ATLANTA (AP) — The Colorado Rockies began another day without Carlos Gonzalez in their starting lineup with the more daunting knowledge Nolan Arenado will be missing for much longer.
The Rockies placed Arenado on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, one day after he broke his left middle finger on a head-first slide into second base. The team recalled infielder Josh Rutledge from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Arenado was hitting .305 with six homers and 28 RBIs. A decision on surgery or other treatment options won’t be made until the third baseman is examined by a specialist.
Arenado said Saturday he knew the finger was broken as soon as he made the slide in Friday’s 3-2 loss to the Braves.
“I kind of feel like I’m letting these guys down a little bit,” Arenado said. “That hurts a little bit.”
Manager Walt Weiss said he knew Arenado was upset “so I shot him a text late last night.”
“At some point, if you’re lucky enough to play long enough, you’re probably going to have to deal with an injury,” Weiss said. “And sometimes a substantial one. He’s got to keep his mind strong and be ready to help us when he gets ready.”
Charlie Culberson, who replaced Arenado on Friday, was starting at third base Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez missed his third straight start with a swollen left index finger. Weiss said he didn’t want to give Gonzalez a full game but said the outfielder was available to pinch-hit. Gonzalez was on deck to pinch-hit when Friday’s game ended.
Rutledge has played second base and shortstop this season. He was placed on the 15-day DL on May 2 with a viral infection, then was optioned to Colorado Springs on May 13.
The addition of Rutledge gives Colorado the flexibility to move D.J. LeMahieu from second base to third.
“We’ve got some moving parts here so we’ll mix and match at little bit,” Weiss said. “Some of those things tend to work themselves out, but we’ve got some options.
“Sure, D.J.’s got some history at third base. He’s playing a Gold Glove second base. You don’t necessarily want to move a guy that’s playing dominant defense like he is, but for our club that may be something we look to do.”
Right fielder Michael Cuddyer started 150 games at third with Minnesota from 2002-10.
“I’ll play anywhere anyone ever tells me,” Cuddyer said before adding: “But there are some positions that for the betterment of the team …”
Cuddyer didn’t complete the thought, but it was clear he didn’t expect to be looking for a third base glove anytime soon.
BY CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
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