Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black released his probable starting lineup a few hours before the game and there are a few changes but perhaps the biggest is seeing Ian Desmond have some time at shortstop. He hasn’t played shortstop since 2015 with the Washington Nationals. Depending on his play there today, Black could use Desmond there more often.
Today’s starting lineup against the Giants in the start of a three game series has Ian Desmond playing shortstop at the major league level for the first time since 2015. He did play half a game at short in his rehab stint with Albuquerque a little bit more than a week ago but he still isn’t quite used to it yet. He talked to the media, including our own Kevin Henry, before the game today and he talked about returning to the position (h/t on the transcribing to the Associated Press).
"It’s been a while since I played there…It’s exciting for me. As a young player, I used to come [to Denver] and try to up my game as much as I could, because [I was] going against [Troy Tulowitzki]. I’m going to try to up my game because [Trevor] Story, in my opinion, [is] right there if not a tick above. He’s pretty good at short."
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Last night, he said that Bud Black and Rockies third base coach and infield coach Stu Cole asked him if he wanted to take ground balls at shortstop. Obviously, it went well and Desmond feels comfortable doing it because he wouldn’t be in the lineup at shortstop.
I think that, especially in the postseason (assuming that the Rockies get there), Desmond could provide the Rockies with some good versatility whether he’s on the bench or not. The Rockies are a versatile team and Bud Black has shown that he is not afraid to put players at different positions (e.g. Desmond and Gerardo Parra at first base, Mark Reynolds in left field, Tony Wolters at second and third base, and Pat Valaika in left field).
It is something that Black can utilize in his favor as he can use just a four man bench (as he has done for most of the season) in the postseason.