Should the Rockies want to compete for a spot in the postseason in 2020, they will need their core players to stay healthy and improve their play, especially outfielder David Dahl.
The 25-year-old outfielder has been apart of the big league club since the 2016 season, but injuries have limited his playing time and ability to impact the team fully.
Dahl is a career .297 hitter, and when healthy, has been a force in the middle of Colorado’s lineup. Dahl hit .302 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2019, but he only managed to play in 100 games after a slew of injuries cut his season short.
The 100 games Dahl played in during 2019 were the most he’s played in a single major league season by a wide margin.
Now, as the team prepares to break for Spring Training, Dahl is healthy and ready to step up in the clubhouse this season.
Dahl has not experienced any setbacks and has had a typical offseason by all means, which is encouraging given his 2019 ended prematurely.
Dahl is prepared to play all three outfield positions in 2020 and believes the Rockies can improve upon their 71 wins from last season.
“It is just going to take guys bouncing back,” Dahl said. “I have to stay on the field all season. I think we can do it. We just have to come together and some stuff has to click.”
The Rockies finished just one game out of last place in the National League West division last year. Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks have been active this offseason while the Los Angeles Dodgers are still expected to run away with the division.
The Rockies lack of offseason moves is not encouraging for their outlook in 2020, but Dahl does not put much stock into it.
“I just focus on our team,” Dahl said. “We have a lot of guys that I think are going to bounce back, and my plan is to stay out there for a full season and show everybody what I can do.”
When healthy, Dahl is a power bat that provides the Rockies’ lineup with much-needed depth. Dahl was an All-Star in 2019, and he will need to maintain that level of play for the full season if the Rockies have any chance to compete for the playoffs in 2020.
The Rockies are just one season removed from playing in the NLDS with a core that is still relatively intact, so there is reason for optimism; however, 2019 provided many causes for concern, which leaves the outlook for 2020 hazy.
Dahl believes the team has a chip on their shoulder entering this season given how last year played out.
“We are going to have to pick ourselves back up,” He said, “We have to prove to everybody how good we can be. Last year we came in, and everybody was talking about us. We were feeling ourselves a little bit, and things did not go our way, and we played bad baseball. This year we are going to have a little chip on our shoulder.”
One reason the Rockies slipped in 2019 was because of a lack of vocal leadership within the clubhouse. While Dahl, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Stroy and Charlie Blackmon are all leaders, they are not as vocal players like Carlos Gonzalez or Gerardo Parra, who were instrumental to the Rockies’ success in 2017 and 2018.
Dahl says he plans to step up more as a vocal leader in the clubhouse this season, as are some of the other players.
The Rockies are going to do the best they can with what they have in 2020. Health will be critical to the Rockies’ success this season. Dahl is one of Colorado’s best players, and he will need to be in the lineup for nearly every game for the Rockies to compete in the NL West.