Cuddyer will bat second for the Rockies in his first major league game since June 5 against Arizona. The two-hole has treated Cuddy well this season; he's hitting .318/.359/.435 in 92 plate appearances from that spot. That fact isn't lost on Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
"He was very effective in that spot before he got hurt," Weiss said during batting practice. "It’s nice to have a guy like him in that two-hole, that guy who’s a professional hitter and hits the ball from line to line, can hit the ball out of the park … just a tough out with some thump."
The Rockies could certainly use his bat; they're hitting just .225/.276/.371 since a 13-run onslaught against the Cubs on their last home stand. They just have to hope Cuddyer comes back hot.
"I’m not saying I’m going to come light it up, I’m not saying I’m gonna come up and stink," Cuddyer said before the Rockies' 3-2 loss on Friday. "But I feel normal about being on the baseball field, which is what you want do, and why I went down there for eight games: to become familiar again with playing."
In addition to adding Cuddyer back to the 25- and 40-man rosters, the Rockies recalled reliever Brooks Brown from Colorado Springs. The circumstances behind Brown's promotion are rather unfortunate, though, with Tommy Kahnle landing on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Kahnle has been one of the few pleasant surprises out of the Rockies' bullpen this season, posting a 3.71 ERA in 63 innings spanning 43 appearances. He hasn't been as good lately, allowing nine runs in his last 4⅓ innings of work, but perhaps the shoulder discomfort had something to do with the regression.
The Rockies also optioned Ben Paulsen to Triple-A, making room for Cuddyer on the 25-man roster while Brett Anderson, who had surgery on Thursday to repair a disc issue in his back, was transferred to the 60-day DL to free up a spot on the 40-man. Paulsen went 2-for-8 with a home run in his most recent stint with the big league club but has made only three plate appearances in the last week.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Here's the link; jump in now!
UPDATE (4:41 p.m. MT): Cuddyer will slide into the clean-up spot and play first base after Justin Morneau was scratched from the starting lineup with a stiff neck. Here are the new lineups:
|CINCINNATI REDS||COLORADO ROCKIES|
|Billy Hamilton - CF||Charlie Blackmon - RF|
|Kristopher Negron - 3B||Drew Stubbs - CF|
|Jay Bruce - RF||Corey Dickerson - LF|
|Devin Mesoraco - C||Michael Cuddyer - 1B|
|Ryan Ludwick - LF||Nolan Arenado - 3B|
|Brayan Pena - 1B||Mike McKenry - C|
|Skip Schumaker - 2B||Josh Rutledge - SS|
|Zack Cozart - SS||Charlie Culberson - 2B|
|Dylan Axelrod - RHP||Jordan Lyles - RHP|