Neville E. Guard, USA Today

Storylines: Rockies catcher Tom Murphy suffers forearm fracture

The hits keep coming for the Rockies as catcher Tom Murphy suffered a forearm fracture and adds to a growing list of position player injuries this spring for them...

Top Storylines:

- The hits keep on coming for the Colorado Rockies.  Catcher Tom Murphy has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right forearm per Nick Groke of the Denver Post.  The injury looks to sideline him for about four to six weeks leaving the Rockies even thinner at the catching position.  While the Rockies are rich in position players in both the infield and the outfield, the catching position is definitely their weakest position.  They were hoping to give Murphy more catching responsibilities and have him split time behind the dish with fellow catcher Tony Wolters.  Murphy played in just 32 games in 2016 and hit .266/.341/.608 over the course of his brief major league stint.  While it was a small sample size, the Rockies were clearly impressed by what they saw and were hoping to turn him loose on major league pitching at the start of the season to see what he was truly capable of.  Now that he’s out for a while, Wolters will assume the primary catching duties while being backed up by Dustin Garneau for the foreseeable future.  The Rockies were already looking to open the season without Ian Desmond and David Dahl ready for action and now that Murphy’s down for the count, their beginning to the season just got a whole lot more difficult.

Indians News:

- Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco underwent an MRI which revealed some swelling in his right elbow per Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  He will miss his next start in Spring Training but the MRI reportedly showed no structural damage that would indicate he needed to be shut down indefinitely.  The righty remains on track to be ready for Opening Day but the Indians will certainly monitor him closely to make sure his elbow doesn’t get any worse.

Other Storylines:

- The Tampa Bay Rays are nearing an extension with Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  The deal is reportedly worth over $50MM and will keep Kiermaier in Tampa Bay for another six years.  He has made a nice name for himself as a defensive stud in center field and the Rays clearly view him as a vital part of their core for years to come.

- Oakland Athletics center fielder Jake Smolinksi is slated to have shoulder surgery per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  The procedure he will undergo is undetermined until the surgeons are able to determine what exactly is wrong with his shoulder but he looks like he’ll be on the bench for a long time this season.

- St. Louis Cardinals southpaw Jordan Schaefer will also be going under the knife as he is expected to have elbow surgery per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  It remains unclear if he’ll need Tommy John surgery but it can’t be ruled out given the delicate nature of elbow injuries in the current state of the MLB.

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