DAHL WON’T BE READY FOR OPENER

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders Pa­trick Saun­ders is the pres­i­dent of the Base­ball Writ­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica: psaun­ders@den­ver­post.com or @psaun­der­sdp Staff writer Nick Groke con­trib­uted to this story.

scotts­dale, ariz.» David Dahl is rest­less but re­al­is­tic.

The in­jured Rockies out­fielder is mak­ing slow progress as he re­cov­ers from pain in his mid-back that was even­tu­ally di­ag­nosed as a stress re­ac­tion to his sixth rib. He def­i­nitely will miss the start of the sea­son and could be out most of April.

Dahl is now softly toss­ing a ball and do­ing some light car­dio work and some agility drills. He is sched­uled to have a CT scan Fri­day to de­ter­mine his progress.

“It’s tough to sit, for sure,” Dahl said Sun­day. “But I sup­pose it’s bet­ter for it to hap­pen now in­stead of at mid­sea­son. The good thing is, it doesn’t hurt now.”

The Rockies are of­fer­ing no spe­cific timetable for Dahl’s re­turn. Op­ti­misti­cally, he could be back on the play­ing field be­fore the end of April, but there are no guar­an­tees. Dahl knows for sure that he’s go­ing to miss open­ing day next Mon­day at Mil­wau­kee, as well as the home opener at Coors Field on April 7.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed, for sure,” he said. “It would have been my first open­ing day, but it is what it is. I have to get fully healthy now so I can help the team later.”

Dahl, who turns 23 on Satur­day, ar­rived at spring train­ing as the fa­vorite to win the start­ing job in left field and build off an ex­cel­lent rookie sea­son. The 10th player se­lected in the 2012 draft, Dahl hit .315 with seven homers in 63 games last sea­son, his first in the ma­jors. He played in just two Cac­tus League games this spring, go­ing 0-for-4 with a walk.

First base set. The Rockies added Mark Reynolds to their ma­jor-league ros­ter Sun­day, set­ting up the vet­eran to start open­ing day at first base. Reynolds signed a mi­nor-league con­tract in the off­sea­son to be a backup to Ian Des­mond and pro­vide a pow­er­ful bat off the bench. But Des­mond (bro­ken hand) will miss sev­eral weeks. “We in­formed him late last night that he made the team,” Colorado man­ager Bud Black said. “Even go­ing back to when he signed, he wanted to be a Rockie. And things have worked out.”

Foot­notes. Right-handed reliever Greg Hol­land is sched­uled to pitch Mon­day and Tues­day, his first back-to-back days since re­turn­ing from Tommy John surgery. … Righthander Har­ri­son Mus­grave, a start­ing pitcher through spring, is sched­uled for two or three in­nings of re­lief Mon­day and Fri­day. The Rockies have dis­cussed us­ing a starter in the bullpen to be­gin the sea­son. … Left-han­der Kyle Free­land will start Mon­day and Satur­day’s Cac­tus League fi­nale. He is likely to be­gin the reg­u­lar sea­son in the Rockies’ ro­ta­tion. An­to­nio Sen­za­tela starts Tues­day. He, too, is likely to make the ro­ta­tion.

Den­ver Post file

Rockies out­fielder David Dahl is ex­pected to be out through most of April while re­cov­er­ing from a rib in­jury. He hit .315 last year in his ma­jor-league de­but.

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