Ian Desmond’s injury update is not what Colorado Rockies fans or fantasy baseball owners wanted to hear. Desmond broke his hand during a Spring Training game on Sunday (March 12), meaning the fresh free agent signing for the Rockies is going to start off on the disabled list. It all took place on a pitch that came too far inside and hit Desmond square on the left hand. Desmond slowly walked to first base, but it was clear that something was wrong.
— Lionel Bienvenu (@lionelbienvenu) March 12, 2017
A previous report on MLB.com shared the news about the Colorado Rockies giving Ian Desmond a five-year contract. Desmond’s contract is worth $70 million over its duration, presumably making him the long-term option for the Rockies at first base. Now the Rockies are going to need to move to a backup plan because the latest Desmond injury update has him missing Opening Day. While an exact return date has not yet been revealed, Opening Day 2017 will hit in roughly three weeks when the Rockies play the Milwaukee Brewers on the road.
Desmond’s stats weren’t great in Spring Training thus far, as he had a 0.250 batting average in eight games. That included going 6-for-24 at the plate, with one home run, four RBIs, and five strikeouts with his new team. The next time he takes to the diamond could be during a rehab assignment in order to get him back up to speed before making his 2017 MLB debut. Most analysts don’t pay a lot of attention to spring stats, especially as veteran players are just trying to get back into shape for the grueling season.
Another report by MLB analyst Jon Heyman alludes to Mark Reynolds as the player who will take over at first base following this latest Ian Desmond injury update. That’s going to be big news for fantasy baseball owners, with Reynolds likely to get plucked off free agency by any participants who have had early drafts for the 2017 MLB season. For leagues where drafts haven’t taken place yet, Reynolds becomes a sneaky sleeper pick, while Desmond could take a huge hit in his average draft position.
The huge Desmond contract that the Colorado Rockies gave out was a reward for the nice stats that he put up during the 2016 MLB season. While playing with the Texas Rangers, Desmond posted a 0.285 batting average, 22 home runs, 86 RBIs, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases. Those are the numbers that the Washington Nationals had hoped he could consistently post, but Desmond struggled quite a bit in the 2015 MLB season, causing the Nationals to allow him to walk away in free agency. The Rangers then signed him to a one-year deal.
Desmond is set to earn $68 million over the next five MLB seasons and he has a team option worth $15 million for the 2022 MLB season. The Rockies have an option to buyout his deal at the price of $2 million, which is why the Desmond contract has been called a five-year deal worth $70 million. It’s possible that it could translate into a six-year deal worth $83 million if the Rockies end up using that team option for the sixth year. Expected to help make the offense even more impressive in Colorado, fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Desmond play in person.
This latest Ian Desmond injury update doesn’t come with a return date for the All-Star first baseman. The Colorado Rockies will likely update the situation again in a few weeks, as that should give a hint about how his fractured left hand is responding to treatment. It may simply take a lot of time for the bone to heal before Desmond can even begin working out again, so that could hurt any possible timetable for a return. The recovery time for a broken hand could put Desmond back on the field in about a month, but then he would need to get back to MLB game speed before his debut.
[Featured Image by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images]