Cuddyer hitting DL leaves Rox with holes to fill

Cuddyer hitting DL leaves Rox with holes to fill

Cuddyer hitting DL leaves Rox with holes to fill
DENVER -- When Michael Cuddyer went back on the disabled list after re-injuring his right oblique Saturday night, the Rockies found themselves looking to fill multiple holes.

Though Cuddyer was the Opening Day right fielder and started the season hitting sixth in the order, he has served as the Rockies primary cleanup hitter since Troy Tulowitzki went on the DL at the end of May and was slotted to be the primary first baseman with Todd Helton having season-ending hip surgery in early August.

"It takes quite a bit of punch out of our lineup, there's no getting around that fact," manager Jim Tracy said Sunday. "You've got some young kids and you can definitely say they're coming around very nicely. But to put a little bit more on their plate than you really want to, that's also something that you bear in mind. We have to make our adjustments accordingly.

"Hopefully we'll get CarGo back here sometime next week. That's the area of our lineup that has taken a real hit here."

Tracy said the Rockies training staff would "treat [Cuddyer] like crazy" in hopes of getting him pain free and back on the roster this season, but obliques are tricky injuries. Cuddyer had felt fine through his previous rehab stint and his first game-and-a-half back off the DL until a swing in his third at-bat Saturday re-aggravated the injury.

"There's a possibility of [shutting him down for the season]," Tracy conceded. "I won't rule it completely in that that's the case, but I won't rule it out either."

In the meantime, with Helton, Jason Giambi and Cuddyer all on the DL, outfielder Tyler Colvin will be the go-to guy at first.

"Absolutely he is," Tracy said of Colvin being his primary first baseman of the moment. "There could be matchups that make sense for Colvin to stay versus certain left-handed pitchers. You've got the combination of [third baseman Jordan] Pacheco and [Chris] Nelson, where you can bring Pacheco over and have Pacheco play there. And actually, [catcher] Ramon Hernandez can play [first]."

Hernandez caught and hit clean-up Sunday with Colvin at first hitting fifth. Tracy also likes Sunday's call-up Andrew Brown's power, as evidenced by his 24 homers and 98 RBIs in 100 games at Triple-A this season, and indicated he could slot into the clean-up role if he plays well in the Majors.