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Where in the order will Charlie Blackmon use ‘Your Love’ this season?

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Rockies news and links for Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Who’s up first? This year, it could be Dahl | MLB.com

David Dahl might supplant Charlie Blackmon as Rockies’ leadoff hitter | Denver Post ($)

Charlie’s on a vacation far away, so come around — let’s talk this over. So many things they all want to say: Our leadoff hitter is a little bit older.

All the cool kids are talking about it: Charlie Blackmon could indeed be losing our leadoff-hitter love tonight — or this season, at least. For the last few games, the Rockies have led off with David Dahl, followed by Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. And Bud Black is toying with the idea of leaving the lineup like this.

On one hand, it makes a lot of sense. While neither Dahl nor Blackmon is a major base-stealing threat, Dahl is younger and a bit faster. According to Statcast, the average sprint speed for major leaguers is 27 feet per second. David Dahl is about a second faster than average, at 28.1 feet per second (roughly the same speed as Nick Ahmed, Marcus Semien and Aaron Judge). Charlie Blackmon, meanwhile, is slightly slower than average at 26.7 feet per second (roughly the same speed as Anthony Rendon, D.J. LeMahieu and Ryan Braun).

Dahl and Blackmon get on base at almost the same clip (.353 versus .364, respectively), and Bud Black says he likes Blackmon lower in the lineup because he’s good at RBIs and stuff. So we’ll see how that plays.

But can the Rockies really afford to lose “Your Love” as a leadoff walk-up song?

Notes: González applies lessons; Lambert hurt | MLB.com

Chi Chi González had a good outing yesterday afternoon, strengthening his bid to make the Rockies’ Opening Day lineup. As it stands, it appears Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman are the front-runners for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, but González is definitely still in the mix, or he could serve as a long reliever if he doesn’t crack the rotation.

Peter Lambert, meanwhile, may have to wait. He left the game early yesterday with forearm tightness, which could be nothing, or it could not be nothing. Either way, if he needs to miss additional time, it seems unlikely the Rockies would rush his return.

Oh, and Jake McGee pitched and didn’t give up a run. So there’s that.

Colorado Rockies roster battle: Elías Díaz meshing well with Kyle Freeland | Rox Pile

Sure, it’s early, but through 23 plate appearances, Elías Díaz is slashing .450/.478/.600 with two walks and one strikeout. Even better, the reportedly offense-heavy catcher seems to be holding his own on defense as well — at least in terms of pitch-calling and working with pitchers.

Specifically, as the headline indicates, Díaz is working well with Kyle Freeland and is very enthusiastic about continuing to get to know Freeland’s pitching style and preferences. This seems like a smart move.

Plus, apparently Kyle Freeland is throwing four different pitches effectively? That sounds promising as well.

ESPN’s MLB Rank, 100-1: Baseball’s top players for 2020 | ESPN

The Rockies have three players on ESPN’s top-100 list: Charlie Blackmon (No. 72), Trevor Story (No. 30) and Nolan Arenado (No. 9).

From a positional perspective, this seems about right. Story is the No. 3 shortstop, behind Francisco Lindor (No. 10) and Xander Bogaerts (No. 28). Nolan is the top third baseman, just ahead of Alex Bregman (No. 12) and Anthony Rendon (No. 13).

Personally, I’m not sure why we need to rank everything, especially when it’s so difficult to compare pitchers to position players and also we all know Nolan is the best anyway.

Coronavirus: Rockies’ David Dahl says playing in empty stadiums “would stink” | Denver Post ($)

Well, actually, the article says it “would (stink),” because apparently the respectable journalists at the Denver Post only use very proper language.

I’m glad I’m not a journalist. Or respectable.

Yes, playing in empty stadiums would suck.

Of course, it would suck a lot more if Dahl got sick, considering he doesn’t have a spleen, which puts him in the high-risk category. He’s trying not to worry about it, though. Just taking normal precautions:

Just stay away from big crowds, try to stay away from a lot of people.

Um. Should we tell him how many people go to games at Coors?

Should MLB plan to play without fans amid coronavirus threat? | Yahoo Sports

So last week I asked if it would be too much to ask for us to have a baseball season uninterrupted by a global pandemic.

It turns out the answer is yes.

On Monday, Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league announced it was postponing the start of the season indefinitely due to concerns over COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus). Monday afternoon, Rob Manfred announced that clubhouses will be closed to the media until further notice, but he has no plans to cancel games or close games to fans just yet.

But should he?

Politicians and public health officials continue to discourage large public gatherings. Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to rise in the U.S., with active outbreaks in Seattle and New York, two cities that — and you may not know this — have baseball teams.

I love baseball with all my heart, so it kills me to say this: Is it worth the risk?