LOS ANGELES -- Rockies rookie outfielder Charlie Blackmon had some encouraging offensive performances last year before suffering a broken right foot. He was making a bid to make the Opening Day roster this spring before suffering turf toe in the same foot.Finally healthy, Blackmon is performing better than he had at any of those other junctures, manager Jim Tracy said before Friday night's game against the Dodgers. Blackmon, 26, who was not in the lineup, entered Friday with a .275 batting average with two home runs and eight RBIs in 36 games since being called up on Aug. 18, after a long and difficult comeback from the injuries. "He's in a better place offensively than he's ever been, since I first laid eyes on him," Tracy said. "This was a 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3-inch man that did not have any lower half offensively, did not have any idea how to use it. We talked about that at the end of the season last year. "He's done a much better job with his load, incorporating it. We got a little glimpse the other night as to his power potential. But I've also talked to Charlie Blackmon about not changing the type of player he is and what could make him special to our ballclub and organization. And that is, don't get caught up in the power. We're talking about a guy that's a terrific bunter, a good runner, a base stealer. I want all of that in play in his game." Blackmon and outfielder Matt McBride will play for LaRomana in the Dominican Winter League. Left-hander Josh Outman, who could be a factor in the bullpen, will pitch for Escogido. Catcher Wilin Rosario will play for Estrellas.
Oblique injury ends Cuddyer's season
LOS ANGELES -- Time will run out on veteran outfielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer in his attempt to return from an oblique injury this season, but he continues to do his work with the Rockies during their final road trip.Cuddyer, who signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Rockies during the winter, after spending all of his previous 11 years with the Twins, hit .260 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs in 101 games. Cuddyer was out for 15 days in August, and played in three games -- hitting a homer in his return -- before re-injuring the oblique. Cuddyer said he feels healthy enough that if there were time, he could have begun an injury rehab assignment on Friday. Still, he felt he needed to be with the club to end the year. "I'm out here working," Cuddyer said. "That's what I'm paid to do, to be here and be a teammate. That's what I can do right now. I don't think there's any point in playing in one of these games and being hurt and having to start back from square one for the offseason." Without Cuddyer, as well as fellow veterans Troy Tulowizki, Todd Helton and Ramon Hernandez, the Rockies were able to develop young depth. In the outfield, the Rockies saw Eric Young Jr. -- who himself would be sidelined for the year with his own oblique injury -- Tyler Colvin, Andrew Brown and Charlie Blackmon. Colvin and Jordan Pacheco saw time at first base.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will play Saturday in an Arizona instructional league game. He had planned on playing Sunday, but the league does not play games that day.
Tulowitzki has not played in the Majors since May 30 because of a left groin injury that eventually led to surgery in June to remove scar tissue. Tulowitzki hopes to play in the final series of the season at Arizona, starting Monday.
Right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio, who suffered a knee injury in May and subsequently underwent season-ending surgery, threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Thursday, using his fastball and changeup. Nicasio will pitch some in winter ball to make up for the lost time, Tracy said.
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.