DES­MOND HITS DL; NESHEK AC­TI­VATED

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - — Nick Groke, The Den­ver Post

WASH­ING­TON» Ian Des­mond’s home­com­ing was ru­ined Fri­day when the Rock­ies placed the vet­eran out­fielder on the 10-day dis­abled list be­fore the start of a three-game se­ries against the Na­tion­als.

The Rock­ies used that open ros­ter spot to ac­ti­vate right-han­der Pat Neshek, the re­liever traded to Colorado on Wed­nes­day by the Phillies.

Des­mond, a long­time short­stop with the Na­tion­als and a fan fa­vorite in Wash­ing­ton, suf­fered a re­oc­cur­ring right calf strain in the sec­ond in­ning of a game Tues­day at St. Louis.

“It’s tough. This is one I had marked on my sched­ule,” Des­mond said. “My first time back, I wanted to get back in front of the fans who rooted me on for so long. But with the po­si­tion our team is in, it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter to have a fresh body than me limp­ing around out there.”

Among his seven sea­sons with Wash­ing­ton through 2015, Des­mond was an all-star in 2012 and twice a Sil­ver Slug­ger award win­ner. He grew so deep-rooted with the Na­tion­als, his daily pregame rou­tine in­cluded wav­ing to Su­san, an usher next to the home dugout, and tip­ping his cap to a fa­mil­iar fan down the first-base line.

“I’m not nec­es­sar­ily think­ing about games,” he said. “It’s more about spend­ing time with the peo­ple you care about for so long, who be­come part of your fam­ily and you daily life.”

Rained out.

The weather also messed with Des­mond’s re­turn. Nearly con­stant rain Fri­day forced post­pone­ment of the Rock­ies-Na­tion­als game. It will be played Sun­day as part of a dou­ble­header, with MDT game times of 11:35 a.m. and 5:05 p.m.

Ger­man Mar­quez, who was sched­uled to pitch Fri­day for the Rock­ies, will be bumped to Satur­day. The Na­tion­als will do the same with Tan­ner Roark.

First-base is­sues.

Des­mond’s ab­sence cre­ates an­other co­nun­drum for the Rock­ies. This is his third trip to the dis­abled list this year; an er­rant pitch in a spring train­ing game broke his left hand, and he first suf­fered a calf strain ear­lier this month. He had never be­fore been on the DL.

And with a three-man po­si­tion player bench listed Fri­day — util­ity play­ers Alexi Amarista and Pat Valaika and catcher Ryan Hani­gan — the Rock­ies are short at first base. Ger­ardo Parra would have been Mark Reynolds’ backup.

Des­mond’s dis­abled list stint ex­tends retroac­tively to Wed­nes­day, mak­ing him el­i­gi­ble to re­turn Aug. 5. The Rock­ies likely will call up an­other po­si­tion player from the mi­nor leagues. Raimel Tapia is an op­tion. So is Jor­dan Pat­ter­son or David Dahl.

Ros­ter im­bal­ance.

With Neshek as an ad­di­tional re­liever and one fewer po­si­tion player with Des­mond down, the Rock­ies were set to start their week­end se­ries with an un­usual 10-man bullpen. Reg­u­lar starter Tyler Chat­wood re­mains in the bullpen.

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