Cuddyer to go on DL; Blackmon to be recalled
By Thomas Harding / 05/11/2013 6:18 PM ET
ST. LOUIS -- Manager Walt Weiss said the Rockies will call up outfielder Charlie Blackmon from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take the roster spot of outfielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer, who will go on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging disk in his neck.
Blackmon, 26, is hitting .336 with three home runs, 21 RBIs and five stolen bases in eight attempts. In Major League stints over the past two seasons, Blackmon has hit .270 with three home runs and 17 RBIs.
Injuries have been an issue for Blackmon. He had a broken foot that ended his 2011 season early, a turf-toe issue that delayed the start of '12 and a knee infection that scuttled his chance to make the team out of Spring Training this year. But Blackmon went to Colorado Springs and proved himself ready. The Rockies chose him over Tyler Colvin and non-roster prospect Corey Dickerson.
"There are a lot of guys doing well, and Charlie's performing really well down there," Weiss said.
Blackmon plays all three outfield positions and can be used as a starter. The Rockies have been using Eric Young Jr. in right to replace Cuddyer, who missed the past three games while trying to let the injury heal. When Blackmon starts, Young will return to his role as a spark plug off the bench.
It's not clear where Weiss will fit Blackmon into a batting order that's scuffling. Regular leadoff man Dexter Fowler singled at the end of Saturday's two-hit shutout at the hands of Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright to end his string of 20 hitless at-bats. Fowler has batted second with Young in the lineup. Blackmon could slot in as the leadoff man or in other spots in the lineup.
"We'll get [Blackmon] involved, absolutely," Weiss said. "I'm not sure exactly what our lineup will be tomorrow. We'll have to think about that.
"Charlie can fall into a few different spots in our lineup. He's a pretty versatile guy. He works counts. He draws walks. He runs well. He'll hit the ball in the gap, too."
The plan was for Blackmon to arrive in St. Louis on Saturday night and be ready for Sunday afternoon, when the Rockies will try to win the finale in the three-game series.
Cuddyer, hitting .319 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs, knew he was going to have to show improvement Saturday or face going to the DL. It didn't take long in the batting cage to figure which would happen.
"I took about six swings off the tee and knew that I wasn't going to be able to go," said Cuddyer, who discovered the injury in 2004 with the Twins and played through it when it flared in 2011. "You don't ever want to feel like you're leaving your teammates. But injuries happen."
Cuddyer's DL placement will be retroactive to Thursday, which would make him eligible to return May 24.
Tulo knew early that Miller was 'special' on Friday
ST. LOUIS -- When Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki struck out for the third and final time against sizzling St. Louis rookie right-hander Shelby Miller on Friday night, the radar gun read 96 mph. In other words, Miller was every bit as powerful then as he was when he fanned Tulowitzki in the first inning.
Miller gave up an Eric Young single to open the game, then retired the next 27 hitters. His domination included 13 strikeouts, three of Tulowitzki, who said he knew from his first at-bat that Miller was going to be special.
"You never want to put yourself in the hands of a pitcher like that, saying we might not get a hit," Tulowitzki said. "You're looking at that next pitch or that next at-bat as, 'This is the time I'm going to get him.' You keep on telling yourself that. But you do know you've got your hands full here. He's got his best stuff and command, and it's going to be tough. You've got to put one of your best swings on one of his better pitches.
"You can just tell when a guy's got it. I knew from my first at-bat, 'Hey, this is something different.' I was walking back to the dugout after my first at-bat saying, 'He's got a little extra life on his fastball that you don't quite see that often.'"
Miller has thrown very well this season. Friday dropped his ERA to 1.58 in seven starts. But watching the previous starts on video and facing him were different experiences.
"Film never does justice," Tulowitzki said. "You can see a number -- 94 or 95. We've faced that many times, but the swings that this guy was getting last night, the ball was doing something different. He had that extra late life. He might not have that all the time. He threw one of his best games."
Rosario's positive attitude, work ethic impress Weiss
ST. LOUIS -- Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario was not in the lineup Saturday because it was a day game after a night game, but it could also have been a necessary break. Rosario entered Saturday 3-for-28 (.107) since May 1.
Rosario, who was replaced by Yorvit Torrealba on Saturday, said keeping things simple is the only way back.
"Hitting isn't easy," said Rosario, who has seven home runs, 19 RBIs and a .287 average. "You just have to keep your mind fresh. I can't afford to think a lot about it, because I have to concentrate on my defense.
"When I've got a bat, I think about my offense. When I've got a mitt, I think about my defense. You've got more time to think about your defense because you're behind the plate for nine innings, and you may bat four times in a game."
Rosario has improved defensively after a rough rookie year in 2012, but still has room to develop. His ability to bounce back after tough games and have an impact offensively is a trait that impresses manager Walt Weiss. He believes Rosario will develop into a star.
Weiss also thinks that Rosario is handling the slump well.
"He's going to be a guy that hits for power, hits for average and be an offensive force in this league for a long time," Weiss said. "He brings a lot of positive energy every day. He's got a great attitude, a great mentality for this game.
"He smiles a lot, and that's good. He's very comfortable in his own skin, a very confident player. His teammates like him. He brings a lot."
Because Torrealba started Saturday, Weiss said he planned to start Rosario on Sunday with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa pitching. Torrealba has caught all seven previous starts of De La Rosa (3-3, 3.52 ERA), and the two have meshed well.
Schemmel temporarily takes over radio play-by-play duties
ST. LOUIS -- Rockies radio broadcaster Jack Corrigan called Saturday's game on 850 KOA AM, but he will be away for the next two games because his brother-in-law passed away.
Jerry Schemmel, who usually shares play-by-play and color duties with Corrigan, will operate as the play-by-play man for Sunday's game against the Cardinals and Monday's against the Cubs. Root Sports Rocky Mountain pregame and postgame commentator and MLB.com columnist Tracy Ringolsby will fill in as the color commentator for the two broadcasts.