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The roster adjustments for Desmond’s absence

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rockies’ Ian Desmond opting out of playing in 2020, citing high risk amid pandemic | ESPN

‘“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,’’ Desmond wrote. “Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.’’’

The Rockies placed six outfielders on their roster pool on Sunday. Taking Desmond out of that mix could provide a unique opportunity for a handful of players to see additional action, unique action, or both.

Colorado’s depth chart on Rockies.com has already been adjusted for Desmond’s absence. The chart now features Tapia and Hilliard in left field as expected. The list also includes Garrett Hampson in left; his versatility as a utility player could be more important now than ever. Should Hampson be called upon in the outfield, Brendan Rodgers could also see his projected role a little higher on the infielder list.

With Desmond out of the mix, Yonathan Daza could presumably be promoted from a taxi squad position to the big league roster. Daza was already part of the 52-player pool on Sunday.

Desmond is not the only player to opt out of the 2020 season thus far; the DiamondbacksMike Leake, and the NationalsRyan Zimmerman and Joe Ross will also not take the field this year.

Rockies set initial player pool with 52 players | MLB.com

Thomas Harding gave a recap of the 52-player pool on Monday. He addresses how Daniel Murphy is the likely DH candidate, and Ryan McMahon could be moving from second to first. This would further open up the infield for both Rodgers and Hampson to see more action.

Harding quickly points out how Ubaldo Jimenez was left off the list: “This spring, he went 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA in three games (two starts) for the Rox.”

Colorado has five catchers listed on the 52-player list. While the spring training sample size was small, both Drew Butera (.333/.429/.917, 14 PA) and Elias Diaz (.429/.458/.571, 24 PA) fared well. Tony Wolters lines up for the starting spot, and all three could reason for the ‘Opening Day’ roster with continued successes. Teams are allowed 30 players at the start of the season.

Colorado Rockies: Three surprising omissions from the 60-player pool | RoxPile

RoxPile’s Noah Yingling also points out Jimenez’s omission, along with Colton Welker. “[Welker] was a non-roster invitee to spring training, though, and he played well as he hit .438/.565/563 in 23 plate appearances. That’s part of the reason why it’s a bit surprising that he is not part of the 60-player pool.”

Another notable name was left off the list: 2020 first-rounder Zac Veen.

“The Padres drafted outfielder Robert Hassell III with the pick before Veen and he is on their 60-man pool.” Yingling’s article was also published before Desmond announced he wouldn’t play in 2020, a decision that could presumably open another Rockies outfielder spot.

Colorado’s catching needs were satisfied with the selection of Drew Romo (35th overall), but catcher Tyler Soderstrom was taken earlier in the draft (26th) and he has since made Oakland’s player pool. He inked a contract with the A’s earlier this week.

By giving Soderstrom a roster spot, Oakland can begin working with their 18-year-old catcher. By doing the same with Veen, Colorado could get to work with “the best high school hitter in this [2020] class.”

Mariners Release Carlos Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen | MLB Trade Rumors

A Rockie staple for many years, Carlos Gonzalez was left off a different player pool list. Gonzalezdidn’t seem likely to make Seattle’s Opening Day roster prior to the league shutdown” and was signed to a minor league contract.

8 ways the 2020 season will be ... different | MLB.com

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello points out several instances on how the National League game will change with a designated hitter replacing a hitting pitcher. 56 percent of sacrifice bunts last year came from pitchers, so the total number of bunt attempts could plummet. The NL’s strikeout rate will also likely decrease with a DH being used.

The NL hasn’t outscored the AL in a season since 1974 (one year after the AL got the DH). The deficit of NL run production is “almost entirely” from pitchers hitting, “which has been enough to overcome the fact that the NL has Coors Field.”

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