5/23/2014 6:14 P.M. ET
Cuddyer swinging hot bat following DL stint
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- After spending more than a month on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, Michael Cuddyer has been back in action this week. Despite the missed time, the defending National League batting champ has returned to his old hitting ways.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss inserted Cuddyer right back into his customary second spot in the batting order, and the outfielder has responded well. Cuddyer went 4-for-12 with a double and a walk in his first three Major League games of May.
"It feels good, healthy," Cuddyer said of his hamstring. "The swing's starting to get back to where it was before I got hurt, which is nice."
Two Rockies occupy spots among the top five batting averages in the NL, but neither is Cuddyer. Troy Tulowitzki entered Friday ranked first and batting .380 (57-for-150) while Charlie Blackmon is fifth with a .329 (57-for-173) clip.
Cuddyer entered Friday hittting .319 (23-for-72) and could be well on his way to making it a three-way battle amongst Rockies for batting title if he remains healthy, something the veteran is confident he can do.
"Mine wasn't in my muscle, so that's a big difference," Cuddyer said of his left hamstring strain. "I don't have to worry about pulling the muscle or anything like that, so I didn't have to worry about strengthening the muscle or things of that nature, which made it a little different as far as the rehab and now that it's healthy. I don't have those inhibitions."
Ailing finger keeps Gonzalez sidelined for second game
ATLANTA -- Carlos Gonzalez was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Friday as he continues to deal with swelling in his left index finger. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Thursday that Gonzalez is day to day and the club is taking a cautious approach with the outfielder.
"I wanted to give that finger another day to calm down," Weiss said. "… I know coming to the park today, even if his finger feels good and I think it's doing much better, I want to give him another day for that thing to calm down.
Corey Dickerson made his second straight start in place of Gonzalez, who saw his finger flare up in Wednesday night's 6-1 loss to the Giants. Dickerson finished 1-for-3 while manning left field for Colorado on Thursday.
The finger prevents Gonzalez from building on what was a strong homestand at Coors Field the previous week. He batted .333 (6-for-18) with two doubles, four RBIs and three multi-hit games against the Giants and the Padres.
Gonzalez has reached base safely in 18 of his past 20 games, batting .325 (26-for-80) with three homers, 14 RBIs, eight doubles and a .360 on-base percentage.
Weiss elated for Lopez's Braves enshrinement
ATLANTA -- Count Rockies manager Walt Weiss among those happy to see former All-Star catcher Javy Lopez inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame on Friday. Weiss played with Lopez in Atlanta from 1998-2000.
Weiss always admired the way Lopez carried himself behind the plate during their three seasons in the same clubhouse.
"The thing about Javy is he was as tough as nails," Weiss said. "He would take foul tips, like catchers do. He'd get beat up back there and never show it, never say a word. He was a tough nut, man."
Lopez may have earned Weiss' admiration for his toughness behind the plate, but the former shortstop also respects how Lopez impacted the game in the batter's box. Lopez hit 43 home runs in 2003, setting the single-season record by a catcher.
"Him and [former Mets catcher Mike Piazza], I think, somewhat redefined the position during those years," Weiss said. "We had offensive catchers. Javy was a stud. I'm happy for him."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.