That didn’t take long. Four innings into the Colorado Rockies’ season opener and Charlie Blackmon has already proved that he needs to be utilized as the team’s designated hitter, which the National League adopted this offseason.
Did one play in the Opening Day game between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers show that Charlie Blackmon needs to focus on the DH role in 2022?
With one out and a runner on first and the Colorado Rockies leading the Los Angeles Dodgers by a 2-0 score, Chris Taylor hit a deep fly ball to right field fence. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon got turned around and misplayed the ball, leading to a double. All of a sudden, the floodgates opened, a couple more base hits, a pitching change, and a wild pitch, and the Rockies are trailing 5-2 and on their way to an Opening Day loss.
It is already known that Blackmon is a defensive liability in the outfield. In 2021, he was a -2 in Defensive Runs Saved and is -59 over his 12-year career. This could get worse as old age of the MLB variety continues to catch up to him (he will turn 36 on July 1).
However, let’s make sure to not bash on Blackmon too much as Taylor’s double was a difficult play to make. The ball got kept carrying and it was up against the wall, but it is a play that he needs to make, especially when the Rockies are paying him $21 million this season.
Manager Bud Black has already stated that he is going to use the DH to keep his player’s legs fresh throughout the season without giving guys days off. However, he also needs to consider that his roster is full of other outfielders such as Connor Joe, Sam Hilliard, Yonathan Daza, and Garrett Hampson, outfielders who aren’t as prone to making defensive blunders.
Blackmon also needs to check his pride at the door and realize that the team needs his bat in the lineup much more than his glove and he will have to learn to adjust to sitting on the bench while the Rockies are in the field.
It may have been just one play in the first game of 162, but Charlie Blackmon has already shown why he needs to be used as Colorado’s regular designated hitter and only that.