Going into spring training this year, the Rockies essentially had written in Ian Desmond as the starting first baseman, and David Dahl as the starting left fielder. However, with injuries to both early in spring training, the team now relies on a pair of veterans in Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds to replace the anticipated offense that Dahl and Desmond were to provide.
Parra had a down season in 2016, the worst of his career. setting career lows in batting average (.253), on-base percentage (.271), plate appearances (381) and total games played (102). However, he worked extremely diligently throughout the offseason and appeared in camp in better shape than ever, eagerly awaiting the chance to prove that 2016 was an anomaly. The veteran has really stepped up for the Rockies in the early part of the new campaign by hitting .343 in 10 games this season. Parra has been strong defensively in the young season, making several gold glove caliber plays in the outfield.
Reynolds, who also suffered his share of the injury bug that plagued Colorado in 2016, has emerged as an offensive juggernaut to begin the season. Reynolds is batting .306, belting four home runs and three doubles while playing all of the Rockies 14 games so far in 2017. Reynolds is also cutting down on the strikeouts and reaching base at a .358 clip.
Other early injuries that have the ability to hurt the Rockies are catcher Tom Murphy and pitchers Chad Qualls and Jon Gray. These three are currently on the 10-day disabled list and Murphy and Qualls could return before the end of April with Gray’s return questionable for late May.
Currently, the Rockies are carrying Tony Walters and Dustin Garneau as a catching duo and could carry three catchers on the roster as soon as Murphy is healthy. The duo has combined to hit .239 to start the season with three doubles, a home run, and two runs batted in. However, seeing as neither has played a full season at the big league level, the Rockies are hopefully that the group can guide a relatively young pitching staff through the 2017 season.
Overall the Rockies major replacements for the Rockies have held their own and could ultimately help the team end the current seven-year playoff drought. Look for these players to continue their impact as the season wears on.