5/2/2014 9:02 P.M. ET
Rockies place Rutledge on DL with viral infection
By Thomas Harding and Adam Berry / MLB.com
The Rockies placed infielder Josh Rutledge on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a viral infection and recalled infielder Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Rutledge's disabled-list stint is retroactive to Monday, as he hasn't played since Sunday, when he hit a key three-run homer in the sixth inning of the Rockies' 6-1 win over the Dodgers.
Wheeler was expected to be available for the Rockies' game against the Mets at Coors Field on Friday night. He will wear No. 4.
Wheeler, 25, has played in 24 games for Colorado Springs this year, batting .247/.286/.402 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He has hit .358 with a double, two homers, four RBIs and six runs over his past five games.
Wheeler played most of last season with Colorado Springs but also spent some time with the Rockies, batting .220 in 28 games over three stints. In 78 Major League games, Wheeler has hit .233/.280/.320 with one home run and 17 RBIs.
Rutledge, 25, started the season with Colorado Springs before being recalled to the Rockies on April 9. In 11 games for Colorado this year, he has hit .318/.375/.500 in 25 plate appearances.
CarGo takes night off, eyes Saturday return
DENVER -- Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez said he hopes he can return Saturday from the left index finger injury he suffered Thursday night.
Gonzalez suffered a broken blood vessel, which caused immediate swelling. It happened on a foul ball during his first at-bat -- which finished with him hitting his sixth home run of the season and second in as many games. The swelling, which appeared severe when it happened, has subsided quickly.
"I'm just going to chill today, try to take a day off from swinging, try to avoid impact on my hand, but it's making a lot of progress," said Gonzalez, whose injury is on his throwing hand. "I feel better today. I hope I'll be ready to go tomorrow."
Gonzalez is batting .245, unusually low for him, but there are some signs of a rebound. In his last six games, he is 6-for-25 but four of the hits have been for extra bases -- two doubles and the two homers. Although Gonzalez has been dealing with a flareup of tendinitis in his left knee for the past two weeks, he believes his slump isn't injury-related. He also doesn't believe the finger mishap will disturb whatever is going right for him.
"It doesn't matter," Gonzalez said. "That's how baseball is. You're going to have months where you're going to hit .240. You're going to have months where you're going to hit .340. The biggest thing right now is we're playing good baseball. But I don't need to worry about my numbers. They're going to be up there. It's a long season.
"Hopefully, when I get hot, it's when the team really needs me. Right now everybody is swinging the bats well and we're scoring a lot of runs. I'm getting close to where I want to be. At the end of the day, when my swing is good and I square the ball, it's going to go out, it's going to be extra bases."
Wheeler expected to provide power in a pinch
DENVER -- There wasn't a spot for left-handed-hitting corner infielder Ryan Wheeler when Spring Training ended, but now he stands to be called upon in big spots with the Rockies.
Wheeler, 25, who has hit for power much of his Minor League career, was recalled Friday from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace utility infielder Josh Rutledge, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a viral infection.
This spring, the Rockies tested Wheeler in a late-innings pinch-hit role, and he responded by hitting .339 with two home runs, seven RBIs and six doubles in 56 at-bats. But the decision to keep six outfielders to start the year meant the Rockies didn't need his services. At Colorado Springs, Wheeler hit .247 with six doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs and 10 runs. In his last five games, he went 8-for-23 with two home runs and four RBIs.
"I enjoyed that role during Spring Training," said Wheeler, who has had brief callups with the D-backs in 2012 and the Rockies last season (.233, one homer, 17 RBIs in 78 games). "There were a lot of games where they gave me that one at-bat, and it was to prepare me for a role during the regular season. I'm comfortable going up there, being aggressive and facing a guy that throws hard."
Returning to the Pacific Coast League for a third straight season might have helped Wheeler learn to make adjustments.
"A lot of the teams know who I am, a lot of the coaches I've played against," Wheeler said. "It's been interesting to see the coaches and catchers. I know the guys now. I'll walk up and say hi to them. I'll get a base hit on a pitch that they thought should have beaten me and they'll say, 'Man, were you looking for that or something?'
"It's more thinking. The guys in Triple-A are obviously good and they know how to make adjustments. But I don't want to be too well-known in Triple-A."
If Wheeler can provide power off the bench, it would be something the Rockies haven't had since they employed Jason Giambi from 2009-12.
Dickerson's hot bat overshadowed by teammates
DENVER -- Though Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has received heavy attention for his start to the season, it could be argued that Corey Dickerson has had just as good of a start. Dickerson just started a little later.
Blackmon's .369 batting average entering Friday was the second-highest in the Majors, one point behind Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Much of Blackmon's average was built by a .500 performance in his first 12 games, and he was at .402 through April 27.
Dickerson saw little playing time the first week of the season and was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs for playing time. However, in 11 games from April 17 -- the day that Michael Cuddyer suffered the hamstring injury that opened a chance to start in the outfield -- through Thursday, Dickerson batted .444 (12-for-27) while starting six of those games.
"When they first recalled me, we still had six [outfielders], but once 'Cuddy' got hurt, I felt there was a little more room," Dickerson said. "I knew all along it was a matter of time until I got my at-bats. Just have fun with them and try to have fun with my teammates."
Manager Walt Weiss has used Dickerson in advantageous matchups, with all but two of his plate appearances against right-handers. Also, Dickerson has been uncanny with runners on base (6-of-12, one home run, one triple).
"Lately, I've been seeing more fastballs than off-speed pitches, and I feel I've been pretty good with two strikes [8-for-23 with two doubles, a triple and a homer]," Dickerson said. "They always try to make adjustments. They watch film like we do. What I try to do is make adjustments between each at-bat."
Chatwood likely sidelined at least two months
DENVER -- The diagnosis of a right flexor strain and inflammation for Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood is better than the type of ligament damage that leads to surgery, but it's possible it will be six to eight weeks before he is throwing again. After that, he'll have to rebuild his arm to game readiness.
It means he'll be out for at least two months, but the Rockies didn't put a timetable on his return.
"That's a guesstimate -- we'll take little goals every two weeks and see how he's progressing," Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said. "But he feels pretty good right now, to be honest with you."
This is the second trip to the disabled list this season for Chatwood (1-0, 4.50 ERA in four starts). He missed the first two starts with a mild left hamstring injury. Chatwood pitched competitively when healthy -- a .236 batting average against and 20 strikeouts to eight walks.
In other injury news, a return date is still unknown for outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who injured his left hamstring on April 17. Cuddyer, who won the National League batting title last season, can't progress in his rehab until he is able to run, and that has not happened.
• During Thursday night's victory over the Mets, right-hander Juan Nicasio became the first pitcher in Rockies history to throw seven scoreless innings in a win and drive in three runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.