Walt Weiss' focus is on options, not absorbing information entering his second spring in charge. Speaking from Scottsdale, Ariz., Weiss said Wednesday that he's leaning strongly toward hitting all-star Michael Cuddyer second in his lineup and the expected shift of Carlos Gonzalez to center field is not a certainty. As for batting Cuddyer second, Weiss revisited his past as a Rockies' player when Ellis Burks hit in the No. 2 hole. Adding power and the reigning batting champion in that spot is appealing. "It is very likely. It reminds me of when we had Ellis there," he said. "I talked to him about it this winter. I like the idea of having such a powerful hitter there when the lineup turns over. Cuddy is a proven run producer." Weiss will also consider hitting Gonzalez second but ruled out employing him in the leadoff spot. Cuddyer is open to the switch after batting primarily in the middle of the order last season. "I like it," Cuddyer said. "If it were to happen, it would give us some dangerous hitters in the top and middle of the order. If we didn't have the depth in the order, obviously it wouldn't work." Cuddyer batted .331 last season with 54 extra-base hits. Cuddyer would tentatively be followed by Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki — Weiss hasn't decided — Wilin Rosario, Justin Morneau, Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu. Rosario and Morneau could flip-flop depending on where CarGo and Tulo hit to create alternating looks of left-right-left or right-left-right. Gonzalez surprised Weiss as an early arrival at Salt River Fields. The two-time all-star was "hitting balls to the moon just like last spring," Weiss said, and won't be limited by an offseason appendectomy, hernia surgery or his previous sprained right middle finger. "His finger feels good. His stomach feels good. He's ready to go full bore," Weiss said. "He's hitting home runs from foul pole to foul pole."
Michael Cuddyer "very likely" to hit second for Rockies, Weiss says
Denver Post | Feb 12