The Colorado Rockies announced this afternoon that they are placing Dexter Fowler on the disabled list and activating relief pitcher Edgmer Escalona as the corresponding roster move.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Rockies&src=hash">#Rockies</a> place OF Dexter Fowler on the 15-day DL w/a rt hand bone bruise (retro to 6/26). Club also activates RHP Edgmer Escalona from DL.</p>— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) <a href="https://twitter.com/Rockies/statuses/352188776870723584">July 2, 2013</a></blockquote>
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With the move being retroactive to June 26th, Fowler will be eligible to come off the DL on July 11th when the club begins a four game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles to wrap up play before the all star break. This will make the next nine games, all against division opponents, especially tough for Colorado as they are still without star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki who fractured his rib back on June 13th.
Fowler's injury originated from the same game as Tulowitzki's in that June 13th contest against Washington when he was struck on the hand while trying to bunt a ball. At first, it appeared as if the Rockies had dodged a bullet on this front as Fowler was back in the starting lineup against the Phillies as soon as Sunday June 16th.
However, problems persisted in the hand / wrist area despite an MRI coming up negative. After making one start in Toronto, Fowler would miss three more games before the team would once again try to reinsert him into the lineup in Washington on June 21st.
The final straw came on June 25th in Boston when Fowler re aggravated the injury in a blow out loss to the Red Sox. He has been out of the lineup ever since and today the Rockies finally placed him on the DL.
Even though Fowler has started six games since June 13th, the Rockies have effectively lost his production since that date as Fowler has gone just 4-23 at the plate with a .514 OPS in this small sample size of games. Couple that with the loss of the Rockies biggest bat in Troy Tulowitzki and Colorado has averaged just 2.93 runs a game over the last 13 games even with Michael Cuddyer in the midst of a franchise record 27 game hitting streak.
With their offensive firepower limited, the Rockies must rely on excellent pitching to win games right now, and activating Edgmer Escalona from the DL could help as he provides a key bridge from the starter to the back of the bullpen.
Before going on the DL in early June, Escalona owned 4.18 ERA and had held opposing batters to just a .287 on base percentage thanks to his strike throwing ability. Escalona, as well as Rafael Betancourt, who was activated at the start of this home stand will give manager Walt Weiss more options late in these crucial division games as the club tries to survive without two of its four best hitters.