Colorado Rockies Outfield Battle: Week Two

Feb 29, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (68) poses for photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 29, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (68) poses for photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

As week two of spring training comes to an end, it’s time to take another look at how things are shaping up in the outfield. Read last week’s update here, along with our most recent updates on the battles for shortstop, bullpen/rotation spots, and first base.

The most important news of the week regarding the outfield was David Dahl getting cut, which made me especially sad since he was literally the poster boy for last week’s article. While it would have been fun to see Dahl break camp with the Rockies, in the end it was highly unlikely. It’s still a crowded outfield, and the Rockies’ refusal or inability to move any of the guys currently playing those positions signals that they want to give Dahl all the time he needs in the minors. You won’t get any argument from me on that. Because he’ll be a key piece for the Albuquerque Isotopes this season, he needs to start getting regular reps at the plate, according to Walt Weiss.

On to performances by guys who are still around.

Brandon Barnes

Spring Training: 24 AB | 6 H | 0 R | 0 XBH | 1 RBI | 2 BB | 10 K | .250/.308/.292                                     Week Two: 11 AB | 4 H | 0 R | 0 XBH | 1 RBI | 1 BB | 5 K | .363/.417/.363

Barnes showed some minor improvements in camp this week, although he’s still striking out a lot. He seems to have found his swing to a degree, and he’s hitting decently with runners on. Barnes has also played great defense this spring, leading the outfield with 15 putouts in as many chances. He still profiles as a fourth outfielder and always will, but it’s nice that the Rockies have him available.

Charlie Blackmon

Spring Training: 21 AB | 6 H | 3 R | 1 XBH | 2 RBI | 5 BB | 2 K | .286/.423/.333                                         Week Two: 10 AB | 4 H | 1 R | 0 XBH | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 1 K | .400/.455/.400

Blackmon found his swing this week as well, increasing his spring training numbers respectably. It’s encouraging to see that he’s still keeping the strikeouts down while getting on base with frequency. Defensively, he’s been a little quiet so far, preferring to cede most opportunities to his corner fellows. But we’ve all seen what Chuck is capable of in the field, so no real concerns there.

Carlos Gonzalez

Spring Training: 25 AB | 7 H | 5 R | 3 XBH | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 6 K | .280/.308/.560                                         Week Two: 15 AB | 4 H | 3 R | 1 XBH | 2 RBI | 0 BB | 4 K | .267/.267/.333

Cargo cooled off a little this week, but not before tagging World Series champ Johnny Cueto for a home run and thereby sending a message that evidently the Rockies are here to hit this year. Which is all well and good, but then he hardly had any hits at all for the rest of the week. I appreciate the tough talk if only because it’s better than making excuses, whining, or saying nothing. I just hope that guys like Cargo can really back it up this year. Most of us would take Cargo over just about any other outfielder no matter how streaky he is, but the team could really thrive if Cargo is able to find some consistency.

Kyle Parker

Spring Training: 18 AB | 4 H | 5 R | 1 XBH | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 7 K | .278/.316/.333                                           Week Two: 10 AB | 3 H | 3 R | 1 XBH | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 4 K | .300/.363/.400

Parker is only still with the club because there isn’t anywhere else for him to go. If they cut him, he’s done, so they’re probably just giving him as long as he can to put together a decent audition for another team. He made a slightly better showing this week, even driving in a couple runs. He struck out just as often though. Parker has also logged innings at first base this week, making a nasty error yesterday.

Gerardo Parra

Spring Training: 22 AB | 6 H | 3 R | 0 XBH | 2 RBI | 3 BB | 5 K | .273/.360/.273                                           Week Two: 13 AB | 3 H | 2 R | 0 XBH | 0 RBI | 2 BB | 4 K | .231/.333/.231

Parra has been positively mediocre this spring, especially this week. He’s not distinguished himself yet as someone who can do more than fill out a uniform (and maybe hit a little better than Daniel Descalso). That’s probably fine, since he’s a placeholder for Dahl. The problem is that three years is kind of a long contract for a placeholder. And $27 million is a lot of money for one. Luckily, he’s displayed some speed on the basepaths, and his arm still seems to be working just fine. As Jeff Bridich says, “Having too much depth is a good thing.”

Raimel Tapia

Spring Training: 24 AB | 9 H | 5 R | 3 XBH | 2 RBI | 1 BB | 6 K | .375/.400/.542                                           Week Two: 13 AB | 6 H | 2 R | 1 XBH | 0 RBI | 1 BB | 4 K | .462/.500/.615

Tapia was on fire this week, which was fun to see. I expected him to get sent down before Dahl did, but I’m glad he’s been given more opportunities to grow with the big league club. He’s demonstrated speed and made some great plays in the field, which bodes well for his future as a Rockie.

Tune in next Wednesday for more on the state of the Rockies’ outfield.