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When Trevor Story delivers, who plays the shortstop?


Editor’s note: Third in a series for the 2022 Rockies. Today: the infield.

The Rockies have been playing musical chairs in their infield for three years and that trend will continue into 2022.

Just three years ago, the Rockies were playing in the National League Division Series with Nolan Arenado on third base, Trevor Story on shortstop and DJ LeMahieu on second. It was a dream infield. But LeMahieu, turned away by the Rockies, signed with the Yankees ahead of the 2019 season. Arenado escaped Colorado and was traded to St. Louis in February. And now Story is set to become a free agent, with high hopes of landing a big payday with a playoff contender.

The exodus of these three stars left big holes in the diamond and forced the Rockies to make big decisions, with more to come.

Brendan Rodgers wants to leave second base and replace Story in short, but that’s not a sure thing. Will the Rockies add a shortstop during the offseason? It’s possible.

Ryan McMahon is a Gold Glove contender at third base, but he also shines at second. If Rodgers goes in shorts and McMahon goes second, who’s third?

At least two positions are filled and offer intriguing potential. CJ Cron, who recently signed a two-year, $ 14.5 million contract, is giving Colorado the grassroots power it lacks. Elias Diaz was the club’s most improved player in 2021 and he looks like the wide receiver the Rockies have been looking for all these years.

Here’s a breakdown and ratings for how each of the Rockies’ infielders performed, with a forecast for their 2022 season:

Solid starters

C Elias Diaz (0.246 avg, 0.774 OPS, 18 HR, 44 RBI)

On June 1, Diaz hit .123 with a home run, base percentage of .191 and .376 OPS. As of that point, he hit 0.283 with an OPS of 0.896 and 17 home runs. In addition, he played a solid defense behind the plate. His 42.1% steal catch percentage ranked second in the majors and he improved as a caller. For a change, the Rockies will start a season with no major issues behind the plate.

Note: B-plus