Around the NL West: Rockies Prospect Fuentes Headed to Surgery Hamate Bone

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Josh Fuentes is coming off a breakthrough season at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2018.

The cousin of Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, and an undrafted free agent the Rockies signed by the Rockies when he came out of Missouri Baptist in 2014 suffered a broken left hamate.

Manager Bud Black announced on Wednesday that Fuentes with be sidelined “four to six weeks” by surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Daniel Sheridan, who is based in the Phoenix-area.

“It is a relatively common hand injury,” Black said in his daily media briefing.

If all goes well, Fuentes, on the big-league 40-man roster for the first time, could start the season on time in a return to Albuquerque. A third baseman/first baseman, Fuentes, 26, was the Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2018 when he hit .327 with an .932 OPS, 14 home runs and 95 RBI.

He also was the MVP of the Triple-A All-Star Game.

BLACK DID announce that Chad Bettis will start the spring training opener on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Field. Bettis is in a three-man battle with Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela for the fifth spot in the Rockies rotation.

Hoffman and right-handed prospect Ryan Castellani, the 11th-rated prospect in the Rockies farm system, also are expected to pitch in the game.

ARIZONA, which shares Salt River Field with the Rockies, is looking to fill the first base void created by the trade of All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, who is eligible to become a free agent after the season. Third baseman Jake Lamb is expected to take the job, although he has only played 29 innings at first base in his professional career.

THE DODGERS ended any question about their starting pitcher for the season opener early. Manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for the honor for the ninth consecutive season, extending his own franchise record.
The longest all-time streak is 14 in a row for Hall of Fame right-hander Jack Morris, who drew the honors for the Tigers (1980-90), Twins (1991) and Blue Jays (1992-93). Robin Roberts started 12 in a row for the Phillies (1950-61), the record for a pitcher with one team.

THE PADRES are saying they have settled on Wil Myers becoming the left fielder in 2019. Time will tell how long that lasts. In his first four years after signing with the Padres, he has started in all three outfield positions, first base and third base.

GIANTS CATCHER Buster Posey, who is recovering from right hip surgery, won’t catch until March 1, according to manager Bruce Bochy, who said Posey could DH in a game prior to that. Bochy said he appreciates the fact fans want to see star players.

“I was one of those kids who skipped school to watch Spring Training game in Florida, and I wanted to see our guys,” said Bochy. “I’m aware that fans are coming (to a game) hoping to see their guys. We try to put out our guys out there as much as we can, but the priority is to get them ready and not have any risk of injury.”