Daniel Murphy headed to the 10-day IL with fractured index finger

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Daniel Murphy was just getting used to being a full-time first baseman, but that will have to take a pause after two games.

The Colorado Rockies’ new signing is headed for a stint on the 10-day injured list after fracturing the tip of his left index finger in Friday's game while making a diving stop at first.

The team does not yet have a timetable for the 34-year old veteran, and he is set to see a hand specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Monday to check the severity of the injury.

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“He’s got, whatever you want to call it in that finger — an avulsion fracture, mallet finger — there are a lot of terms,” Rockies manager Bud Black said, via the Denver Post. “But he’s going to be out and he’ll be on the (injured) list.”

Avulsions typically just require rest and ice to heal, although they occasionally require surgery. For what it’s worth, Murphy was able to stay in the game after injuring his finger and even got a hit in the ninth, although the condition worsened overnight, and doctors could find a more serious injury.

“You guys are gonna find out very quickly, I don’t do timetables,” Murphy said, via The Athletic. “When I’m back in the lineup, I’m healthy. There’s too much unknown when you head into something like this, with any injury. When they put me in the lineup, I’ll be ready.”

Murphy’s long injury history

Murphy has faced a bevy of injuries over his career, although most have been knee-related. Murphy suffered knee injuries in college as well as 2010 and 2011 while with the New York Mets, and he later battled knee injuries with the Washington Nationals in 2017 and 2018.

Murphy’s 2018 knee injury necessitated a shift to first base after returning because he didn’t have his full mobility, although he moved back to second once fully healthy.

However, after signing a two-year, $24 million deal with Colorado, the Rockies figured it would be better to have him play first base full-time since he ranked last in baseball with -18 Defensive Runs Saved last year despite only playing 535 1/3 innings at the keystone position.

Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy is out indefinitely with a finger injury. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy is out indefinitely with a finger injury. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

How will the Rockies replace Murphy?

Although the Rockies will certainly miss Murphy’s thump from the left side of the plate, they do have a handful of options in-house to replace him. Going into the season, 24-year-olds Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson were expecting to platoon at second base, and McMahon can easily slide over to first base.

The Rockies also have veteran Mark Reynolds at first, and and he hit 44 home runs in 1,034 plate appearances for the team in 2016 and 2017. Ian Desmond spent his first season in Colorado largely playing first base and could move back there as well to give more playing time to young Raimel Tapia in center field.

Finally, the Rockies do have top prospect Brendan Rodgers waiting in the wings at Triple-A Albuquerque, although he seems unlikely to be called up so soon. Rodgers has only played 19 games at Triple-A and is not yet on the club’s 40-man roster.

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