DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer knows how to time things correctly.
"That’s why I went out a week early on rehab," Cuddyer joked before the game on Friday in response to a comment about him returning to the team in time for Todd Helton's jersey retirement ceremony. In all seriousness, Cuddyer is expected to be activated on Saturday after recently completing an eight-game rehab assignment during which he went 13-for-30 with six doubles and nine runs batted in.
"I feel great," Cuddyer quipped. "I never had any issues with the shoulders at all. After three or four games, I started getting my legs back underneath me — my feet underneath me — and was feeling normal again being back out on the baseball field."
The Rockies could certainly use Cuddyer's leadership, if not his bat, with the star duo of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez out for the remainder of the season. Cuddyer hit well, posting a .317/.366/.500 line in 131 plate appearances spanning 31 games, before fracturing his shoulder while playing third base on June 5. With Nolan Arenado back in the lineup on a nightly basis, there's likely no chance we'll see Cuddyer at the hot corner again. But, as Walt Weiss acknowledged before the game, this is the Rockies we're talking about.
"We’re looking to activate Cuddy tomorrow, but we never know with the way things have gone," Weiss joked. "We have 24 hours until then."
Adding Cuddyer to the 40-man roster will mean that the Rockies will have to make a corresponding move. That shouldn't be too difficult, given the presence on the roster of Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Brett Anderson, all of whom won't play again until 2015.
"It's unfortunate," Cuddyer said, speaking of Tulo and CarGo. "It stinks. It’s not fair, but it is what it is. We’ve gotta get that taken care of and get healthy. I know those guys are gonna do everything in their power to get back to the way they were prior to the injuries."