Desmond announced Sunday that he intends to opt out of the upcoming season "for now," Robert Murray of FanSided.com reports.
The "for now" seemingly implies that Desmond could reconsider later in the season, perhaps depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic develops. He may have found himself as a reserve outfielder had he chosen to play. Desmond also opted out last year and will be 36 years old next season. At that point, he'll have been out of the league for two full years (assuming he doesn't opt back in) and will be six years removed from his most recent above-average batting line, so it can't be ruled out that he's already had his last big-league at-bat.
Desmond announced Monday via his personal Instagram account that he won't play in 2020 for personal reasons.
Desmond will opt to sit out the 2020 season once play resumes to focus on civil rights issues and out of concerns about playing during the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the fourth known player to do so. The 34-year-old has an expectant wife and four young children, and he outlined his concerns of playing during the pandemic. He was only expected to play against left-handed pitchers, so there will likely only be minor bumps in playing time for Sam Hilliard, Raimel Tapia, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers.
Desmond figures to get most of his starts in left field against left-handed pitchers when the season gets underway, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports.
He hit .297/.350/.626 against lefties last year while hitting .226/.282/.375 against righties. Desmond has been worth negative fWAR in all three seasons he has played for the Rockies, but with him guaranteed $25 million over the next few seasons, he will figure into things in some way. It sounds like Raimel Tapia, who had a good spring, could start against right-handed pitchers, with Sam Hilliard serving as a wild card on the outfield depth chart.
Desmond is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Brewers.
Desmond will be given a breather in the season finale after he played the hero in Colorado's 3-2 win Saturday. The veteran notched his fourth triple and reached 20 home runs for the third time in four seasons in the victory, but his .255/.310/.479 slash line is still fairly underwhelming for a player making $15 million. Desmond still has one year remaining on his contract beyond this season along with a $15 million club option ($2 million buyout) for 2022.
Desmond went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a triple in Saturday's 3-2 extra-inning win over the Brewers.
After riding pine for three straight games, Desmond provided a multi-hit effort. He wasn't able to score after a leadoff triple in the sixth inning, but he made sure to get the Rockies on the board with the solo shot off Brewers reliever Drew Pomeranz in the eighth. Desmond secured his sixth 20-homer campaign in 11 seasons with the blast. The 34-year-old has added 65 RBI, 64 runs scored and four triples in 139 games this year.
Desmond is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Brewers.
Desmond will remain on the bench for the third straight contest, and he has just a .670 OPS this month. Sam Hilliard will start in left field Friday.
Desmond is not in the lineup Thursday against the Giants.
Desmond is slashing .212/.241/.442 with four home runs and six RBI through 17 games this month. He'll sit for a second straight game as Raimel Tapia picks up another start in left field in his place.
Desmond is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Giants.
Desmond will head to the bench after going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run in Tuesday's extra-innings win over the Giants. Raimel Tapia is starting in left field and hitting second in this one.
Desmond went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run in an extra-innings victory over the Giants on Tuesday.
Desmond cranked a 419-foot shot to center field in the fourth inning before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth frame of the 16-inning affair. The 34-year-old continues to be a decent source of homers (19) and RBI (64) but has experienced a sharp decline in the stolen base department this season, swiping only three bags after reaching double digits in steals during each of the previous nine campaigns.
Desmond is not in the starting lineup Saturday against the Dodgers.
Desmond has seen his playing time evaporate of late, as this is the third time in the team's past six games he's been out of the lineup. Raimel Tapia will take over in left field and bat second in his place.
Desmond isn't in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Mets.
Desmond went deep for the 18th time this season Monday night, but he'll take a seat for the second game of the series. Raimel Tapia draws the start in left field and will hit sixth.
Desmond is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Padres.
Desmond started the first two games of the series but will take a seat after going 0-for-9 with a pair of strikeouts. Raimel Tapia (knee) returns to the lineup in left field for the Rockies.
Desmond is not starting Thursday against the Cardinals, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports.
Desmond will head to the bench for the second time in three games as Sam Hilliard picks up a start in left field in his stead. Through seven games this month, the outfielder is slashing .217/.280/.478 with two home runs and three RBI.
Desmond went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Cardinals.
Desmond gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead by taking Dakota Hudson deep with a solo shot in the fifth inning. The long ball was his 17th of the season. In the wake of going 5-for-25 over the last seven games, the 33-year-old outfielder is hitting .257/.315/.472 across 409 at-bats this season.
Desmond is not starting Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Desmond owns a .278/.333/.528 slash line over his last 10 games. He'll hit the bench Tuesday, with Raimel Tapia in left field.
Desmond is not in Friday's lineup against the Padres.
He is hitting .281 with two home runs and zero steals in his last 10 games. Raimel Tapia will start in left field while Sam Hilliard starts in center.
Desmond is not in the lineup Monday against the Dodgers.
Desmond is just 2-for-18 (.111) with zero extra-base hits in his career against opposing starter Walker Buehler, so he'll head to the bench for Monday's series opener as Sam Hilliard picks up a start in left field in his place. Over his past five games, the soon-to-be 34-year-old is slashing .300/.364/.600 with a home run and three doubles.
Desmond is not in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Pirates.
Desmond had three hits, including a home run, in Friday's loss to Pittsburgh, but he'll sit Saturday as Sam Hilliard shifts to left field and Garrett Hampson starts in center. While Desmond has been below replacement level again this season, he still has two more years remaining on his contract, and the Rockies do not appear intent on significantly reducing his playing time in September.
Desmond went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, a double and another run scored in Friday's loss to the Pirates.
Desmond went deep in the bottom of the eighth inning, tallying his 15th long ball of the season. The 33-year-old, who seems to battle for a consistent starting role, is batting .259/.318/.472 across a limited 386 at-bats.
Desmond is out of the lineup for Sunday's game versus the Cardinals.
Desmond hasn't started consecutive contests since last weekend, and that trend continues after going 1-for-3 with a double Saturday. Yonathan Daza, Garrett Hampson and Charlie Blackmon will start from left to right in the outfield.
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