MILWAUKEE -- Spring Training was long -- some players say too long -- because of the World Baseball Classic. But the extra time helped Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds.
Signed to a Minor League contract during the offseason, Reynolds knew he'd receive some playing time because of teammates participating in the Classic. He ended up with more when first baseman Ian Desmond suffered a fractured left hand March 12.
Sharp after 55 Cactus League at-bats, Reynolds provided much of the offense as the Rockies took three of four from the Brewers in the season-opening series at Miller Park. Reynolds homered in the third inning of Thursday's 2-1 victory, and went 7-for-15 with two homers, six RBIs and two walks.
"I wasn't expecting to come in and start, obviously," said Reynolds, whose homer off Chase Anderson led off the third. "Unfortunately, Desmond got hurt. When that happened, it got me a lot of ABs later in the spring. Those consistent at-bats, knowing I was going to be starting. It really helped my confidence.
"My first at-bat was a homer. That helped out a lot, too."
"When you're younger, you're all about the flash, whatever," said Reynolds, 33. "Being in the big leagues, I'm to the point where I want to win games. Grinding things out and getting back to the playoffs, there's nothing like it. I think we've got the squad to do it."