Usually the headline of Charlie Blackmon being out for the season would bring huge concern for the club and Colorado Rockies fans alike. While his recovery is of the upmost importance, he will only miss six games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles the rest of the way as the 2022 campaign winds down.
Officially, Blackmon was put on the 10-day IL with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Colorado Rockies star experienced the injury last week and tried to play through it, but the injury progressed. The surgery and recovery time is not expected to interfere with his preparation for next season or any playing time in 2023.
Next year will be the last player option on the six-year contract extension he signed in 2018. He is set to make $18 million guaranteed next season, so seeing him suit up next year in LoDo is nearly as guaranteed. It will be his 13th season in the league.
This season is the least amount of games (135) he will play besides his first and the pandemic-shortened season. It is the first time that he ended a season with negative bWAR (minus-0.2) since his first season in 2011 where he played 27 games.
Even if the WAR wasn’t there, it did feel like Blackmon had a little more pop in his bat than he did last season. He had the same amount of RBI as last season with 78 in 15 less games. He also had 16 homers compared to 13 he did last year with fewer at-bats. He had a 0.4 WAR offensively but it is in the field where he struggled (his -1.5 WAR in the field where he has been so stout his whole career). This will likely relegate Blackmon to the DH role even more next season.
Next year is the big question. Blackmon is one of the most memorable and best Rockies of all time. He is in the top 10 of at least a dozen categories in franchise history. He is seventh in career WAR at 19.3 amongst Rockies. He is first in career triples and second in hits, total bases, singles, and stolen bases. His walk-up song is nearly as iconic as his glorious locks. Despite the ups and downs of the last decade plus, the consistency and leadership he’s brought to the club has been invaluable.
Even if it took him 140 years to hit 700 homers to match the historic feat logged by Albert Pujols this season, Rockies fans wouldn’t mind seeing him suit up that long. But he will be 38 next year and it might be plausible we won’t see him for the 2024 season after we’ve seen most of the superpowers his beard and bat can produce. The Rockies are likely not to trade him at the deadline, just like they haven’t with the other pieces of the core that made it to the playoffs last. Even if he signs a short contract with another team, it feels like an anticlimactic way to finish his Rockies career.
Here’s to hoping that he goes out with a bang in 2023 and receives the adulation he deserves. Colorado Rockies fans have to be thankful for the universal DH just for this opportunity.
Get better soon, Chuck Nazty.