“At least it’s in spring,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of the injury to a player expected to be a key piece in Colorado’s competing for a National League West title, “even though you never like to see any of these things at any time.”
On Sunday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, newly acquired first baseman Ian Desmond was struck by an errant pitch from Reds right-hander Rookie Davis, fracturing a bone in Desmond’s left hand. Desmond, who signed a five-year, $70-million contract this offseason, could miss at least a month.
“Just a fastball that got away from the right-handed pitcher,” Black said, describing the pitch that caused the injury. “You know, direct contact to the hand.”
“It’s a bummer. It is,” Black told reporters after the game. “Tough loss for us and bad break for Ian.”
Desmond’s injury was the latest in a string over the past week that has seen them lose four players expected to provide major contributions in 2017. Earlier in the week Colorado lost David Dahl to a broken rib and relief pitcher Chris Rusin to a strained oblique. The biggest blow came on Friday when Chad Bettis revealed that he will have to undergo additional treatment for testicular cancer, requiring chemotherapy and radiation.
Mark Reynolds, who started at first base for the Rockies last year on Opening Day, is the leading candidate to replace Desmond while he heals.
Although Black has only known Desmond a short time, the skipper is confident that one of the main cogs in his lineup will return to form.
“He’ll bounce back from this,” Black said.
Since 2010, his first full year in the majors, Desmond has averaged 151 games played per season. He’s a career .267 hitter with 132 home runs and 581 RBIs. This is the first significant injury of Desmond’s major league career.