Last season, the Colorado Rockies’ outfield faced an issue that was difficult to overcome. Even with some key departures, the Rockies continue to face that same issue.
In 2018, the Colorado Rockies had Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, and Charlie Blackmon batting from the left side of the plate, with the only righty being Ian Desmond who struggled for most of the season.
Bud Black found out quickly that this put him in a tough situation in games where they faced a left-handed starter. They addressed the problem by calling up Noel Cuevas at times throughout the season and by signing former Rockies’ great, Matt Holliday, in August for the playoff run.
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After the Rockies let CarGo and Parra depart in the offseason, they had a chance to address the need for another right-handed bat in the outfield. Instead, the duo was replaced internally by fellow lefties David Dahl and Raimel Tapia.
Not that this was an unexpected move but Black found out that this could be a problem as the season progresses. Counting tonight’s game against the Red Sox’s probable starter Chris Sale, the Rockies have faced an unthinkable six straight left-handed starting pitchers. Luckily, this issue hasn’t been exposed during these games but it could hurt them later down the road.
In one of the games, the Rockies went with an outfield comprised of Tapia, Dahl, and Blackmon. Fortunately, Tapia and Blackmon are both in the middle of hot streaks that negated the disadvantage of a left-on-left match up.
The worrisome part of this issue could be that the lone righty, Ian Desmond, has the worst splits of the four with a .244 batting average against lefties. A part of that has to do with Dahl and Tapia having a smaller sample size. However, Black’s lineup is typically dictated by norms instead of the numbers, otherwise Desmond would likely never see the field (not that that would hurt many feelings).
Having only one right-handed bat in the outfield hasn’t hurt the Rockies yet, but if the Rockies find themselves in the middle of a playoff race late in the season, don’t be surprised if a right-handed piece is added for the final push.