Descalso to miss time with fractured left hand

Pitching prospect Anderson also out with strained right oblique

Descalso to miss time with fractured left hand

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies utility infielder Daniel Descalso will miss a few weeks with an avulsion fracture of the left hand, manager Walt Weiss announced on Tuesday morning.

Weiss also said lefty pitching prospect Tyler Anderson has a strained right oblique and will be out for a time period similar to Descalso's. Both underwent an MRI on Monday.

Descalso, 29, was hit by a pitch from the Indians' Tom Gorzelanny during Friday's Cactus League game. Original X-rays were negative for a break, but the continued swelling alerted Colorado's staff and Descalso that the injury needed a more detailed look.

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In 2015, the first year under a two-year, $3.6 million contract, Descalso batted .205 with three doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 RBIs in 101 games that included 39 starts, mostly at shortstop. The Rockies signed him after he had played in five seasons with the Cardinals.

"People get caught up in the numbers," Weiss said. "It's a very tough role to have pretty numbers. It's very rare that guys in that role have pretty numbers. It's about how many ways can they help you win a game, versatility, the leadership and the professional at-bat that he takes. He got some big hits for us."

Descalso's go-ahead home run

Descalso was 3-for-15 with a double and two RBIs this spring. His absence potentially means a race for the final roster spot between outfielder Brandon Barnes and super-utility man Rafael Ynoa.

Colorado, which plans on using a seven-man bullpen and is likely to go with five starters, signed right-handed-hitting Ryan Raburn to a Minor League contract after camp began, but the club appears to be grooming him for starts against tough left-handed pitching, which puts Barnes in a potential fifth-outfielder role.

With Trevor Story so far having demonstrated he has the tools and maturity to be a starting shortstop, and switch-hitting utility infielder Cristhian Adames demonstrating Major League value but being out of Minor League options, the decision may come down to whether the Rockies want that extra player to be an outfielder (Barnes) or an infielder-outfielder (Ynoa).

Ynoa's RBI double

Ynoa, who hit .260 with a .277 OBP in 72 Major League games in 2015 but also spent 56 contests at Triple-A Albuquerque, has played infield exclusively this spring, but he will receive repetitions in the outfield (as will first basemen Mark Reynolds and Ben Paulsen) as it progresses.

Anderson's issue, which forced Colorado to scratch him from a scheduled start against Milwaukee on Saturday, is the latest in a career slowed by nagging injuries. However, this one is not an arm problem like the stress fracture in his elbow that appeared in 2014 when he seemed on a fast track (7-4, 1.98 ERA in 23 starts at Double-A Tulsa). Anderson missed the 2015 Minor League season, but he checked out healthy after pitching in instructional ball.

Anderson has posted a 6.75 ERA in four innings this spring.

Weiss said Anderson reports feeling better than expected, but he and the Rockies will be careful with the injury.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.