The Rockies signed Mark Reynolds to a one-year deal last winter with the hope that he could be a solid platoon partner with Ben Paulsen at first base. However, the veteran slugger shocked everyone by earning a full-time role at first base during spring training. Also to many people's surprise, the 33-year-old maintained a batting average above .300 into the month of June and posted a career-low 25.4 percent strikeout rate. Of course, not everything was pleasant for Reynolds in 2016, as he only mustered 14 home runs and 53 RBI on the season despite playing nearly every day. His walk rate also sunk below 10 percent for the first time since his first season in the big leagues, and Reynolds was forced to settle for a minor league deal to return to Colorado this offseason. Injuries to Ian Desmond and David Dahl have opened the door for Reynolds to not only make the roster, but to play somewhat regularly early on.
Reynolds went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in Monday's 5-3 loss to the Padres. After going hitless Sunday, Reynolds was right back at it again, spanking his fourth homer of the year in the ninth inning against Brandon Maurer. The veteran slugger has been one of Colorado's more consistent bats in the early going, and he'll maintain plenty of short-term value in deeper leagues until Ian Desmond (hand) returns from injury.
Reynolds went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Colorado's 10-6 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. It's only his second hitless performance in the first seven games to begin the season. The veteran slugger is still hitting .346 with three home runs and is an attractive power option in deeper leagues until Ian Desmond (hand) returns from injury. This game just reminds us that Reynolds has a lot of swing-and-miss to his game when he isn't hitting balls over the wall.
Reynolds finished 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Dodgers. Reynolds did little with his first two at-bats against Clayton Kershaw but was able to smash a 432-foot, two-run homer to center in the sixth inning. The veteran had a peculiar 2016 season in which he hit for more average (.282) and less power (14 HR) than we have become accustomed to, but he is off to a torrid start to 2017, with a .409 average, three homers and eight RBI through six games.
The Rockies selected the contract of Reynolds on Sunday, adding him to the 40-man roster, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports. Reynolds, who was attending camp as a non-roster invitee, is expected to open the season as the team's regular starting first baseman after Ian Desmond suffered a fractured hand, which will likely keep him out until late April. The 33-year-old turned in an .806 OPS over 441 plate appearances with the Rockies in 2016 while trimming his strikeout rate to 25.4 percent, the lowest mark of his career.
Reynolds is one of the leading candidates to replace Ian Desmond (hand) at first base, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. The boom-or-bust veteran is currently a non-roster invitee, but given his production as the starting first baseman last season paired with his torrid start to spring training (1.043 OPS in eight games), he stands an excellent shot at cracking the Opening Day roster with the big league club. To further bolster his case, manager Bud Black went as far as to say that Reynolds "makes a lot of sense" for the role. The 33-year-old will be considered along with Jordan Patterson, Stephen Cardullo, and Gerardo Parra for innings at first base, but Reynolds seems like a logical choice to fill the void even if he holds NRI status as of now.
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