It is the belief of many people that the inside track to the starting center field job for the Colorado Rockies belongs to Drew Stubbs with the recent news that Carlos Gonzalez will remain in left field. He will still have to beat out Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, but in many ways he seems the best-suited to win the gig outright.
That competition was put on hold Friday, however, because Stubbs was held out of the team’s Cactus League opening game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The reason? A ‘flareup’ of an esophagus condition. From Thomas Harding of MLB.com:
Stubbs, 29, is afflicted by eosinophilic esophagitis, symptoms of which include heartburn, food being trapped and difficulty swallowing. On Wednesday night, Stubbs needed to be treated at a hospital, but he has since been been regaining the ability to eat and drink, and he is building his strength.
‘It’s really random,’ Stubbs said. ‘That’s the first time it’s happened in several months. It’s definitely not a common occurrence, but it’s happened several times in the past.
‘It happens at random times with random foods. I wish I knew how to pinpoint what caused it, but at this point I don’t.'”
As far as time away from the field goes, it sounds like this is no big deal. But I do not mean to diminish this flareup for a second, because that sounds especially uncomfortable. Brandon Barnes started in center field and DJ LeMahieu batted leadoff, just to reinforce for all of us how much Walt Weiss loves DJ LeMahieu.
It sounds like Stubbs will be back on the field soon and we can start watching the battle for center field unfold.