DENVER -- While Carlos Gonzalez may not be a regular piece of the lineup for the rest of the year, the Rockies still got an offensive boost Tuesday when center fielder Dexter Fowler returned to the lineup.
Fowler missed six games after bruising his left knee in the first inning of an Aug. 26 win against the Giants. Manager Walt Weiss said for several days Fowler was nearing return, and he was back on the diamond for Colorado against the Dodgers.
"I knew he was getting close the last couple days, and he's feeling better, so we got him out," Weiss said.
Outfielders Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon, along with infielder Josh Rutledge, filled in for Fowler, who's still trying to break from a slump dating to July. He's hitting .211 with two homers in his last 40 games, but drove in 11 runs in August.
CarGo activated, but finger remains an issue
DENVER -- Nearly a month of rest wasn't much of a help to Carlos Gonzalez's sprained right middle finger.
Gonzalez was scratched from his third rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs Monday, his finger flaring up in a day game after he played in two consecutive night games. The Rockies left fielder, who was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, said it simply wasn't worth trying to squeeze in another rehab game at risk of inflicting more serious damage.
"Just a bad day yesterday, coming from back-to-back games," Gonzalez said before Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. "It was something we all were expecting, too. It's not going to heal in a month, it's going to take longer than that, but I'm activated today. Just hopefully I start to feel a little better, and we're going to have to deal with that until the season's over."
Rockies manger Walt Weiss said he hasn't made a final decision on whether to shut down Gonzalez for the remainder of the season to let the finger heal. But Gonzalez is committed to at least trying to play when he feels up to it.
Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Gonzalez would not pick up a bat Tuesday and added the situation is very similar to what it was earlier this year, when Gonzalez sat out games as necessary to rest the finger.
"I'm trying to avoid being shut down," Gonzalez said. "We're just going to give it a rest today, see how I feel tomorrow, see how I feel the next couple days and just go out there and play."
Weiss and Dugger said Gonzalez, a true five-tool player, can be used as a defensive replacement or a pinch-runner. Gonzalez has recorded 11 outfield assists, tied for third most in the Majors despite his extended absence, and he also has 21 stolen bases.
"I think we'll pick our spots on days he's feeling good, but I expect that thing to flare up from time to time," Weiss said. "I'll deal with it accordingly, but he's available to maybe better our defense or pinch-run when he's not able to swing the bat."
To lessen the pressure on the ligament in his injured finger, Gonzalez said he will adjust his grip so his middle finger isn't around the knob at the end of the bat.
While a finger injury may strike some as a minor inconvenience, Weiss explained how big of an impact it can have on a player's game.
"It's such a game of feel that even a small injury to a finger or a hand prevents you from playing this sport as opposed to many of the other spots," Weiss said. "If you got a finger that hurts, you can't throw or you can't swing the bat, you can't play the game."
Rox add three pitchers, one infielder from Triple-A
DENVER -- With the Triple-A season concluding Monday, the Rockies added three fresh arms to their bullpen and another position player to take advantage of expanding to a 40-man roster.
The Rockies called up three right-handed pitchers -- Mitchell Boggs, Manuel Corpas and Collin McHugh -- and infielder Ryan Wheeler.
Boggs was acquired on July 9 from the Cardinals in exchange for an international signing bonus slot and appeared in just two games with the Rockies before he was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He didn't allow a run in 1 2/3 innings with the Rockies but struggled mightily for the first two months of the year with the Cardinals.
This came after a 2012 season in which Boggs was a shutdown reliever for St. Louis with a 2.21 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said command is the key for Boggs to return to his old form.
"Just staying away from the big misses and misfiring with that power sinker he's got," said Weiss, who plans to use Boggs in some late-inning situations. "If it's around the plate, hitters are going to fire at it. It's the big misses I think that get him into bad counts and into some trouble. But the stuff for me is really interesting."
Corpas, the closer on the 2007 Rockies squad that made the franchise's only World Series appearance, was back with Colorado from early June until Aug. 11. Inconsistency plagued Corpas earlier this year, as he had a 4.50 ERA in 19 appearances.
McHugh made a spot start for the Rockies on July 27 but will move to the bullpen for his second stay in Denver. He gave up six runs over five innings in that lone start, a 7-5 loss to the Brewers, before the club shipped him back to Colorado Springs.
Wheeler returns to the big leagues only a week after the Rockies optioned him to Triple-A. He went 4-for-19 during his first stint with the Rockies this year, and has played first and third base. Wheeler excelled in Triple-A, hitting .306 with 12 homers and 89 RBIs over 116 games for the Sky Sox.
Weiss said he prefers not to view the rest of the schedule as a tryout for September callups, but he wants to make sure they get a taste of the Majors.
"I'm going to try to keep guys involved," he said. "If you watched all year, I don't like guys sitting around for too long. September's a little bit different -- we got a lot of bodies, so it's a little bit tougher. But I like getting guys involved and seeing what they bring."
Chatwood healing fast, expects to make next start
DENVER -- When Tyler Chatwood said following Sunday's game he planned to make his next start for the Rockies, it was more than baseless optimism.
Chatwood said he plans to throw his usual bullpen Wednesday, just three days after he took a line drive directly off his right hand. His hand was so swollen after that Chatwood had trouble gripping the ball properly and lost feeling in his thumb.
Manager Walt Weiss pulled him three batters later after he surrendered a two-run homer and two walks to the next three batters.
But the right-hander is healing faster than expected and said the swelling has gone down, making it much more likely he will make his next start against the Padres on Saturday.
"To be honest with you, I thought he'd probably miss a start, because when I watched the replay, it wasn't a glancing blow, he got smoked," Weiss said.
"So yeah, I'm a little surprised that it looks like he's got a chance to make his next start."
Oswalt throws scoreless rehab start
DENVER -- Roy Oswalt is hoping to be back in the Rockies' rotation this weekend after a rehab start with the Rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies on Tuesday night.
"I'm hoping to be in the rotation Sunday, sometime in that frame," Oswalt said.
Oswalt threw 5 2/3 shutout innings, giving up just three hits, walking one and striking out two, and he had no issues with his left hamstring on Tuesday. He had to cover first early and said his hamstring felt tired as he continues to rebuild strength in his leg.
"The last two innings, it feels like you ran a long distance on it," he said after the start. "It doesn't hurt, it's just keep building and hopefully one or two more starts I should be back where I was when I went down."
He attacked the zone and tried to make it through seven innings on his 55 pitches (41 strikes), coming up short of that goal. Oswalt said he threw all his pitches, even trying his hand on a new, harder curveball he's developing.
"It doesn't matter where you're at, doesn't matter how many times you pitched in the big leagues," Oswalt said. "Any time you get competition in front of you, you're going to go a little bit harder than in practice. It's just human nature and competitiveness."
Oswalt, who has finished in the top five for the Cy Young Award five times during his career, landed on the disabled list on July 8 with a strained left hamstring.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before the game that Oswalt's rehab start would play a major role in determining when he starts again for the Rockies.
"We're looking to get him back in the mix," Weiss said. "I don't know exactly when that is, but a lot of it will be determined by how it goes tonight and we'll go from there."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.