Descalso played a key role in Monday's 11-8 loss to the Reds, filling in for the resting Nolan Arenado, going 3-for-5 and driving four runs. His bases-clearing double in the third inning gave the Rockies their biggest lead.
Although he didn't come through with the bases loaded in the seventh, grounding out to end the inning, Descalso added an RBI single in the ninth, extending Colorado's last-ditch rally.
"He's a hard worker," right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "Every time I see him, he's always in the cage or watching videos trying to be a good hitter. He's showed it."
Descalso fractured his right hand during Spring Training when he was hit by a pitch from the Indians' Tom Gorzelanny. This injury severely limited him and he wasn't able to pick up a bat until late April.
"For the first few weeks, it was pretty boring," Descalso said. "I couldn't really do a lot. They didn't want me to increase my heart rate so more blood would flow in there. I was stuck doing nothing. But then I could do a lot of one-hand stuff and stuff in the weight room until I finally got the brace off and was able to start swinging."
Descalso has been one of the team's most valuable bench bats of late, having appeared in seven of the past 11 games, and is the only true left-handed-hitting reserve, alongside switch-hitting infielder Cristhian Adames. Coaches have made notice of how he has improved from last season, when he hit .205 in parts of 101 games.
"[He has] more rhythm," manager Walt Weiss said. "[It's] absolutely something he worked on and continued to work on with [hitting coach] Blake [Doyle]. Definitely a lot more rhythm than I saw a year ago."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.