PHOENIX — Ian Desmond is expected to make his Colorado debut when the Rockies visit the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday in the finale of their three-game series.
Colorado manager Bud Black all but said Desmond will be activated for the game Sunday, when the first-place Rockies (16-9) will face a left-hander in Patrick Corbin. Desmond has been out since suffering a fractured wrist in spring training, but has shown no ill effects while hitting in extended spring training games Friday and Saturday.
“He looked great,” Black said with a twinkle in his eye. “His timing is great. He’s getting closer. Closer than you think.”
First baseman Mark Reynolds has had a strong start in lieu of Desmond, and the Rockies have now said Desmond will also play some outfield this season after signing him to a five-year, $70 million free agent deal this winter with the intent of playing him at first base.
Reynolds was 2-for-5 with his eighth homer and a game-tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning of the Rockies’ 7-6 victory on Saturday. Reynolds has a slash line of .311/.370/.633 with 23 RBIs.
“He’s been a rock in the middle of our order,” Black said. He’s driven in runs. He’s driven in big runs.”
Colorado is 8-0 in one-run games and has six comeback victories. Meanwhile, Arizona has lost two-run leads twice in its last four games.
Corbin is 5-2 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) in his career against the Rockies. He beat them three times in 2013 and twice in 2015, missing the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Colorado ended that five-game winning streak last season, when they had one victory and had 12 runs in 13 1/3 innings against him.
Corbin brings a streak of four straight quality starts into Sunday’s game, although a lack of support has limited him to a 2-2 record despite a 2.52 ERA in that span. He gave up two runs in a season-long seven innings in a 9-3 victory over San Diego in his most recent start Tuesday.
The Rockies’ German Marquez makes his second start of the season Sunday after giving up nine hits and eight earned runs in four innings of a 15-12 loss to Washington at Coors Field on Tuesday.
“Pitching fundamentals got him a little bit,” Black said. “He’s got to get the fastball in good spots, because he’s a fastball pitcher.”
Marquez made the Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque when left-hander Chris Rusin was activated from the disabled list April 9. Marquez made one career appearance against Arizona, pitching two scoreless innings of relief at Chase Field.