Can Michael Cuddyer live up to the hype in 2012? Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Rockies Position Preview: Right Field

Let’s all take moment of silence to remember the dearly departed Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs, frequent platoon partners in right field last season. I miss their faces. But the Rockies have moved on, and so must we.

Michael Cuddyer

Cuddyer was signed to a 3-year, $31 million contract in December, the biggest free agent signing in many years for the Rockies. He was brought on to be the starting right fielder, which is what made Smitty and Spilly expendable. Cuddy’s bat stands to be a solid part of the lineup, and he brings some power to a hitter-friendly park. He’ll hit 5th against left-handed pitchers and 6th against right-handed pitchers. As for defense, he’s no Gold Glover, but he has only made 19 errors in more than 5,000 innings in right field. He’s deaf in his left ear, so he can only play right field, which might actually force Jim Tracy to keep his corner outfield configuration consistent all season long. And that’s a good thing.

Charlie Blackmon

You know the deal with Charlie by now. He’s on the DL coming out of spring training, but very likely to be called up before too long. He can play right as easily as left, and he’d be a great backup for Cuddy. In fact, right field might be the position he is most likely to play since he hits from the left side and Cuddy hits from the right, while Carlos Gonzalez is a lefty and Dexter Fowler a switch hitter.

Andrew Brown

Prospect Brown was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals this offseason, and he had a solid spring. He appeared in 17 games and is hitting .333 with 2 home runs. His power from the right side means he has great potential to play in the outfield regularly, but that’s still in the future for Brown. Still, there’s a chance he could be called up later this season, especially if Cuddyer a) gets injured or b) finds himself in the infield because everybody else is injured.

Eric Young Jr.

Here he goes again, popping up in an outfield post. Stop the madness!!

Who makes the 40-man: Cuddyer, Blackmon, Young

Who makes the 25-man: Cuddyer, Young

Who starts on opening day: Cuddyer

 

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