PHOENIX -- Next time someone mentions that you've gained a little weight, not that it's breaking news to you, just offer Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson as proof that you can put a few extra pounds to good use.
Dickerson has been to the disabled list three times, twice for a total of 42 games for left foot plantar fasciitis and again for 37 games for a broken rib on the left side. The injuries, especially the ones to the foot, precluded running activities. As a result, Dickerson returned to action bulkier than ever. But the extra pounds didn't weigh him down, as evidenced by his .333 batting average (19-for-57) with three home runs in 17 games since his return.
"I've gotten a little bigger -- a couple of my family members that haven't seen me in a while mentioned it," Dickerson said with a smile. "I was doing things to try to come back better, not necessarily trying to get big. But I had to work out what I could so I could be stronger and better."
When the season ends and Dickerson can heal, he plans to come back leaner. He began this year just over 210 pounds and says he has been playing at 215 after returning. Next year, he plans to dip below 210.
"I'm going to give my foot the rest it needs to come back 100 percent, then I'll do the same -- go to the gym five or six days a week and have goals with my trainers to lose a few pounds but keep the muscle so I can come back stronger," he said.
Dickerson hit .312 last year, and would have finished fourth in the NL in batting had he not fallen 24 plate appearances short of the number to qualify to be listed. He also led the team with 24 home runs.
This year he won't come anywhere close to qualifying, but carried a.320 batting average, with eight home runs and 26 RBIs going into Tuesday night's game with the D-backs. Imagine what could happen in a full season.
"We got a glimpse of it last year, when he hit 24 home runs and he wasn't with us the first month -- that was as a rookie, basically," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "The sky is the limit for him as an offensive player."
Dickerson said the added bulk after the disabled list stints didn't affect his timing.
"The power comes from timing and hitting mistake pitches," Dickerson said. "Lifting weights is not going to make you hit balls farther. That's just a talent that you're given -- hand-eye coordination. So my swing is the same. I want my swing to stay loose, and it has.
Playing for Asheville in 2011, Dickerson weighed 225 pounds after putting on 20 pounds during the offseason. He hit .262, his personal Minor League low.
"I was at my biggest when I was in low-A," Dickerson said. "I never felt loose."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.