The initial returns on Gerardo Parra's three-year pact with the Rockies leave something to be desired. Many fantasy owners were hopeful that the Gold Glover would get a boost in his offensive numbers given his new hitter-friendly home, and although his .805 home OPS did give this claim credibility, a putrid .532 OPS on the road put a damper on his season. The 29-year-old ended up posting the lowest batting average of his eight seasons in the big leagues, while also posting a horrific 9:73 BB:K ratio. He dealt with a number of injuries during the season that limited him to just 102 games, including a sprained ankle and a strained hamstring, so some of his struggles could be chalked up to that. However, his BABIP dipped below .300, and considering his lack of patience at the plate, Parra will have to bounce back in a big way if he wants to warrant his large contract and hold more than a fourth-outfielder role.
Parra is 14-for-39 (.359) with one home run and three stolen bases in 14 Cactus League games. There was some speculation that the veteran would slide over to help out at first base following the injury to Ian Desmond (hand), but that has not been the case since the incident. The Rockies seem to have settled on Parra manning left field full-time until David Dahl (ribs) is ready to return to action, which opens the door for players like Jordan Patterson, Stephen Cardullo, Pat Valaika and Christhian Adames to fill in as the backup first baseman to Mark Reynolds. Nonetheless, Parra still holds some experience at first base from last season, and if he continues his torrid spring hitting pace during the regular season, the Rockies will have no choice but to play him, whether it be in left field or at first base.
Parra could see some time at first base again in order to fill the void left by Ian Desmond (hand), Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. According to Groke, Parra is in the conversation along with prospect Jordan Patterson and non-roster invitees Mark Reynolds and Stephen Cardullo. Parra filled in at first base when Reynolds got hurt last season, so he definitely has the capability to do so again. However, with David Dahl (ribs) out for another week or two, it seems like the veteran is needed more in left field than at first base. Nonetheless, this situation is worth monitoring, especially once Dahl returns to compete with Parra for innings in the crowded Rockies outfield.
Parra is in line to be the primary left fielder for the Rockies while David Dahl (ribs) is out. Dahl seemed to have the upper hand heading into spring training, but the top prospect will be out for another week or two due to a stress reaction in his ribs. This leaves the door open for Parra to claim the starting role for himself after a disappointing 2016 campaign, during which he batted just .253 and battled a nasty ankle injury for much of the summer. The veteran outfielder is making the most of his chances thus far, holding a stellar .350/.435/.550 slash line in 23 spring plate appearances, so if he keeps this up, Parra could command a good chunk of playing time even when Dahl returns.
Parra says he has recovered from the high ankle sprain that ended his 2016 season and he expects to compete for a spot in the Colorado outfield. This is great news for Parra heading into Spring Training, who also plans to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. It will be his first real action since receiving a plasma injection in his ankle after colliding with teammate Trevor Story. Although the 29-year-old has been a consistent starter throughout his career, Parra will have to compete for a spot in a crowded Rockies' outfield that includes Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, David Dahl, and Chris Denorfia. A reserve role seems more likely at this point.
Parra received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his ankle Friday morning and will not play again this season, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports. Parra started four of the last five games for the Rockies, but the injury bug has got him once again, and will prevent him from playing again this season. Parra was limited to just 102 games in 2016, but he should be back at 100 percent well in advance of spring training.