In a long season like that of baseball, things aren’t always going to go right. But, despite a recent slump after a strong start, the Rockies don’t have to worry about things going wrong for long with all the depth they have on the roster.

The outfield is where that talent is perhaps most abundant, what with Ian Desmond, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, Raimel Tapia, Mike Tauchman and, eventually, David Dahl available for manager Bud Black at any given time.

Left fielder/first baseman Desmond, who’s been around his fair share of different clubhouses over eight MLB seasons, says the widespread skill of the Rockies this year is on another level, especially in the outfield.

“It points to our strength. I think the strength is in the versatility and the athleticism. It’s something that Jeff [Bridich] made very evident, that that was a goal of his when I signed here,” Desmond said. “More than any team I’ve ever been on, I notice guys not necessarily are afraid to take days off, but aren’t afraid to pass the ball. That’s a key. Buddy’s been doing a good job of managing that, and players have been good about accepting it and moving on.”

In a game as trying as baseball can be throughout its six-month duration, that kind of versatility at any position is priceless.

“That’s what you want – you want to be consistent in this game on an individual level and a team level. You can lose your shortstop for a few games and put in two guys who do what Pat [Valaika] and Alexi [Amarista] do,” Desmond said. “That’s invaluable. Those are wins, because those guys came off the bench big for us.”

Colorado enters a three-game weekend series with Pittsburgh at 56-41, tied with Arizona for the NL Wild Card.

In a season as successful as this one, veterans like Parra won’t necessarily feel slighted when they’re left out of the starting lineup, because it’s all about what’s best for the team.

“We have a great team, and we just play every day. The heart of our play is to take it day by day. For me, I’m good when I stay in the lineup, no matter what position, no matter anywhere. It’s only play where you are to make us win,” Parra said. “Just play hard every day. Just come in happy, just play baseball and don’t try too much. Just play like we’re playing right now.”

For someone like Dahl, who’s missed the entire season to date with a finicky stress reaction in his rib – but who’s also currently in the minors working his way back up – that type of depth is comforting, knowing that the talent is there even when he’s not.

“Missing time, not playing the game I love is very upsetting to me, but it’s also so good to come to the clubhouse every day with good vibes, and seeing the team play really well just makes me want to get back even more,” Dahl said.


If he does eventually make his way back to the big-league roster, the Rockies will have one more cog in their outfield wheel, even if that means they’d probably have one too many men vying for a spot in the starting rotation in the seven through nine positions.

“It’s definitely a good problem to have,” Dahl said. “I’m not really worried about what happens when I come back, I’m just trying to get back on the field. Whatever happens, happens, but it’s good to have a lot of depth.”

For a three-time All-Star and 10-year MLB veteran like Gonzalez, who’s been struggling at the plate most of this season, it’s nice to see that his teammates are ready to step to give him a day to rest and recover whenever Black deems necessary.

“We have a strong team from top to bottom,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been saying this for a long time: If you want to be a good team, it takes more than one or two guys. It takes all the way from the front office to ownership, everybody’s on the same page trying to win championships, and I think that’s where we’re heading.

“You’ve got to play as a team and do the best you can, whenever they put you in – it’s either running bases or running a ground ball, whatever – it’s just keep pushing for yourself, keep pushing for your teammates, and a lot of good things happen.”