The Colorado Rockies have announced that they will place 35-year-old outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list due to a hamstring injury obtained last Thursday. His placement is retroactive to April 18th, meaning the earliest Cuddyer can return is on Saturday, May 3rd, when the Rockies play host to the New York Mets. In a corresponding move, the Rockies have also recalled infielder Charlie Culberson from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
#Rockies place OF Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day DL w/a left hamstring strain (retro to 4/18) & recall INF Charlie Culberson from @skysox.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 21, 2014
With Cuddyer now out, and Carlos Gonzalez dealing with a knee injury (though he plans to play), the Rockies' outfield will be operating at less than maximum capacity. Rockies' manager Walt Weiss is likely to mix and match the trio of Brandon Barnes, Corey Dickerson, and Drew Stubbs in center, as Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon (who is hitting .406/.440/.594) will man left and right field, respectively.
Cuddyer, who won the NL batting title last season with a .331 average, was on a tear as of late, starting the season off with a 10-game hitting streak, and not letting up from there. Before getting hurt, he was hitting .317/.373/.533 in 16 games. A two-time All-Star and owner of a career 113 wRC+, Cuddyer is in the final year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract he signed with the Rockies in December of 2011.
The 25-year-old Culberson made Colorado's Opening Day roster and played in 9 games, hitting .111/.158/.167 in 20 plate appearances, before being optioned to Triple-A on April 13th. The 51st overall pick in the 2007 draft, Culberson was acquired by the Rockies for Marco Scutaro in July of 2012. He is capable of playing second, third, short, and left field, giving Colorado some added versatility.