The Rockies put designated hitter Charlie Blackmon on the 10-day injured list yesterday after x-rays revealed a fracture in his right hand. That injury is expected to keep him out of action for four to six weeks, writes Manny Randhawa of MLB.com.
Blackmon was first hurt a week ago when he was hit by a pitch on June 3. He played through the issue for a few days before the break became clear over the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the intervening week was a struggle for the veteran hitter, who collected just three hits in 21 trips to the dish from June 4 onwards.
Prior to being hit by the pitch, Blackmon carried a .277/.356/.447 batting line over 216 trips to the plate. That’s slightly above-average offense even after accounting for his hitter-friendly home park. That marked a decent step up relative to last year’s .264/.314/.419 showing, largely thanks to a strikeout rate that he’d cut from 18.9% to 13.4%.
While he’s certainly not back to his peak, Blackmon had been one of the better hitters in a middling Colorado lineup. He’ll now be out past the All-Star Break and potentially into August, leaving the Rox down another of their veteran players. Colorado has already been without Kris Bryant for nearly two weeks thanks to a bruised left heel.
Foot issues have plagued Bryant off and on since he signed a seven-year free agent deal over the 2021-22 offseason. Plantar fasciitis in his left foot cost him a good chunk of the ’22 season, cutting his year short by the end of July. Bryant acknowledged he’s not entirely past that issue, telling reporters yesterday the plantar fasciitis still “comes and goes” (link via Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post).
Bryant indicated he has yet to begin baseball activities and is without a clear timetable for a return. He said this year’s issue hasn’t inhibited him to the extent that last year’s problems had, though it’s still concerning that the foot has given him continued trouble. It’s possible it’s had a deleterious effect on Bryant’s performance, as he hasn’t made his typical level of impact as a Rockie.
The former MVP is hitting .263/.346/.374 in 50 games this season. He carries a .283/.358/.420 slash in just under 400 trips to the dish in a Colorado uniform. Bryant’s strike zone discipline has remained strong, but he’s had surprisingly light power numbers (ten homers, .137 ISO) despite playing half his games at altitude.
Colorado has been hit with the injury bug on the pitching side as well. Things have been particularly tough for former first round draftee Ryan Rolison. The Ole Miss product likely would’ve made his MLB debut by now if not for shoulder surgery that cost him all of 2022 and the first couple months of this season. The Rox reinstated Rolison from the 60-day injured list at the end of May, seemingly opening the door for him to factor in this summer.
While that might still be the case, the 25-year-old is again dealing with shoulder concerns. He left a Triple-A start on June 2 after just one inning because of discomfort. General manager Bill Schmidt said today that Rolison has returned to the club’s Arizona complex to rehab (via MLB.com injury tracker). It’s not clear how long this latest setback is expected to keep him out of game action, but it represents another obstacle for a pitcher trying to crack the back of a flexible Colorado rotation.