He Shall Return: Dahl Optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

SCOTTSDALE, Az. – Rockies manager Bud Black got his first real look at the abilities of outfield prospect David Dahl this spring. He is (emphasis on the present tense) impressed.

Dahl’s 2017 season, Black’s first in the organization, was cut short by a stress reaction in his rib cage area near the spine. His season was limited to 77 at-bats in 19 games between High-A Lancaster and Triple-A Albuquerque.

“I saw him this (spring) clean for the first time,” said Black. "He showed very well. I saw why the people in the organization think so highly of David. He has the total skill set. I see the ability to hit, hit to all fields. His speed plays well on defense and on the bases. He has a fine throwing arm. On a scouting scale, his tools are impressive.”

Dahl was told on Saturday, however, that the tools will be refined a bit more at Triple-A to open the season. Dahl, catcher Anthony Bemboom and right-handed pitcher Austin House were the latest players sent to the Rockies minor-league camp prior to the Rockies game against the Cubs. The moves reduce the spring roster to 35, including right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who will open the season on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness.

The Rockies have to be to 25 players on the active roster by Thursday, when they open the season against the D-Backs at Chase Field.

Dahl made an impression when he made his big-league debut in the second-half of the 2016 season. He hit .315 in 63 games with 12 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 24 RBI. He hit safely in his first 17 games, equaling the Major League record set by Chuck Aleno with the 1941 Reds.

Instead of building off that, however, he was sidelined with the injury last year, reaching a point where he did not pick up a bat from July 29, 2017 to mid-January, in an effort to make sure the injury would fully heal.

Indications are it did, but given his lack of playing time last year the Rockies want him to get at-bats at Triple-A, which also will be a good test for him to make sure the rib cage situation is healed.

“That’s a component,” said Black. “He didn’t play at all (in the big leagues) last year. There is a component to staying on the field and playing. Durability is a part of the game a player strives for.”

Dahl has had two major issues in his career. There was the rib cage last year, and in 2015 he was limited to limited to 73 games because of a ruptured spleen.

Tracy RingolsbyComment