5/22/2014 3:42 P.M. ET
Extra outfielder working out well for Rockies
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
DENVER -- The Rockies are carrying six outfielders, the way they were at the beginning of the season. While it could make decisions difficult for manager Walt Weiss, it turns out having one more outfielder than most teams has come in handy.
The Rockies were able to withstand Michael Cuddyer missing 25 games because Corey Dickerson, who was forced into playing time, was sharp. Dickerson entered Thursday's game against the Giants hitting .344 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 29 games, and starting him Thursday was an easy choice with left fielder Carlos Gonzalez nursing a swollen left index finger.
And with Weiss balancing the playing time, he has an outfield in which four of his six possibilities are hitting better than .300. Charlie Blackmon, the regular leadoff man, was at .335, right-handed-hitting Drew Stubbs at .330 and righty-hitting Brandon Barnes at .326.
The two below .300 were Cuddyer, who entered the day at .294 but was off to a slow start in two games since returning from injury, and Gonzalez at .276.
"I feel pretty good about the way it's gone," Weiss said. "It's tougher when all six of them are healthy but it can still be done. But when a guy gets nicked up like CarGo is today, we have some pretty formidable players that have the ability to help us win games and have helped us win games. It's a luxury."
CarGo not expected out long with swollen finger
DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he sees left fielder Carlos Gonzalez's left index finger swelling, which flared during Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Giants, as similar to his previous bout with the injury, when Gonzalez missed one game.
Gonzalez did not start Thursday afternoon's finale of a three-game set with the Giants. Left-handed-hitting Corey Dickerson started in left, and Justin Morneau moved into Gonzalez's cleanup spot.
"I think it's a day-to-day thing, not any more serious than that, but it was very swollen last night," Weiss said.
Gonzalez has battled the finger issue and tendinitis in his left knee throughout the season. The injuries are possible reasons Gonzalez has had an unexpectedly slow start (.276, seven home runs, 29 RBIs). But Weiss said the injuries aren't a consistent enough issue that Gonzalez needs a 15-day disabled-list stint.
"His knee is feeling good enough, but if it was a situation where I find I'm having to check with him every day about his knee, if he can go that day, then you start thinking about putting him down for a couple of weeks," Weiss said.
Fewer pounds not robbing Tulo of power
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has learned that he can still hit heavy at a lighter weight.
This year, as in the past, Tulowitzki ranged from 205 to 210 pounds during Spring Training with the understanding that he usually plays at 215 or so during the regular season. But this year, Tulowitzki has stayed at the Spring Training weight. With a .378 batting average, 13 home runs and 35 RBIs, it's worked for him thus far.
Part of the yearly weight gain is Tulowitzki doesn't do as much cardio as in the offseason because he is on his feet all game. But this year he has reduced the amount he eats after games. In past years, he felt the weight helped him hit for power, but he's doing well in that category this year.
"At times when I've put on weight, I've felt better at the plate," Tulowitzki said. "This year I've stayed at the same weight and still felt powerful.
"We'll see. There's no reason to change. I feel pretty good and I'm moving well."
Chatwood happy to start throwing program
DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood, out since suffering a strained flexor tendon in his right arm April 29, will take a major step in rehab by joining the team on its upcoming road trip and beginning a throwing program Friday.
"That picks up my mood a lot," Chatwood said. "I didn't go on the last road trip, so being around the team helps. It's still not easy going out there and watching them every day, but I'll figure out other ways to help out. This is a 10-day road trip and I'll be throwing bullpens or close to throwing them by the end."
Chatwood (1-0, 4.50 ERA in four starts) is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list June 29 and believes he can complete a Minor League rehab assignment and be ready at or near that date.
The time down has had the side benefit of allowing Chatwood's right hamstring to fully heal. Chatwood strained the hamstring at the end of Spring Training and missed two starts. Although Chatwood had surgery to remove bone chips from the elbow last winter, he theorized that the hamstring was a bigger factor in the arm issue that is keeping him off the mound.
"I don't know, but I may have been compensating for the hamstring, and maybe I came back too soon," Chatwood said. "I don't think it was the elbow surgery, because in Spring Training my arm felt fine.
"This is giving me a chance to get my whole body back to 100 percent. I want to be able to contribute when I come back."