Viewed through a narrow lens, Josh Rutledge is struggling, his status as a starter a topic of conversation. He has committed four errors since April 24, and he made a poor throw on a potential double-play ball Monday when his footwork betrayed him.

Seen through a wider prism, Rutledge is a rare commodity at second base, projected to finish with 18 home runs, 30 extra-base hits and 18 stolen bases.

So DJ LeMahieu started Tuesday, but that doesn't mean he's the starter. Rutledge, without a year's service time in the major leagues, is dealing with the rigors of learning a new position. Manager Walt Weiss doesn't believe Rutledge needs a Triple-A breather to accelerate the process.

"His growth is ongoing. He's done a tremendous job. The challenge of being a young big-league player is not easy," Weiss said. "He's working hard, and I believe in his athleticism and his ability to make adjustments up here.

"I have confidence in him."

Rutledge was a starburst last year, hitting .317 with seven home runs through his first 145 at-bats. Since Sept. 1, he has batted .221. Scouts who have watched Rutledge praise his quick hands and power.

"I just don't feel like I have been driving the ball at all yet this year," Rutledge said.

His maturity is evident in how he has approached adversity. He has a pregame routine, ironing out wrinkles in his swing and defensively. He also leans on teammates.

"You have guys in here who have been through this. They are great. I can ask them advice, and the coaches are great," Rutledge said. "Sometimes it's not physical, it's mental."

It's easy to take for granted his switch to second base from shortstop, where he played his entire life and with the Rockies last year after Troy Tulowitzki's injury. There's a different spin on groundballs at second base, and a lower arm slot required on throws. LeMahieu, a steady fielder who can hit for average and delivered a second-inning RBIsingle Tuesday, provides protection for Rutledge.

Still, Rutledge is 24 with an unusual skill set. Weiss insisted he isn't having second thoughts about his second baseman.

"The second year is always tougher. I like 'Rut' a lot," Weiss said. "Some things are coming a little tougher for him. He's held his own. He's done some good things for us."