7/3/2013 8:41 P.M. ET
Ottavino impressed by Puig's power at plate
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- When Yasiel Puig launched a homer well over the wall in the deepest part of the park Tuesday night, it left mouths agape, not so much for the distance, but for the contact he made.
Puig took a diving slider from Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino and smoked it off the end of his bat and over the center-field wall. After throwing the rookie phenom three straight sliders, Ottavino said he was trying to leave the pitch that turned into a solo homer short of the plate, but it didn't end up where he wanted.
Still, Ottavino walked away as impressed with Puig's pure strength, noting the pitch he hit out of Coors Field is one that usually turns into a home run.
"When he hit it, I saw his bat flip, so I knew he thought he got it, but I didn't think he got it," Ottavino said Wednesday. "Then I turned around and I was like, 'Oh, I guess he did get it.'
"I really don't think he got all of it, and it went really far."
Ottavino pitched three innings of relief Tuesday, allowing two earned runs in his first appearance in a week. The right-hander did get Puig to strike out in his next at-bat, one of his two strikeouts in a 3-for-5 night.
"In retrospect, now I know that he will come off the fastball," Ottavino said. "So I probably would have thrown a fastball there or maybe really, really made an effort to throw a shorter slider, like not even reach the plate, see if he would've swung."
Weiss not concerned by CarGo's high strikeout rate
DENVER -- Slugger Carlos Gonzalez may be swinging and missing more than ever before, but count manager Walt Weiss among those less than concerned.
CarGo had already collected 95 strikeouts in 82 games, fourth-most in the National League. On the flip side, Gonzalez's 22 homers and .596 slugging percentage lead the league entering Wednesday.
"I'm going to be pitched differently than everybody else," Gonzalez said recently. "I'm going to see a lot more hard pitches. But one of the good things I'm doing is I'm not afraid to strike out. I'm going to strike out a lot. That's part of the game. If I don't want to strike out, I just have to stop playing."
His previous career-high for strikeouts is 135 in 2010, also the best season of his career offensively. This year, Gonzalez is on pace for 185 strikeouts.
The left fielder's philosophy makes even more sense when you consider that he has seven homers, 19 RBIs, 11 doubles and three triples on two-strike counts this year, despite hitting .181 in those situations. It's a trade Weiss is more than willing to make given the power Gonzalez adds to the Rockies' lineup.
"I think that's the tradeoff with most guys that have that much power," Weiss said. "… There's usually more length with their swings, which is why they hit the ball further when they catch it. At the same time, you might miss some pitches too because of the length."
Fowler hopeful hand injury will heal up soon
DENVER -- Twenty-four hours ago, Dexter Fowler's name was in the lineup and it appeared he would make his first start since June 25. But Fowler was a late scratch from the lineup, and soon after, Rockies manager Walt Weiss announced he was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Fowler said he felt better before the game on Tuesday, but when he started swinging the bat, the right-hand soreness returned. He received a shot to help with the healing Saturday night, but it didn't work.
"I think [the disabled list is] the best option," Fowler said. "I got a shot and everything and it still hurts a little bit. We don't want it lingering on the rest of the year."
The Rockies center fielder first went down with a bruise on his right ring finger when he was struck with a pitch as he attempted a bunt in mid-June. But Fowler said the new injury is a bone bruise on his right hand he sustained on an awkward swing during his second at-bat against the Red Sox eight days ago.
With the Rockies embroiled in a remarkably tight race in the National League West, Fowler knows healing for the long term is more important than spending an extended period floating in and out of the lineup.
"It's not structural damage," he said. "It's just a bone bruise. It's going to be sore for a while and it's just a matter of what you can handle. Right now, it's just I don't want it to get worse when it's getting better. So I think the best thing to do is rest it."
On pace for the most productive season of his career, Fowler is hitting .291 with 10 homers, 15 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs. His DL stint is retroactive to June 26, and Fowler said he is optimistic he will be ready to come off when he's eligible on July 11.
Dickerson, Colvin to split time in center field
DENVER -- With Fowler absent from his usual post in center field until at least July 11, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Corey Dickerson and Tyler Colvin will split time in his place.
Dickerson, who made his Major League debut June 22, made his third career start in center field against the Dodgers on Wednesday and hit in the leadoff slot.
"[Dickerson] runs well and he's a good hitter, puts the ball in play, aggressive," Weiss said. "He hit leadoff all spring down in [Triple-A] Colorado Springs, so he's comfortable there."
Dickerson had four hits and driven in one run in his first 17 at-bats. After he tore up the Pacific Coast League with a .386 average, 38 RBIs and -- most striking of all -- 107 hits in 66 games with Colorado Springs, Weiss sees plenty of big league potential.
"I know Corey can play up here, he can hit up here," Weiss said. "He'll get some opportunities, Tyler's going to get opportunities. So we'll mix and match with those guys in the outfield with Dexter out."
Colvin has much more big league experience, appearing in 135 games in 2010 and 136 games last year. But since his callup June 8, he's hitting just .164 in 20 games.
Colvin got off to a torrid start this year, smashing two of his three homers in his first start of 2013. He's been in an extensive slump since, going 2-for-32 (.063) since June 17, but Weiss said he saw signs of improvement from Colvin when he started in center on Tuesday.
"He's taken some good swings lately," Weiss said. "I thought he took some good swings last night against a real tough left-hander. I think he's past that rough stretch that he went through."
• Michael Cuddyer got a fresh haircut and trimmed his grizzly beard to a goatee after his 27-game hitting streak came to an end Tuesday night. It was the longest hitting streak in franchise history.
• Weiss said Troy Tulowitzki is still progressing from his broken rib as scheduled. Tulowitzki is still not swinging a bat, but continues to field groundballs without issue.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.