The Colorado Rockies are just arriving for Spring Training and they already have their first major injury news. Jenny Cavnar reports that outfielder Gerardo Parra had surgery last Friday to repair a broken hamate on his right hand. Patrick Saunders also reports Parra is expected to miss between four and six weeks and return to the team sometime in the middle of March.
That timetable means that Parra will still be back with the team before the start of the regular season. Nevertheless, this injury opens up some questions about the corners of the outfield, spots that were already of concern for a team that needs to improve on offense.
Will David Dahl or Raimel Tapia take advantage of the opportunity and start hot this spring to take hold of a spot? What does this mean, if anything, for how Ian Desmond divides up his time between the outfield and first base? Will the team be more inclined to reunite with Carlos Gonzalez? Do we dare dream that this would motivate them to pursue a splashy move like signing J.D. Martinez?
Coming off a disastrous 2016, Parra was the subject of scorn and disdain just one year ago. He rebounded in 2017, posting a .309/.341/.452 slash line while often holding it down in the middle of the lineup. Even if the team could stand some upgrades in the lineup, Parra was probably considered a relatively stable presence as the team considered its options in the outfield. He will still be ready to contribute when the season starts, but this early injury may affect what that role looks like.