splash last season — a .345 average with 24 extra-base hits in his first 145 at-bats — he hit only .197 with just nine extra-base hits over his final 132 at-bats.