DENVER (AP) – Each time Michael Cuddyer really tried to sprint in the outfield grass to fully assess his strained left hamstring, he felt like it was about to give out.
Not worth a risk. Not this early in the season.
The Colorado Rockies outfielder went on the 15-day disabled list Monday, a move retroactive to Friday. To take his place on the roster, the Rockies recalled infielder Charlie Culberson from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
“Extremely frustrating,” Cuddyer said of his balky hamstring, something he’s never experienced before in his career. “This is nagging more than anything else.”
The reigning NL batting champion estimates he can run at about 70 percent before the hamstring begins to act up.
“Obviously, you can’t play like that,” he said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take.”
Cuddyer is off to another hot start at the plate, too, hitting .317 with three homers and 10 RBIs.
With Cuddyer sidelined, the Rockies will platoon players in right, with Charlie Blackmon starting Monday against the San Francisco Giants. Depth in the outfield is certainly something the Rockies have an abundance of this season.
“Cuddy is one of the better players on this team. More than even on this team, in this game,” shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. “It’s definitely going to make an impact. But we’re deep enough; we’re going to be OK.
“And when we get him back, it’s going to be that much more of a complement to our lineup, to have such a good player. You know you’re going to go through the season and people are going to have injuries. Hopefully, we get him back sooner rather than later.”
Cuddyer spent some time on the DL last May with a bulging disk in his neck. He hit .331 to become the sixth Rockies player to lead the league in batting.
“Give him a couple of weeks to heal up and hopefully he’ll be ready to go at that point,” manager Walt Weiss said.
All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was back in the lineup a day after leaving the game with tendinitis in his left knee. He said the pain flares up from time to time, especially when he takes a bad step out of the batter’s box like he did Sunday against Philadelphia.
“I try to play my best with what I have right now,” said Gonzalez, who texted his manager Sunday night to say he would be good to go against the Giants. “It’s always going to be that way. You’re always going to have to deal with pain. You have to understand your body and understand what you can do. I’m trying to go out there with no limits.
“I’m not going to think about the knee, try to run as fast as I can and make every play I can make. It’s something we have to manage.”
“Just check in with him on a daily basis,” Weiss said. “We’ll certainly keep an eye on him.”
Colorado may be moving closer to getting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin back from a strained shoulder. The hard-throwing righty is scheduled to make another rehab start Thursday for the Sky Sox and will throw around 80 pitches. He was eligible to be reinstated April 5.
“I feel good,” Chacin said. “Really good.”
– By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
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