Murphy fractures finger, headed to injured list

March 31st, 2019

MIAMI -- Rockies first baseman said after Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Marlins that he has a fracture at the tip/first joint of his left index finger and he is headed to the injured list. Murphy injured the finger when his hand jammed awkwardly into the infield dirt on a fourth-inning fielding play in Friday night’s win over the Marlins.

Murphy stayed in Friday's game and he managed a hit, but an X-ray on Saturday revealed the fracture. Murphy will see a hand specialist on Monday and there is no timetable for his return.

“I think I’ve got a fracture in it, so if I’m not mistaken, I’m supposed to go see a hand specialist on Monday,” said Murphy, who joined the team in December on a two-year, $24 million contract. “It was sore. I was able to finish the game and take some at-bats. I came in today, got an X-ray of it, and it ended up being, from what I understand, what we were hoping it wasn’t.”

Left-handed hitting Ryan McMahon, who started at second base the first two games of this series, played first on Saturday. Right-handed-hitting Mark Reynolds, the Rockies’ primary first baseman in 2016 and '17 before spending last season with the Nationals, made the team as a reserve and he could be in line for starts at first base.

Interestingly, Reynolds was in Rockies camp on a Minor League deal in ’17 when Ian Desmond, who was signed to play first base, sustained a fractured left hand.

Murphy was hurt while backhanding a grounder by the Marlins’ Brian Anderson. In the ninth inning, Murphy singled on a blooper that Anderson, playing third base, could not corral on his over-the-head catch attempt.

“I knew something was up, but over the course of a long season things are going to happen,” Murphy said. “I just looked down and it seemed like something was up. But I felt like I could finish the game, and I did.”

Murphy said he has never had a similar injury. As for his return, Murphy said, “You guys are going to find out very quickly I don’t do timetables. When I’m back in the lineup, I’m healthy. That’s usually the way I do it. I think there’s too much unknown with any injury.”

Yes, aggressive running works

It didn’t work on Thursday when Chris Iannetta was thrown out trying to tag and take third, thanks to a pinpoint throw from Marlins right fielder Garrett Cooper.

Undaunted, the Rockies ran -- against the same fielder -- on Friday night. Third-base coach Stu Cole sent Trevor Story, who started at first base, home on David Dahl’s double in front of Cooper.

The willingness to take those risks is useful, Black noted.

“The type of daily pressure that’s put on the opponent not only affects that game, but it affects upcoming games and upcoming series about the type of baseball that we want to play on the bases,” Black said. “I think it’s a good thing, and our guys are on board.

“You’ll see more of these types of aggressive plays, and you saw it yesterday with Stu sending Trevor. Their right fielder, you could see some hesitation on what he wanted to do with the ball, whether it was to throw it to second, whether to throw it to the cutoff man lined up to home. These are the types of things that we want to happen to the opposing defense.”

One step away

Triple-A Albuquerque released a preliminary Opening Day roster on Saturday featuring eight of the Rockies' Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline -- No. 1 Brendan Rodgers, a middle infielder; No. 4 prospect Peter Lambert, a right-handed pitcher; No. 10 Sam Hilliard, an outfielder; No. 11 Josh Fuentes, a corner infielder; No. 12 Ryan Castellani, a righty pitcher; No. 13 Justin Lawrence, a righty reliever; No. 15 Yonathan Daza, an outfielder; and No. 20 Jesus Tinoco, a righty reliever.