Rox relieved to get Blackmon back on field

'He paid immediate dividends last night,' Weiss says of CF

Rox relieved to get Blackmon back on field

PHOENIX -- The Rockies have their leadoff hitter and center fielder back. Charlie Blackmon returned from the 15-day disabled list on Friday with two hits and a run scored.

While that was overshadowed by four home runs belted by his teammates in a 9-0 rout of the D-backs, there's no understating Blackmon's long-term importance.

"He adds an element to our club at the top of the lineup, no doubt about it,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Saturday. "He paid immediate dividends last night. It was good to see.''

Blackmon's two singles on Friday represented one more hit than he collected in a two-game, 1-for-8 rehab stint for Class A Modesto. He said the turf toe injury that put him on the disabled list has subsided, and he felt no limitations on the basepaths or in the outfield.

"If it's something you don't take care of, it can affect your running,'' Blackmon said. "It's a soft-tissue injury. It's one of those things where there is inflammation, and you have to let it heal. But I took my time off, got it taken care of, and now I feel good.

"In the rehab games, I did things that normally stress it out, and it felt great. I beat out an infield hit, and played a few balls off the wall in the outfield. I did not steal any bags. [A base-stealing situation] just didn't come up.''

The lost time leaves Blackmon with a lot of catching up to do in that latter department. He has only one stolen base in his nine games played this season, after swiping a career-high 43 in 56 attempts in 2015. Weiss said Blackmon is under no stolen-base restrictions, and has the green light to run.
"We'll check in on him daily and see how the foot is doing, but he's full steam ahead,'' Weiss said.
The return to the lineup couldn't come soon enough for Blackmon, who missed only 13 games over the last two seasons.
"I'm so used to being a part of most of the games we play in,'' he said. "It was really weird for me to just sit back and have no control over the game. But I feel great now, and we have lots of baseball left."

Tony DeMarco is a contributor to and covered the Rockies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.