UPDATE: Desmond set to undergo hand surgery
The Colorado Rockies announced that Ian Desmond, who had signed a five-year deal with the team this past offseason, has broken his left hand. He broke it after being hit in the hand by a pitch during the Rockies spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, the team’s high-profile new acquisition may require surgery. Surgery will depend on if the break has shifted or involved a joint. If he has surgery he should return in four to six weeks and without surgery will take six to eight weeks.
Desmond will start the season on the disabled list and may not return to the field until May. Expect him to plummet in fantasy drafts. Even if he misses the first month of the season, his combination of power and speed will make him a sneaky mid-late round draft pick in fantasy drafts.
He was expected to serve as Colorado’s starting first baseman after playing shortstop and outfield for most of his career. Mark Reynolds agreed to return to Colorado on a non-guaranteed minor league contract prior to spring training.
The injury to Desmond means that the team will almost definitely bring Reynolds back for the 2017 season. Reynolds has had as many as 44 home runs in a season before, but that was back in 2009 and that Matt Reynolds is long gone. But Coors Field has been known to revive power hitter’s careers. In 2016 Reynolds had 14 home runs and had a .282 batting average in 393 at-bats.
Reynolds will the thin air at Coors Field to revive his fantasy baseball relevance for the month and change that Desmond is on the disabled list. He is a very sneaky cheap, but temporary, option at the end of drafts in standard leagues.
Jordan Patterson, a former fourth round draft pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, is also listed on the Rockies official depth chart on the team’s website. He has also impressed by hitting 31 home runs and stealing 28 bases over the past two seasons. Patterson is currently batting .286 with two home runs and six runs batted in thus far in spring training.
As the veteran, Reynolds should get the first go-around at replacing Desmond. But Colorado may use the injury as an opportunity to give Patterson a chance to get regular playing time against major league pitchers.