Colorado Rockies: How Daniel Murphy’s injury will change the team

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15: Daniel Murphy #9 of the Colorado Rockies stretches to make a catch for a force out as Jorge Soler #12 of the Kansas City Royals runs to first base during the first inning of a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 15, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15: Daniel Murphy #9 of the Colorado Rockies stretches to make a catch for a force out as Jorge Soler #12 of the Kansas City Royals runs to first base during the first inning of a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 15, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI — Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black talked to Rox Pile and other media members on Sunday inside the Rockies dugout to discuss Daniel Murphy’s injury situation as well as it how could impact the team in the coming days.

Colorado Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy suffered a fractured finger in Friday’s win over the Miami Marlins when he dove for a ball in the fourth inning. That fracture caused the finger to swell overnight and kept Murphy out of the game on Saturday. After the game, Murphy confirmed to us a scenario that would cause him to miss some time. Here are Murphy’s comments after last night’s game.

The situation became more clear on Sunday with Bud Black‘s thoughts and outlook. That includes the fact that Murphy was heading to Scottsdale, Arizona to see Dr. Donald Sheridan later on Sunday.

"“He will be out and go on the injured list,” Black said. “I don’t have a crystal ball but we hope he will be back sooner rather than later.”"

Murphy refused to put a timeline on his return when asked about it on Saturday night.

Black said the team will make a corresponding move and bring up a player to take Murphy’s place on the active roster. That move will likely happen before Monday’s game in Tampa against the Rays and could well be Pat Valaika, who had a solid spring with the Rockies and provides the team with versatility in the infield and outfield.

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The Rockies will employ the designated hitter for the first time this season beginning on Monday night in Tampa so Murphy’s place in the lineup and the bench becomes even more magnified.

For now, Mark Reynolds will get the start at first base and Black said the Rockies are very comfortable with the veteran taking over in that role. Ryan McMahon will also see some time at first base while Black said that Ian Desmond will likely remain focused on the outfield for now.

With Reynolds coming in to play first, it’s an eerily similar situation to 2017 when Desmond, signed to be Colorado’s first baseman, suffered a broken hand in spring training and Reynolds received additional playing time because of the injury.

"“He played great first base defensively and almost made the All-Star team,” Black said, referring to Reynolds in 2017 when he hit 30 home runs and drove in 97. “Our comfort level with Mark is such that we felt very strongly about him making the team for a variety of reasons. We’re comfortable with Mark as a Rockie.”"

Black also expressed his confidence in McMahon at first base and called him a “solid defender.”

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The injury also takes a bat out of the lineup that Colorado was counting on to boost the offense this season. David Dahl has moved into the second spot in the order for both games that Murphy has missed.

It could also mean more time for Garrett Hampson at second base with McMahon at first.

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