Several injured Rox hope to return in April

Handful of players opening season on 10-day DL

Several injured Rox hope to return in April

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- New Rockies manager Bud Black hopes to turn the worst development of Spring Training -- multiple key injuries -- into a positive.

The news that righty pitcher Chad Bettis had to begin chemotherapy treatments for testicular cancer was the biggest blow. But outfielder David Dahl (stress reaction in rib), first baseman Ian Desmond (broken left hand), catcher Tom Murphy (right forearm hairline fracture), righty reliever Chad Qualls (right forearm soreness) and lefty reliever Chris Rusin (right oblique strain) are starting the season on the new 10-day disabled list.

However, it's possible that group will be back before the end of April.

A legitimate concern for the Rockies is early-season depth. But once everybody is back -- provided the season is off to a good start -- the Rockies could be faced with the tough decisions that are a sign of a team with too many attractive options.

Desmond discusses his comeback

"That helps the depth," Black said. "That's the thing we can feel good about -- maybe as early as April, some of these guys are coming back. It's just that we are young in the rotation. They just haven't been through it, how they react to big league games once we get rolling.

"Even Jon [Gray, the Opening Day starter] has a year and a half of big league service time, and Tyler [Anderson, the No. 2 starter, has] 19 starts. They're just young."

Righty No. 3 starter Tyler Chatwood is the team's most experienced starter with 89 Major League starts.

Worth noting

• The decision to have Antonio Senzatela pitch two innings in Saturday's 1-1 tie with the Mariners, on three days of rest, lines him up to make his Major League debut in Thursday's series finale in Milwaukee. That sets up lefty Kyle Freeland to debut in Friday's Coors Field opener -- in his hometown, no less. Freeland is not on the Major League 40-man roster, and the Rockies would have to clear a spot to add him. The roster has to be set by 10 a.m. MT on Sunday.

• The Rockies searched for a veteran to add to the rotation, but they did not end up making a move. The options would have been to trade talented prospects for an established hurler, or to pick up a free-agent veteran.

Multiple sources said during the final days of Spring Training that the Rockies kept the option of trying to acquire White Sox lefty Jose Quintana, who would demand a hefty package in return, but nothing close to serious talks occurred. They did not show interest in the Tigers' Anibal Sanchez, who could be expendable because he was placed in the bullpen.

"We looked around for sure; that's the nature of the general manager's job," Black said, not referring to any specific pitcher the team might have targeted. "You're always looking, and that doesn't stop. That goes on daily. … You never know when things might pop up with other clubs."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. 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.