Colorado Rockies: Position change likely coming for Kris Bryant
Scottsdale, Ariz. — After an injury-filled first season taking on the challenges of left field in Denver, Kris Bryant said on Friday he will likely be moving across the outfield in 2023 and spending time in right field as well for the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado Rockies shifting Kris Bryant to right field in 2023
“It seems to be that right field will be in the plans this year,” Bryant said after coming out of Friday’s spring training game against the San Francisco Giants, where he started his second game of the spring in right field. “Maybe a little bit less ground to cover in right. Maybe a little bit easier on the body, I don’t know. But I’ve played both (left and right) and feel pretty comfortable at both.”
Last season, Bryant spent 30 games for the Colorado Rockies in left field as well as logging 12 as the team’s designated hitter. He played a total of 39 games in right field in 2021, split between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. Those game will help him prepare for playing the position at Coors Field this season.
Last season, Randal Grichuk played 106 games in right field to lead the Rockies, but he will miss Opening Day because of offseason hernia surgery. Charlie Blackmon played 51 games there last season and has been a staple at the position since moving there from center field in 2019.
“Honestly, I will be talking to Charlie a lot. I’ve played my fair share there (right field at Coors) playing with Chicago and the Giants too,” Bryant said.
Bryant expressed relief about not having to navigate left field at Coors as much in 2023.
“Honestly, that gap in left-center, you don’t realize how big it is until you’re actually playing out there,” Bryant said. “It’s a big one, so, hopefully, I’m glad I won’t have to cover that one any more.
“It’s like a graveyard out there.”
However, it looks like while Bryant may still spend some time in left, right field is “more of an option” in 2023.
“Buddy (Colorado manager Bud Black) definitely said that right field is going to be more of an option this year. And I talked to Schmidty (Colorado general manager Bill Schmidt) too and he said the same, so I’m ready for it.”
Black said after Friday’s game that Bryant “looks comfortable anywhere you put him,” adding to his ability to play around the outfield.
“I think it makes sense to put him in right as Charlie is going to DH quite a bit,” Black said. “We’re looking at a lot of different options.
“He (Bryant) is fine anywhere we put him in the corner outfield positions.”