Colorado Rockies: This is their perfect lineup for the 2021 season
Hitting eighth in the Rockies lineup would be catcher Elias Diaz. Diaz was re-signed by the Rockies this offseason to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration and with the team cutting Tony Wolters and Drew Butera becoming a free agent, it looks likely that Diaz will become the Rockies’ primary catcher.
In 2020, which was his first with the Rockies, the former Pittsburgh Pirate was the Rockies third catcher but as the season carried on, Diaz got more playing time simply because he was better offensively and defensively than both Wolters and Butera. However, that’s not a very high bar as all three of them were well below league average on offense, and Diaz and Butera were league average, at best, defensively.
Diaz played in 26 games for the Rockies and he hit .235/.288/.353 with an OPS+ of 62 when neither Wolters nor Butera had an OPS+ above 41. Defensively, Diaz was at league average with DRS and with Runs Extra Strikes (which is the main pitch framing metric). However, in 2019, with the Pirates, he had -21 DRS so if he is like that defensively, that will be a problem.
The Rockies hope that he will return to his 2018 offensive stats when he hit .286/.339/.452 with an OPS+ of 116 in 82 games. If that returns for Diaz, he will be moving up in the lineup and if the DH doesn’t stay in 2021, he would move up a spot to seventh anyway.