SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — All-star center fielder Charlie Blackmon put up historic numbers hitting from the leadoff spot in 2017, but the Rockies are contemplating moving him down in the order to take advantage of his power.
“We have talked about hit, we have contemplated it,” manager Bud Black said Wednesday as the Rockies officially opened spring training. “We have talked about it a lot, in earnest. And I’ve spoken to Charlie about it, as well.”
Hitting almost exclusively from the leadoff spot last season, Blackmon won the National League batting title with a .331 average, hit 37 home runs and set a major-league record with 102 RBIs from the top of the order. His 383 total bases were the most all-time by a leadoff hitter.
But the Rockies are open to the idea of moving Black to third or fourth in the order, and Black said Blackmon will be used there from time to time in Cactus League games this spring.
And, come opening day, Black could be batting from the heart of the order.
“It might make sense, based on who makes our team and how guys are playing at the end of spring, and what our roster looks like,” Black said. “It might very well make sense for our lineup. So yes, it’s a possibility.”
Black mentioned speedy outfielder Raimel Tapia, outfielder/first baseman Ian Desmond and outfielder David Dahl as possible leadoff men.
Three weeks ago, Blackmon said he was open to the idea of moving out of the top spot where he thrived last season.
“We have not discussed it yet, but I’m sure it’s a possibility. It seems like it could be a good idea,” Blackmon said. “I’m comfortable leading off, and it has been working. But it may not be the best lineup construction.”
Added Black: “I think Charlie is the type of player …read more
Source:: The Denver Post