Rockies injury news: Carlos Gonzalez headed for surgery

Christian Petersen

The Rockies also placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer and pitcher Eddie Butler on the disabled list Monday.

Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is set to have exploratory surgery on his left index finger Tuesday in Cleveland, the team announced on Monday evening.

Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day DL last week after continuing to struggle through nagging issues with his left finger, and it appears that injury will keep the outfielder out of Colorado's lineup for quite some time.

The club has not announced how long Gonzalez is expected to be out, though the Rockies will likely have a better idea of the 28-year-old's timetable once he undergoes surgery.

Gonzalez's need for exploratory surgery comes at a bad time for the Rockies, who have also lost Nolan Arenado and Jordan Lyles to injuries in recent weeks. Colorado now sits at 29-33 after dropping 13 of its last 16 games. The club is 12.5 games back of the surging Giants, and one has to wonder if its days spent near the top of the NL West are gone for good.

In 52 games this season, Gonzalez has hit .255/.307/.449 with eight home runs and 31 RBI. He has formed a dominant one-two punch with Troy Tulowitzki in the middle of Colorado's lineup for multiple seasons now and has slugged over .500 in every year since 2009. Without Gonzalez, the Rockies will go with Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs in the outfield, none of whom will be able to match the Venezuelan native's production on offense.

According to MLB.com's Thomas Harding, the Rockies also placed right-hander Eddie Butler and outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the DL on Monday, further depleting Colorado's depth.

Butler's injury is most concerning, with the 2012 first-round pick landing on the DL with inflammation in his rotator cuff. Shoulder injuries are never a good sign for pitchers, and Butler's injury is especially demoralizing considering the Rockies just called him up last week to make his major league debut.

The 23-year-old Butler is one of Colorado's top prospects, and along with last year's first-rounder Jonathan Gray, the Rockies hope Butler can help fill the top part of their starting rotation for years to come. Any significant injuries to Butler's rotator cuff, then, would represent a big blow for the Rockies both in the present and future.

Cuddyer injured his left shoulder while diving for a ground ball last Thursday against the Diamondbacks. Both Cuddyer and Butler were scheduled to undergo MRIs on Monday, with the Rockies fearful that the 35-year-old Cuddyer might miss an extended period of time with a labral tear in his shoulder.

Update: The Rockies announced Cuddyer has a fracture in his shoulder and will miss a minimum of six weeks, per Denver Post beat writer Patrick Saunders.

Rookie Christian Bergman, who made his major league debut in a start against the Braves on Monday, will take Cuddyer's spot on the roster.

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