Let’s take a look at what the Colorado Rockies Opening Day lineup could look like in the 2020 season-opener against the Texas Rangers.
Let’s for a moment assume that All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon won’t start the game for the Rockies after reporting to camp late following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Blackmon being out of the lineup could be even more in play after he was reportedly placed on the 10-day injured list earlier this week. However, manager Bud Black told us on Thursday that Blackmon’s place on the IL was strictly procedural after coming back from COVID-19.
With that in mind and with the Rockies likely wanting to deploy as many left-handed hitters as possible into the lineup, here’s a thought on what the Opening Day lineup could look like.
2B Garrett Hampson (R)
CF David Dahl (L)
SS Trevor Story (R)
3B Nolan Arenado (R)
DH Daniel Murphy (L)
1B Ryan McMahon (L)
RF Sam Hilliard (L)
LF Raimel Tapia (L)
C Tony Wolters (L)
I know, I know. You’re ready to tear into the logic behind this lineup so let me tell you what’s behind the thought process.
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First, having a right-hander on the mound could give Murphy the edge at designated hitter over right-handed-hitting Matt Kemp. There’s no question Kemp will get plenty of at-bats this season. It just may not begin with being a part of the starting lineup of the season opener.
What about the leadoff spot? Hampson batted in the leadoff spot in seven games last season (a small sample but experience nonetheless) and posted a slightly better overall average against right-handers (.250) than southpaws (.243). When Blackmon is back in the lineup, I fully expect Dahl to settle into the leadoff position in the majority of games. However, for the first night, giving Hampson the opportunity to build off a stellar September (.318/.368/.534 slash in 95 plate appearances) and what has been a solid summer of practice at Coors Field makes sense.
There’s also the issue at the bottom of the order. Will five consecutive lefties be the right move? Against a right-handed starter, perhaps. But later in the game against a situational southpaw pitcher? Maybe not.
So what do you think? What would you change? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.