Gerardo Parra went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in his rehab start on Tuesday for the Albuquerque Isotopes. The Colorado Rockies outfielder is nearing a return to Denver and, when he does, manager Bud Black says he could well see time at first base.
Parra, on the disabled list since June 6 with a quad injury he suffered against the Cleveland Indians, was a spark for the Rockies offense prior to leaving that game. Coming into the June 6 game, Parra had a line of .520/.571/.800 in his last 10 games. For the season, Parra is hitting .318 with six homers and 28 RBI.
For a Colorado offense desperately needing some kind of kickstart, Parra would be a welcome sight, both on and off the field for the Rockies, Black said.
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"“He can give us a spark for sure, especially if he can like he was hitting prior to his departure,” Black said. “He plays a game that is a game I think all of us sort of like. He sprays the ball around the field. He can hit the ball in the gap. He can homer. He can run some bases hard. He can make a play in the outfield. He has a personality to him that, prior to the game and in the clubhouse, and in the dugout, is a nice teammate personality.”"
Parra’s injury was just one of a cavalcade of problems that Colorado outfielders have suffered this season. David Dahl has yet to see the field with a rib injury. Carlos Gonzalez has just returned from the 10-day disabled list. Just as the Rockies got CarGo back on the field, Ian Desmond was placed on the disabled list.
Desmond’s injury was particularly frustrating for the Rockies. Signed in the offseason to be Colorado’s primary first baseman, Desmond has seen action in just 13 games for the Rockies at first. With Mark Reynolds having an All-Star-caliber season, it’s been hard for Black to sit Reynolds, so Desmond has seen action in the outfield in 46 games.
However, with Reynolds hitting just .205 over his last 10 games entering Wednesday night, Black was hoping to give Desmond some time at first. However, Desmond’s injury happened in Arizona and that was that.
"“Yeah, that was the thing with Desi that was sort of a blow,” Black said. “Reynolds has been mired in a little bit of a funk and it would’ve been nice to put Desi at first and keep Tap Time (Raimel Tapia) in the outfield but that didn’t happen.”"
With that in mind, Black said that Parra could spell Reynolds at first once he returns. Parra has played two games this season at first base after 19 lackluster games there last season.
The Rockies are expecting to activate Parra in time for at least some of the upcoming weekend series against the Chicago White Sox before the All-Star break.