Rockies catcher Tom Murphy has become the latest player to suffer a fairly significant spring injury for Colorado, as Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports on Twitter. Murphy has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right forearm that will sideline him for the next four to six weeks — though it’s not entirely clear whether that’s when he can be expected back in game action.
Murphy, who’ll soon turn 26, is slated to play a major role at the MLB level for the coming season. He has appeared in just 32 games in the majors entering the year, but has impressed (.266/.341/.608) at the plate in that brief span and laid waste to Triple-A pitching last year (.327/.361/.647).
The Rox will presumably lean on Tony Wolters in the meantime, increasing the pressure on the light-hitting 24-year-old. It seems likely that Dustin Garneau will crack the roster as well, as Jason Martinez of MLBTR and Roster Resource projects in an updated Rockies depth chart.
It’s also possible that Colorado will look into outside options, if for no other reason than to bolster the depth. A.J. Pierzynski and Dioner Navarro are among the available veterans, with Steve Clevenger also still unsigned after his controversial statements last year. It’s also plausible to imagine the Rockies keeping an eye on the waiver wire and looking at veterans who can opt out of their contracts in a few weeks’ time. The Nationals, for instance, have placed Derek Norris on waivers, and he could represent an appealing option.
The Rockies have been hit hard by the injury bug this spring. David Dahl, Ian Desmond, and now Murphy all seem likely to open the year on the DL. In those cases, at least, some of the absence will occur during camp time, and the players are expected to make their way back in relatively short order. The outlook is much less certain, and the situation significantly more worrisome, for workhorse righty Chad Bettis, who is undergoing chemotherapy.