DENVER -- Two days after he swung a bat for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list, Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez took swings in the indoor batting cage before Monday's game against the Giants.
Gonzalez has battled a lingering sprained middle finger on his right hand since July 7 before he landed on the DL Aug. 7, and he has not played since Aug. 4. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Gonzalez will likely have to make a few Minor League rehab starts before he's back in the lineup.
"He's missed some time here, so he'll probably have to go out and get a few at-bats," Weiss said. "But it sounds like he's doing better."
Despite missing nearly three weeks, Gonzalez still leads Colorado in homers (26) and RBIs (70), and his .591 slugging percentage is still the highest in the National League. His 26 homers were also tied for the league lead before he went down.
Weiss once again noted that his All-Star outfielder will probably be playing through pain for the remainder of the season.
"I don't think that finger's going to be perfect any time this year," Weiss said. "But hopefully we'll get him back, he'll be able to play, before it's all said and done."
Bruised knee causes Fowler to exit early
DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler injured his left knee when he tried to steal second in the first inning of Monday's 6-1 win over the Giants.
Fowler, who is day to day with what the team called a left lateral knee bruise, led off the first with a single to left and was caught stealing as he slid into second base. He left after the end of the first inning.
"Dexter hurt his knee sliding into second," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after the game. "Pretty sore, so we'll check him out tomorrow. But he was very sore."
Charlie Blackmon replaced Fowler in center field and at the top of the order in the second, proving to be more than an effective replacement when he lined a solo homer over the right-field wall to lead off the third and hand the Rockies a 3-0 lead.
Fowler was hitless in his previous 13 at-bats, a streak spanning four games, before that first inning single. On the year, he's hitting .263 with 12 homers, 42 RBIs and a .368 on-base percentage.
Fowler missed 14 games from late June to mid-July with a right wrist injury, the only significant stretch of time he's missed this year.
Tulo takes second game off with sore side
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki missed his second straight start Monday as he continues to battle soreness in his left side.
Tulowitzki said it was a "precautionary" move and expects to return to the lineup Tuesday for the second of a three-game set against the Giants.
"I was on the fence about putting him in there and talked to our training staff and decided to keep him out one more night," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before Monday's game. "Feel pretty good about him being out there tomorrow, but I wanted to give him one more day."
Tulowitzki injured his left side on a swing in the sixth inning of Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Marlins. This injury does not appear to be related to the right rib he fractured in mid-June, an injury that sidelined him for nearly a month.
Though he struggled at the plate when he first returned from the injury, hitting .220 in his first 17 games back, Tulowitzki appeared to be rounding into his usual form before Saturday's setback. Tulowitzki had a 10-game hitting streak before he finished 0-for-4 Saturday, and he's hitting .381 with two homers, five doubles and five RBIs over his last 11 games.
Chatwood, Oswalt could return this week
DENVER -- The Rockies' starting rotation should soon reflect its early-season self, as Tyler Chatwood and Roy Oswalt both get closer to stepping back onto a big league mound.
Chatwood will make a rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday and plans to throw 70 to 75 pitches. Manager Walt Weiss is optimistic that Chatwood will need just the one start in the Minor Leagues, meaning he could be pitching for the Rockies this weekend.
"We're hoping for one [start]," Weiss said. "A lot of these things, you play it by ear and see what happens and how he responds to his next outing. ... But best-case scenario is he goes out there, makes one start and then he's back in the rotation with us if all things go well."
Chatwood, 23, has proven a force in the Rockies' rotation, allowing two runs or fewer in 12 of 15 starts and leading the starting five with a 3.15 ERA. The club placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 7 with right elbow inflammation, a week after he gave up 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in only 2 1/3 innings against the Braves.
Oswalt plans to throw another simulated game at Coors Field on Tuesday after he threw three innings in his first sim game Thursday. Oswalt is set to pitch four innings Tuesday in what he hopes is the last tuneup he will need.
"His bullpen was much better in Miami, so he's making some nice strides, too," Weiss said.
Oswalt (0-4, 7.64 ERA) made just four starts for the Rockies before he strained his left hamstring as he ran to cover home plate July 7.
Rockies hope thumb won't derail De La Rosa
DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa's left thumb cut short another outing Sunday against the Marlins.
The Rockies yanked De La Rosa after the fifth inning of a 4-3 victory in Miami due to a left thumb bruise that has bothered him since mid-June. Before that, the southpaw pitched through a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
"It's probably the worst his thumb's been in a while," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Every inning, we weren't sure if he was going to make it through the inning. But he's been real resilient with his hand injuries this year. He's got 14 wins and he's had to deal with some kind of hand injury for probably half his starts. So he's gotten real good at working around that thing."
De La Rosa has been one of the club's best starters this year with a 3.28 ERA and has not missed a start this year, a streak that could end when his next turn comes Saturday at Coors Field against the Reds.
"We may alter some things before his next start as far as his routine, but we're hoping he's going to be able to make his next start," Weiss said.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.