Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is headed to the 15-day disabled list with left index finger inflammation, the Rockies announced on Wednesday. The team also designated Jordan Pacheco for assignment and recalled infielder Ryan Wheeler and catcher Michael McKenry from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
CarGo has been forced into multiple early exits from games over the last few weeks because of the finger ailment and is hitting just .255/.307/.449 in 212 plate appearances. Gonzalez has also struggled in the outfield largely due to a knee injury that has robbed him of his speed and range; the 28-year-old All-Star has a -15.9 UZR/150 after being well above average a year ago.
Placing the three-time Gold Glove winner on the shelf for a few weeks is probably a good move for the Rockies. It gives Corey Dickerson, who has been very good in a small sample size, a chance for some regular at-bats and loosens up the logjam in the outfield. Gonzalez is obviously the guy the Rockies want out there everyday if he's himself, but that hasn't been the case for quite some time. Of course, if he has to undergo surgery on his finger -- which is a possibility, according to Nick Groke of the Denver Post -- that few weeks will probably turn into a much longer absence. That scenario becomes less of a silver lining and more of a very bad situation for the Rockies.
The decision to designate Pacheco for assignment had little to do with the decisions made today, but it does free up a roster spot for Friday starter Eddie Butler. Pacheco just hasn't hit since his rookie season, and that problem is compounded by the fact that he doesn't have a position. Pacheco has managed to hit just .238/.282/.320 since the start of 2013 and doesn't play good enough defense behind the plate to make that sort of production tolerable. There's a chance the Rockies could trade him -- most likely, to an American League club -- but the likelier scenario is that he'll be exposed to waivers and either claimed by another team or outrighted to the minors.
McKenry isn't much of a hitter either, but he's a much better receiver than both Pacheco and Wilin Rosario. Meanwhile, Wheeler will provide corner infield depth that has been lacking since Nolan Arenado's injury. He's not a great defender at third, either, but he's certainly passable and there is at least a fraction of upside in his bat. The 25-year-old lefty went 2-for-4 with a homer in a two-game cameo with the Rockies earlier this season but has struggled to a .253/.308/.352 line in 201 Pacific Coast League plate appearances after being one of the circuit's best hitters a year go.