Talking to the media following yesterday’s 7-3 loss to the Marlins, Daniel Murphy revealed he will have to spend time on the Injured List with a fractured left index finger. Murphy revealed to Thomas Harding that the injury occurred in Friday’s victory after the Rockies new first baseman jammed it awkwardly into the infield dirt fielding a ground ball.
The news is a troubling twist of fate considering how Murphy was the Rockies big splash this offseason to improve an offense that was woefully bad for much of last year. Daniel has gone 1-for-10 in his two games played so far, and I’ll venture to say it’s too small of a sample size to be worried, but Rockies fans will now have to wait even longer to find out when he’ll find his groove at the plate this season. In the meantime, Ryan McMahon will likely slide over to first base in Murphy’s absence, and Mark Reynolds will see more action, too.
According to Nick Groke, however, there are members of the Rockies organization (who go unnamed) who believe Murphy’s finger injury may be worse than initial reports. Groke mentions the possibility of ligament or tendon damage still being on the table, and if that is the case, Daniel could miss several weeks instead of several series.
Murphy’s response to the media leads me to believe that Groke might be onto something. Daniel is just vague and dismissive enough to make the initial report sound unreliable, stating he “doesn’t do timetables,” and “when they put me in the lineup, I’ll be ready.” Of course, this could just be his personality and way of dealing with the media that we are unaccustomed to so far. Regardless, it’s not a positive spin.
Additionally, Murphy’s trip to the IL will open up a roster spot, and Groke suspects the most likely of candidates will be Pat Valaika, Noel Cuevas, or Brendan Rodgers. I’m not sure why Cuevas would be included, since the team will need another infielder, but look for Patty Barrells to get the call-up thanks to his (relatively) tremendous Spring Training performance.
On a more positive note, the Rockies did win their first two games of the season. Patrick Lyons of BSN Denver wrote his thoughts on some key points from those contests—both good and bad—as the Rockies look to make a statement and compete for a division title this year. It’s just two games, I know, but hey, it’s something.
Most importantly, in my opinion, the starting pitching was very good. That is the case more often than not when you have Kyle Freeland and German Márquez on the mound, but it’s still great to see considering the Rockies path to the Postseason starts with their rotation. Other than that, you’ll find Patrick’s thoughts on the offense, defense, and bullpen so far.
Alas, the perfect season is no more. At best, the Rockies will go 161-1, and the worst-case scenario is a 2-160 collapse. Everything in between is still on the table. In this quick hit, Thomas Harding looks at the biggest takeaways from the Rockies first loss of the year and, despite the “L”, there’s actually quite a bit of positive notes to hang your hat on.
Earlier in this Rockpile, I argued that Daniel Murphy was the Rockies biggest offseason acquisition, but Luke Zahlmann disagrees. In this article, Luke makes the case that new hitting coach Dave Magadan will have the biggest impact on the team’s inevitable offensive awakening (you just know they’re gonna hit), and explains how that was made evident so far in the Rockies first series in Miami.
In an exclusive interview with Drew Creasman, Garrett Hampson reflects on his path to the big leagues, how he plans on helping the Rockies play at their highest level, and why he believes he’s here to stay. Garrett’s natural athleticism has allowed him to maintain positional flexibility throughout his career, and now it’s as valuable as ever with the addition of an outfield proficiency.
That being said, with Daniel Murphy’s injury, Hampson will once again look to rack up playing time at second base as Ryan McMahon will likely spend the majority of time at first base while Murphy is sidelined. The Rockies are lucky to have such depth and flexibility on the roster, as Hampson and McMahon have proven to be more than capable at manning the keystone and maintaining an effective bat in the lineup.