Colorado Rockies

Mark Reynolds not changing approach despite sudden role change

Colorado Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds takes a practice swing during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Friday, March 3, 2017, in Goodyear, Ariz. The Rockies defeated the Indians 16-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Coming into the season, Mark Reynolds was looking to contribute to the Colorado Rockies any way he could, whether that be at first base, third base or the outfield. Wherever he could help, he’d be there.

Then came the Ian Desmond injury at first base. A broken left hand is expected to sideline the first-year Rockie for roughly four-to-six weeks, which will extend about two weeks into the regular season.

Reynolds’ role with the team is now different, with him being the likely filler at first base while Desmond recovers.

The opportunity to contribute was part of the reason to re-sign with the Rockies in the first place, though while the idea of getting playing time worked out, he didn’t expect it to come via injury. Looking back on it, Reynolds sounded like a player satisfied with the decision he made in free agency.

“Yeah, I had a bunch of offers that were similar to what they offered here,” Reynolds said. “I just felt comfortable coming back here knowing the guys on the team and the support staff. It’s somewhere I felt I could help.”

Now in the position to help, Reynolds is eager to prove he’s still got it and is able to be effective not only at the plate, but in the field as well.

“I came into this just wanting to do the best I could to make an impression. Now I have a chance to make an impression to get a lot of playing time. I just have to put together a good spring and hopefully it gives these guys some confidence to throw me out there and play.”

The opportunity is now right in front of him, and knowing that his role is about to change drastically — at least for the time being — Reynolds says his mindset won’t change. All he is focused on are the days ahead, making an impression on not only his teammates, but the coaching staff, which is new in Colorado this year. Walt Weiss was fired after the season and replaced by Bud Black and new coaches around him.

Reynolds doesn’t have any personal experience with Black, but he is familiar with him, having been in the NL West while Black was managing the Padres.

The manager may have changed, but the rest of the infield hasn’t; that familiarity only will benefit him, he believes.

“I think last year I earned a lot of guys’ respect. Playing hurt, playing everyday. I think I played pretty good defense at first and earned some confidence of the infielders.”

When Desmond eventually returns from injury, Reynolds plans to continue the same mindset: Take it one day at a time. His role figures to be what he expected it to be when he signed.

“I think it’s going to be what it was shaping up to be before [the Desmond injury]. Play first base, third base, outfield. Giving [the manager] some options and if guys need a day, I can step in and play. Help in times of need and hopefully that all works out when Desmond gets back.”

Being in a familiar spot — around people he knows and is comfortable with — Reynolds should hold more than his own.

All he has to do is take it one day at a time.

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