By Jack Etkin
A conditional phrase hovers above David Dahl, a verbal black cloud he would like to see vanish. His immense ability, the ease with which he plays and what the Colorado Rockies outfielder has shown in his brief time in the majors is apparent. Quite simply, he is a potential five-tool player.
But when Dahl’s tantalizing future is discussed, a qualifier is invariably mentioned: If he can stay healthy.
If so, abundant playing time awaits Dahl this season. Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra are gone, free agents who remain unsigned. Ian Desmond is moving from first base to the outfield where he is expected to play center and left fields. Charlie Blackmon will likely shift from center field to a corner spot for the most part. Dahl, who turns 25 on April 1, is expected to mostly play right field. He can play all three outfield positions, but when it comes to the corners, he said he’s “way better” in right field” and finds left field “tougher.”
The left-handed hitting Dahl is versatile enough to move around the lineup. Indeed, he batted in all eight spots last year, including 12 times hitting second where he could be an ideal replacement against right-handed pitchers for the departed DJ LeMahieu.
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