The Colorado Rockies reported on Wednesday that their star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, news that comes at an inopportune time given the team's recent struggles and its upcoming tough stretch of games.
In the grand scheme of things, Gonzalez's injury isn't the end of the world for the Rockies, who will be without their starting left fielder for only a couple of weeks. While Gonzalez was healthy, he wasn't exactly hitting the cover off the ball either, given his .255/.307/.449 slash line this season. His time on the DL also presents an opportunity to heal his nagging injury once and for all. (Until he inevitably re-injures it again, that is.)
Luckily for the Rockies, they have a viable replacement option for Gonzalez during his absence. The red-hot Corey Dickerson hasn't had much of a chance to shine in the Rockies' crowded outfield of Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Michael Cuddyer, but when given the opportunity, he has taken full advantage.
In 103 plate appearances, Dickerson is hitting .348 with a 1.061 OPS, including seven home runs, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored. He got the start in the Rockies' Wednesday night game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, batting second right in between Blackmon and Troy Tulowitzki. If Dickerson can maintain his hot spell, the Rockies could even be better off while Gonzalez is out.
But even though Gonzalez's injury doesn't signify the end of times for the Rockies, there's no looking past the fact that the future isn't looking great for a Colorado team that's already missed the services of third baseman Nolan Arenado since May 23. In Arenado's absence, manager Walt Weiss' squad has gone 2-8, an extension of a 6-16 skid that dates back to early May. The struggles have knocked the Rockies under .500 while putting them a full 9.5 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants.
Adding to the key injuries has been the inevitable drop in production from the Rockies' two key hitters: Tulowitzki and Blackmon, who each got off to scorching but unsustainable starts. Poor pitching from starters Franklin Morales and Jhoulys Chacin has aggravated the troubles—the pitching has been abysmal overall, as per usual—which means the Rockies will have to right the ship in a hurry to remain relevant in the playoff race.