DENVER -- Run down emotionally and a little tired physically, Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez took a break from the starting lineup Tuesday night.Gonzalez entered play on Aug. 6 hitting .327, but after an 0-for-5 performance in Monday night's 10-0 victory over the Dodgers, he was down to .308. His difficulties have entailed more than just a hitting slump, which is no small part due to the fact teams aren't challenging him because veteran regulars Troy Tulolwitzki, Todd Helton and Michael Cuddyer are missing because of injuries. He was away from the team for four days to be with his family in Venezuela after the death of his grandfather. Gonzalez had played, mostly with distinction, in 114 of the Rockies' 127 games going into Tuesday. He has still managed eight RBIs during the 16-game slump. His 21 homers are second on the team behind rookie catcher Wilin Rosario's 22, and his 81 RBIs lead the club. One day off wasn't too much to ask, and it just might put him back on track after he's gone 15-for-72 (.208) during August. "It's nice -- a lot of people don't realize, but when I went to Venezuela, those days were hard," Gonzalez said. "They were not days off for me. There was a lot of traveling. There were a lot of things in my head. I spent time with my family in a tough situation. "Finally, I can say this is a day off for me. I can sit back and relax, think about the game. I don't feel the same as I did, but we all have to go through tough moments. That's what's happening with me, but I will get through this, I will get better and I will get back to where I was." Pitchers have applied extreme caution while facing Gonzalez since Tulowitzki left the lineup in late May because of an injury that led to left groin surgery. But it was only recently that impatience has crept into Gonzalez's swing. "I don't think Carlos Gonzalez has pressed," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "I think he's outgrown that term. But he is trying to do a little much right now, expanding the strike zone in the process -- that has a little bit to do with it. I also think coming back and wanting right back in the lineup after having attended the funeral, I'm sure that from a grieving standpoint has a little something to do with it. "But not one time has he let any of these offensive factors play into taking the pride he takes in being a defensive player also. He's made terrific catches, terrific throws. That is maturity." Gonzalez said he has taken solace in the fact the club has been winning. "I haven't swung the bat real well this month, but I'm staying positive and believing I can still contribute," Gonzalez said. "I'm happy with the way the team has been playing lately, and I hope we continue to play this way. Even though I'm not at my best and 'Tulo' is out of the lineup, those guys are doing their job. "I'm just trying to take my opportunities to score guys with a ground ball or a sacrifice fly. The other day [against the Cubs], I hit that ground ball that turned out to be a fielder's choice that drove in the winning run. It doesn't matter if I don't get results. At the end of the day, I want to win."
LeMahieu ties single-game assists mark at second
DENVER -- DJ LeMahieu was busy throughout the Rockies' 8-4 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night, but it struck him that all the chances were "routine."Turns out a lot of run-of-the-mill chances led to a special night. LeMahieu's 12 assists tied a Major League record for second basemen in a nine-inning game, the Rockies announced. The feat has been accomplished several times, most recently by current MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds, for the Mariners on Aug. 27, 1986, against the Orioles. "It's pretty cool to think about all the games that have ever been played," LeMahieu said. "It's awesome. I'm still trying to think about it." It wasn't until after the game that he learned his night went down in history. "I had no idea -- I had a lot of action, but I didn't know I had that much," LeMahieu said. "Really, I didn't make any really tough plays. Most of them were pretty routine. The pitchers made it easy." Manager Jim Tracy has all along been impressed with the defensive work of LeMahieu, who is on his second callup from Triple-A Colorado Springs. He has stuck this time because of his bat -- a .293 batting average -- but his glove has not been a problem. "He's one of those defenders that has a real nose for the ball," Tracy said. "He recognizes swings. He adjusts to swings. He adjusts to situations."
Tulowitzki uncertain if he'll be ready by Saturday
DENVER -- Still tentative on the bases, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is not sure he'll be able to return to the lineup when Major League rosters expand to 40 on Saturday.Tulowitzki, who hasn't played since the end of May because of a left groin injury that required surgery to remove scar tissue, is 3-for-10 with a home run and a double in three injury rehab games at Double-A Tulsa. Tulowitzki and veteran first baseman Jason Giambi, who is recovering from viral syndrome and also has played three games at Tulsa, will join Triple-A Colorado Springs on Wednesday to continue their rehab assignments. "[Saturday] was the goal from a long time ago, but after playing in these games I'm just not sure what the exact timetable is," Tulowitzki said. "These next three days, if I make a lot of progress, that could become a possibility. Each day I get a little bit more confident. "For those people that weren't there to watch me play [in Tulsa], it's definitely station-to-station for right now. You don't want to do that at the big league level. If the ball is hit to right field, you want to be able to go first to third out of respect for the game and respect for your teammates who are trying to win a game. Station-to-station is not who I am as a player." Tulowitzki attempted a comeback in June but was injured his first time on the bases at Colorado Springs. The injury led to further examination, which led to surgery. Now he is understandably wary. "I'm just timid," Tulowitzki said. "Last time when I went out I got hurt again, so it's definitely on my mind. Each game I've made improvements." Defensively, Tulowitzki has handled just two ground balls in this two games in the field.
De La Rosa pushing to return before end of season
DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa is moving closer to returning to the mound for the first time since last May, when he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.De La Rosa will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and could throw a batting-practice session Saturday. He should have faced hitters by now, but last week he had to be away to tend to a personal matter. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said De La Rosa has not had a recurrence of the forearm tightness and elbow swelling that scuttled an earlier comeback attempt this season. It all points to De La Rosa pushing for a return before this season ends so he'll have game action. Then De La Rosa will be expected to be a veteran leader of the rotation next season. The Rockies haven't announced a date for De La Rosa's return to the Majors. After years of bouncing to various organizations, De La Rosa, 31, found a home with the Rockies and is 39-26 with a 4.38 ERA from 2008-11.
Shortstop Josh Rutledge, limited to reserve duty recently because of sore left quadriceps, returned to the starting lineup Tuesday night.
Rockies outfielder Andrew Brown was named to the Triple-A All-Pacific Coast League Team, as was teammate Matt McBride, a first baseman and outfielder who had a brief stint with the Rockies. Outfielder David Dahl, the Rockies' first-round pick in this summer's First-Year Player Draft, was chosen as Player of the Year in the rookie-level Pioneer League. Teammate Eddie Butler, a right-hander who was a supplemental first-round pick, and fellow right-hander Scott Oberg were named to the All-Pioneer League Team. The trio played at Grand Junction. Dahl, a high-school star from Birmingham, Ala., led the league in batting with a .373 average and slugging with a .606 percentage and was fourth in RBIs with 52.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.