6/26/2014 10:47 P.M. ET
Rehab start 'close' for Arenado after progress
By Caitlin Swieca and Cody Ulm / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Battered and bruised, the Rockies finally got some good news on Thursday as Nolan Arenado made big strides toward returning to the hot corner.
Arenado took fielding practice against live hitting, hit off a tee and completed a front toss batting drill at Miller Park before the Rockies' Thursday night game against the Brewers.
The third baseman has been out since May 23, when he fractured a finger while sliding into second base, and that finger will get its biggest test Friday, when Arenado will take live batting practice for the first time since the injury.
Arenado said he felt great Thursday, and he is hoping to be sent on a rehab assignment before the team's road stretch ends on July 2.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss did not commit to a specific date but said he thought Arenado was close.
"Nolan had a good day. He checked out very well," Weiss said. "I do think it's pretty close. I do. Of course, like with all the inured guys, it's day to day. You put a little more on their plate each day and see how they handle it, and you go from there. I don't think that's too far off, a rehab assignment for Nolan."
The return of Arenado's bat and glove will be a boost to Coloardo: He was batting .305 with an .823 OPS in 49 games before his injury and is a reigning Gold Glove winner.
All-Star contention a surprise for Blackmon
MILWAUKEE -- As one of the early surprises of this season, Charlie Blackmon was leading all National League outfielders when Major League Baseball released its first fan balloting update for the 2014 All-Star Game. He has fallen to sixth, but Blackmon says it is still surreal to see his name among the league's top vote-getters.
"Everybody wants to make the All-Star team, but that wasn't one of my goals," Blackmon said. "One of my goals, first thing was just make the team, and that wasn't even a given. It came down to the very end of camp. To be a player that made his first team out of camp and to not know if he was going to make the team, it is kind of surreal now to be talking about possible All-Star votes and stuff like that, but then again, I'm thankful for where I'm at."
Blackmon has seen extended action with the Rockies in each season since 2011 but had never been on the Opening Day roster until this year. He made a big splash by batting .468 through the season's first 15 games, highlighted by a three-game series against Arizona in which he went 14-for-14 with five RBIs and a home run.
Entering Thursday night's opener against the Brewers, the outfielder was batting .306 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs, with his homer total already a record among Rockies leadoff hitters. Blackmon is certainly making a strong pitch to make the trip to Minneapolis, but he says it is far from the top of his mind.
"At this point, I'm trying to be an everyday player for the first time," Blackmon said. "I'm trying to hit at the top of the order consistently. I'm trying to play well enough to help our team win, and to make sure that I can be in the lineup tomorrow. I'm not really thinking about making the All-Star team -- I'm not thinking about individual goals like that.
"If we play good baseball and I get good at-bats and get on base in front of those guys that drive in runs and we play good baseball and win some games, I think we'll look up at the end of the season, and everybody's personal numbers and goals will be where they need to be."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Logan pitches an inning in first rehab outing
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Although his first rehab appearance did not exactly go smoothly, left-hander Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation) said he felt strong after his outing with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday.
Logan took over for the recently optioned right-hander Juan Nicasio in the seventh inning. He began by serving up a pop fly to Iowa Cubs second baseman Arismendy Alcantara that kept floating until it found its way over the right-field fence.
"That's just this ball park," Logan said of the hitter-friendly Security Service Field. "That was a fly ball to right, and it just kept going. I was laughing out there about it."
After inducing a soft grounder for the first out, Logan looked as if he would get another until Javier Baez's ground ball sneaked under the glove of shortstop Rafael Ynoa.
It was ultimately ruled a hit, but Logan did not let things compound. Logan got a fly to right and a lineout to second to end the inning, with a walk to Kris Bryant coming in between.
"I didn't want to have to throw 22 pitches, but I feel pretty good," Logan said.
Logan will take a day or two off before his final rehab appearance with Triple-A Colorado Springs. Barring any setbacks, the plan was for Logan to meet the Rockies in Washington for their three-game series against the Nationals starting Monday.
Logan owns a 5.87 ERA with the big league club this season but has struck out 22 in 15 1/3 innings pitched.
Logan began the season on the disabled list as he recovered from surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow. He was activated on April 7 but was placed on the DL on June 5 after trying to pitch through continued soreness.
He signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Rockies this past winter.
On the other hand, Nicasio does not look to be any closer to rejoining the Rockies after Thursday's start. Making his second start since being optioned to Triple-A on June 16, Nicasio faced the minimum through his first three innings before allowing three doubles in the fourth. He finished his day with six earned runs on nine hits and two walks against five strikeouts.
• Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson, who has been on the DL since mid-April with a fractured left index finger, was on schedule to throw a bullpen session before Friday's game at Miller Park.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.