Rockies rumors: Drew Stubbs to lead outfield competition

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In adding Stubbs to the mix, the Rockies' have cast a wider net in their search for another starting outfielder.

Drew Stubbs will look to earn a starting job after being traded to the Rockies this offseason, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. The acquisition of Stubbs has complicated a blurry outfield picture that seemed to have been clarified by the decision to trade center fielder Dexter Fowler to the Astros. The Rockies have a few promising prospects queued up for the job, but in the meantime, left field remains open.

The Rockies have taken a broad approach in improving their roster this winter. Michael Cuddyer seemed poised to replace Todd Helton at first base when the offseason began, but now that the club has added Justin Morneau, Cuddyer is likely to remain in right field. The team's initial plan is to move slugger Carlos Gonzalez to center field and hold an open petition for the job in left.

Last season, Fowler's presence gave the club a stable trio to lean on in the outfield, but after trading him to Houston for righty Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes, the Rockies have an opening to fill.

Charlie Blackmon's role as the the team's fourth outfielder has slowly increased since he was called up in 2011. He appears to be Stubbs' top competitor for the starting job, but the club could use both players in a platoon in an attempt to neutralize Stubbs' weakness against same-side pitching. His career batting line against right-handed pitching is .226/.296/.356. Blackmon, a left-handed hitter, has faired slightly better against righties -- .280.310/.405 -- but he's actually posted a reverse split in his career, hitting lefties at a .325/.353/.447 clip.

Corey Dickerson could also be in the mix. The 24-year-old .263/.316/.459 in 213 plate appearances as a rookie last season.

Colorado will likely call on prospects David Dahl and/or Kyle Parker in the near future, but neither player has made it past Double-A to date. For now, it appears as though Stubbs and Blackmon will duke it out for playing time in left field.

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