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Rockies outfielder Yonathan Daza carried a .337 batting average into Saturday night’s game vs. Cincinnati at Coors Field.
Yes, it’s a relatively small sample size (92 plate appearances), and it’s unlikely Daza can maintain that high of an average for a full season. But his ability to compete against big-league pitching is no mirage.
After Daza hit 3-for-4 in Colorado’s win over the Reds on Friday night, manager Bud Black noted that Daza has made marked improvements at the plate.
“There’s a little more strength to his swing and I think the approach is a little better too,” Black said. “I think his mechanics are a little more consistent. The thing that sticks out (the most) for me is there’s more bat speed and strength to his swing and it’s just a touch more compact.”
Friday night, Daza doubled in his third straight game and extended his hitting streak to a career-high five games, during which he hit .715 (10-for 14).
Daza said his success had been predicated on working on his timing at the plate and being more consistent.
The outfielder’s self-confidence is evident to his teammates.
“He’s always walking around, not in an arrogant way, but certainly in a confident way, talking about the game,” shortstop Trevor Story said. “He certainly doesn’t lack the conference.”
Blackmon update. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who departed Friday night’s game in the bottom of the fourth inning with what the club called “a mild groin strain,” was not in the starting lineup Saturday. Black, however, sounded confident that Blackmon’s injury will not keep him off the field long.
“Charlie’s doing better … we’re hoping that he’s available in some capacity off the bench,” Black said. “(The groin) is feeling better, but still sore. But like I said last night, it’s a mild strain.”
Rodgers’ rehab. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers, rehabbing from a strained right hamstring, began his Triple-A rehab assignment Friday night at Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting 2-for-3 with one RBI. It was Rodgers’ first game since injuring the hamstring in a Cactus League game on March 13.
“Reports came back very favorable,” Black said. “He ran the bases well, looked good on defense. His swing was short, which we know is a good thing for Brendan.”
Streaking. Infielder Josh Fuentes recorded his third consecutive multi-hit, multi-RBI game against the Reds Friday night. He became the first Rockies player since his cousin Nolan Arenado (May 24-27, 2019) to have three consecutive games with multiple hits and RBIs The club record is four consecutive games, which has been accomplished five times, most recently by Arenado.