Appearing on ROOT SPORTS Rocky Mountain on Sunday, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich didn’t tip his hand to which of his two promising young shortstop prospects could be starting for him on opening day. Bridich is in need of a starter because his $22-million man, Jose Reyes, will be in Hawaii for a hearing on a domestic violence case. Reyes could miss as much as half the season as a result of the charges.

Both Trevor Story and Cristhian Adames have been having solid springs. Story is hitting a red-hot .381 in 42 at-bats with five home runs and 12 RBIs. Adames comes in nearly 100 points behind him at .283 in 46 at-bats with three home runs and eight RBIs. But Adames has major league experience, having earned a September call-up last year in which he played in 26 games and posted a .245 average. (He came up for seven games in 2014). Story split time between Double- and Triple-A last year, hitting .279 with 20 combined home runs.

Story has also been impressive with his glove this spring, but Adames brings a bit more experience and, as Bridich pointed out, some added maturity he’s gained over the past two years.

“I’m proud of the [Adames] because he’s grown up so much over the past two years,” Bridich said, joining Drew Goodman and Ryan Spilborghs. “Even 24-30 months ago there was still, physically, some baby fat there. He was at times pouty and very emotional on the field, and over the past two years there’s been this transformation into an adult. I think along with that there’s a lot of belief and confidence … He’s got a chance to be a really good major leaguer for a long time.”

It’s been hard to ignore Story’s red-hot spring, though. And if his 16 games in the Cactus League are any indicator, Bridich will have a tough decision on his hands. Much like the Cubs faced last year with Kris Bryant, the Rockies must decide if they want to start Story’s arbitration clock running by putting him on the opening day roster.

“There are a lot of assumptions in that [Kris Bryant/free agency] rule, I think by everybody involved … that once he came up he was never going to go back down. And thats the issue there – that if this player comes up and he never sees the minor leagues again that you save a year. But there aren’t those guarantees,” Bridich said about comparing the two situations.

“Look even at Carlos Gonzalez and his path to the big leagues,” he reminded Rockies fans. “Remember, when we traded for him he was struggling so much and I remember [Jim] Tracy [said], ‘We gotta send this kid back down to the minors … he’s too good of a player to be playing like this.’ So there’s never a guarantee of a direct path.”

Story has the look of a cornerstone player, at least during spring training he has. So while Bridich makes the Carlos Gonzalez comparison, he also says the team won’t be shy about putting the best man for the job on the opening day roster.

“Especially with players who are up the middle and you feel like every day type guys,” he continued, “they’re very valuable for your team, so we feel like if he’s earned the job then he’s earned the job and we’re not going to think twice about it.”

As far as which one the team is leaning towards, Bridich didn’t say and Goodman and Spilborghs didn’t press.

“They’ve both played very well,” Bridich said. “I don’t think it’s completely surprising for the people that have been around Trevor and Christian, for the people that have been around them basically their entire professional lives, to see them do what they’ve done. It’s never a guarantee though, so it’s really nice to see.”

It would do them a disservice to have both down at Triple-A to start the year, but Colorado does have two other players at shortstop that could spell the club in Reyes’ absence. Both Daniel Descalso (currently battling a hand injury) and Rafael Ynoa (who hit a bases-clearing two-out double while Bridich was in the booth) are proven major league players and can hold down that position in the short-term. Perhaps while Bridich and the Rockies press hold on either Story or Adames and wait so that clock doesn’t start to work against them.

Much like the Cubs did with Bryant in 2015, Colorado kept Nolan Arenado down in Triple-A for 18 games to start the 2013 season before calling him up to eventually win a Gold Glove in his rookie season, also saving them a year on his free agency clock. Something similar could be in the works this year. Whether it be with Adames or Story, Bridich isn’t saying out loud.

*UPDATE: Rafael Ynoa was optioned to the minor leagues after the initial publication of this article, very much opening the door for Adames or Story.