Charlie Blackmon has started out the 2014 campaign scorching hot, replacing Dexter Fowler in the spacious center field at Coors Field. There was a lot of skepticism and doubt about who the Rockies would put in center, whether it was Blackmon, Corey Dickerson, Brandon Barnes, or Drew Stubbs. Blackmon is making the trade of Dexter Fowler look good, with Jordan Lyles pitching well in his first start. In Colorado’s home opener at Coors Field On April 4th, Charlie Blackmon had the day he will never forget.
He would go a perfect 6-for-6 from the plate, hitting three doubles to go along with a home run and five RBI’s. He was the second Rockie to go 6-for-6 in a game since the ‘Big Cat’ Andres Galarraga did it back on July 3rd, 1995. Blackmon started to come on in September last season for the Rockies, hitting at a line of .309/.336/.467. What’s even more impressive is he hit .343 in September, without the beard. Here is what he said after the game:
“When you get an opportunity to play, it’s really nice to come up and contribute,” Blackmon said after the game, admitting he’d never had six hits in a game at any level. About his final hit, he said, “I didn’t even know where it went when I hit it. You know you had a good day when you hit a ball and it ends up two inches inside the line.”
Blackmon (after Sunday’s game) is currently batting (13-for-24) hitting at a line of .542/.560/.792 with five runs and six RBI’s which left Walt Weiss no option to keep him in the lineup. After seeing Blackmon produce like this, Weiss and company should look into sending Corey Dickerson down to Triple-A Colorado Springs to get some at-bats since he has be shelved on the bench. The idea sounds good but it would leave the Rockies without a left-handed bat on the bench.
Blackmon has served as a great table-setter for the heavy-hitting Rockies lineup. When he can get on base, it only makes it easier for Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki who follow him in the order. Blackmon as of right now leads the National League in multiple categories, including batting average (.542), on-base percentage (.560), and is second in slugging (.792) and on-base plus slugging (1.352).
The Rockies and Walt Weiss have options they like to slide into the center field position, with right-handed batters Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes in the mix. Stubbs can show some power and speed against left-handed pitchers while Brandon Barnes has an above-average arm with speed. But for right now, Weiss needs to ride it out with Blackmon in the everyday job.