Chris Carlson/Associated Press
March 12, 2017
The Colorado Rockies will likely be without first baseman Ian Desmond when the regular season begins after he fractured his left hand during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Rockies PR staff announced Desmond’s injury upon initial diagnosis and that he will see a hand specialist Monday.
Desmond was hit in the hand by a pitch during the fourth inning against Reds pitcher Rookie Davis.
The Rockies made Desmond their big free-agent investment this offseason. He signed a five-year, $70 million deal in December and was slotted to take over as the everyday first baseman, though he was previously a shortstop with the Washington Nationals and played mostly center field for the Texas Rangers last season.
In mid-December, Desmond told reporters he was excited to be part of the organization.
“From the outside looking in, this is an unbelievable group of guys with a ton of talent, and I wanted to be part of the opportunity to do something special here in Denver,” he said, via Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. “We understand it is not going to be easy, but we’re excited for the challenge.”
The 31-year-old Desmond was named to the American League All-Star team in 2016 and hit .285/.335/.446 with 21 stolen bases, 22 home runs and 86 RBI.
In his previous two seasons, Desmond’s offensive numbers had collapsed to .244/.302/.407. He made his first All-Star team while playing for the Nationals in 2012.
The Rockies showed improvement for the second straight campaign last season, winning 75 games with a talented young nucleus that includes third baseman Nolan Arenado and shortstop Trevor Story.
Desmond was going to provide additional support in their potent lineup, but with him potentially out for the time being, look for Mark Reynolds to handle first base duties.
It’s a tough blow for the Rockies with three weeks to go before the season begins, but Coors Field has a knack for providing offense on its own, so Colorado can survive Desmond’s absence and stay afloat in the National League West.