Colorado Rockies: Was this batting order a sign of things to come?
By Aaron Hurt
The Colorado Rockies have only played five spring training games so far. However, that hasn’t kept me from trying to read any of the tea leaves that they have dropped about a potential batting order for the 2020 season.
In Thursday’s game against the Oakland A’s, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black rolled out his 1-through-4 batting order with David Dahl leading off, followed by Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado hitting cleanup.
It is extremely early in spring training, and Black will use camp to experiment with his lineup. But is this batting order something we should expect to see when the Rockies open up regular-season play in San Diego on March 26?
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Personally, I am huge believer in a batting order that features a left-right-left batter throughout the order. With the new three-batter minimum rule, it could put opposing bullpens at a serious disadvantage.
I like the idea of moving Blackmon out of the leadoff spot to maximize his production, even though he holds the MLB record for RBI in a season (102 in 2017) and led off 108 games in 2019 (I wrote about his lineup possibilities in this article last week.)
I also love the idea of utilizing Dahl’s speed and versatility to lead off games. As long as he can keep his legs healthy, he could be a weapon for the Rockies.
The one thing I do not agree with is Arenado batting cleaning up. It is not that he doesn’t have experience hitting there (53 games in 2019) or won’t be productive. It is, however, that extra batter down in the order could take away at least 50 at-bats from him over the course of a season. That is a lot of production that Black could miss out on by taking the bat out of Arenado’s hands.
Of course, four weeks still remain before Opening Day and, like I said, Black is likely experimenting with the lineup. However, this is definitely something to keep an eye on as we draw closer to the regular season.