SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond suffered a left hand fracture during Sunday's 9-8 loss to the Reds and is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday.Desmond, signed to a five-year, $70 million contract during the offseason, was hit by a 93-mph fastball from right-handed rotation hopeful
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond suffered a left hand fracture during Sunday's 9-8 loss to the Reds and is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday.
Desmond, signed to a five-year, $70 million contract during the offseason, was hit by a 93-mph fastball from right-handed rotation hopeful Rookie Davis in the fourth inning. Turns out Davis was injured before he threw the pitch. He had hurt his right ankle earlier in the game and aggravated it twice during the fourth and couldn't put pressure on it.
"At least it's spring; you never like to see these things at any time, but he'll bounce back from this," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
Desmond has been converting to a new position to give the Rockies a productive right-handed bat. After playing shortstop with the Nationals from 2009 to 2015 and winning three Louisville Silver Slugger Awards, Desmond represented the Rangers in last year's All-Star Game while playing center field. He's a career .267 hitter with 132 home runs and 518 RBIs in 1,083 games.
This spring, Desmond, 31, was batting .240 with one home run and four RBIs in nine games.
Upon hearing fan reaction to his injury, Desmond tweeted his appreciation, and also took time to compliment third baseman Nolan Arenado, who hit a three-run homer for Team USA in its World Baseball Classic game against Canada on Sunday.
Desmond's absence means that first base likely will go to Mark Reynolds, who handled the position last season and set career highs for batting average (.282) and on-base percentage (.356), with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 118 games. Ironically, Reynolds was out on two occasions with injuries to his left hand.
Reynolds, 33, signed a Minor League deal with the Rockies just before Spring Training and is hitting .353 with two doubles and a triple.
Desmond's unavailability could touch off a competition for a roster spot between two camp revelations.
Left-handed-hitting outfielder-first baseman Jordan Patterson, who replaced Desmond on Sunday, could be in line for the Opening Day roster. Patterson entered Sunday hitting .286 with six RBIs, and a .714 slugging percentage with two home runs and six doubles.
Non-roster invitee Stephen Cardullo, a right-handed hitter who also plays outfield and first base, knocked his second Spring Training grand slam on Sunday and has 11 RBIs in the first 14 games.
Both made Major League debuts last season.
Spring Training usually has its share of injury and misfortune. In addition to Bettis and Desmond, the Rockies have several injuries that could threaten early-season availability.
There's lefty starter-reliever Chris Rusin, who hasn't pitched since March 3 because of an oblique injury; right field candidate David Dahl, who has a stress reaction of the sixth rib (an injury that will soon be re-evaluated); and reliever Chad Qualls, who hasn't pitched since March 1 because of tightness in his right forearm.
They join righty reliever Jairo Diaz, who is completing his comeback from Tommy John surgery last March.
The best injury news is that closer Greg Holland, who had Tommy John right elbow surgery after helping put the Royals in position to win the 2015 World Series, appears to be progressing nicely toward Opening Day availability.
Holland threw 21 pitches in a simulated game against Minor League hitters on Sunday. Diaz, in the same exercise, threw 19.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com