Decisions coming in the outfield
Charlie Blackmon’s return not only will hopefully boost the lineup but will also cause some shifting around with the outfield.
As we discussed in the previous slide, Tapia has struggled in recent games at the plate. He’s also shown some less-than-desirable defense while at Wrigley Field as well, including a misplay on Tuesday night and an overthrow on Wednesday night.
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Blackmon’s absence has created a situation where there haven’t been many opportunities for Tapia or David Dahl to have a day off. Garrett Hampson has spelled Ian Desmond briefly but the outfield has been very consistent with its Tapia-Desmond-Dahl look since Blackmon went out with an injury on May 24.
That consistency is getting ready to be turned upside down, however, with Blackmon once again taking over in right field. That leaves Desmond and Dahl in center while Tapia and Dahl will be available in left.
Remember, there has not been a lot of moving outfield positions around with this year’s squad. Tapia has played just one game (11 innings against Tampa Bay on April 3) in right field and that’s the only time he has played anywhere other than left this season. Desmond has only played center field and Blackmon has only played right. Dahl, meanwhile, has played all three positions.
Expect Dahl to move around more in the outfield with Blackmon’s return and Bud Black to take advantage of Dahl’s current hot streak at the plate. He went 1-for-4 on Thursday to lower his batting average to .335, including hitting .476 in June.