Why do the Colorado Rockies have so many outfielders?
This one comes from our friend, Evan Lang, of Purple Row. The Rockies seem to always have a logjam of outfielders, don’t they? I believe they’re trying to keep some flexibility in the outfield for certain spots.
We know for sure we’ll see Bryant and Grichuk out there, but that 3rd spot has a lot of questions. It likely won’t be Blackmon, but it could be if he pushes back on the DH role. So who wins out of Hilliard and Joe?
They’re the next two likely candidates to get the most time in the outfield. Then you’ve got to remember that Hampson spent the most time in CF last season, followed by Yonathan Daza. These two seem to be the odd men out, but both can have value, right? Hampson can play more positions if need be, but is Daza just pushed to the side? Is he eventual trade bait?
Lots of questions that I don’t think the Rockies have the answers to quite yet. If we still needed a lot of pinch hitters then maybe it makes more sense, but push will come to shove soon enough and they’re going to need to make decisions.
I think the Rockies feel like they truly found something in Elias Díaz. He hit for a 92 wRC+ and accumulated a 1.6 fWAR. Those numbers would look even better but he really struggled out of the gate. From June on, though, he was an absolute force at the plate.
To put Díaz’s season into better perspective, his 1.6 fWAR was one of the Top 6 seasons for Rockies catchers of all-time:
- Miguel Olivo – 2010 (2.2 fWAR)
- Jeff Reed 1997 & Tony Wolters 2016 (2.1 fWAR)
- Elias Díaz 2021, Chris Iannetta 2009 & Jeff Reed 1998 (1.6 fWAR)
Now debate the strength of that list at your own will, but it was a sense of relief to finally have a catcher who was a threat at the plate. He’ll continue to be the main guy while Dom Nuñez catches on his off days.