There is plenty of spring training action to go before Opening Day. However, there could be a serious offensive flaw in the Colorado Rockies’ 26-man roster when they begin regular-season play at the San Diego Padres on March 26.
Some hype has been made on just how potent the Colorado Rockies’ offense could be this season. Our Kevin Henry recently laid out how they could possibly make a run at the Minnesota Twins‘ 2019 home run record. Also, earlier this month, I also wrote how this team could out-do the original “Blake Street Bombers” by having five players hitting more than 30 homers. However, there is lack of right-handed batters that could hamper the Rockies’ offensive production.
This season, the Rockies will play National League West foes in the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angels Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres a grand total of 57 times. On the projected starting rotations for those three teams, there are former Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, and above-average pitchers Robbie Ray, Julio Urias, Joey Lucchesi, and Eric Lauer. All six of these pitchers are left-handed. meaning the Rockies could easily face a southpaw starter in at least 20 of these pivotal intra-division games.
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When the Rockies’ finalize their 26-man roster (the new 26-man rule limits teams to carrying 13 pitchers), there is a possibility that they could only carry four right-handed batters on the roster (Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond, and Garrett Hampson). At the most, they could break camp with six if they go with Drew Butera or Elias Diaz at backup catcher and Josh Fuentes as a utility infielder. Either way, the lineup will seemingly be deficient of right-handed bats, especially when they will oppose a left-handed starter.
The lack of righties may not matter when facing the likes of Kershaw or MadBum anyway. However, manager Bud Black could find his offense with limited options on that side of the plate when he most desperately needs it.