DENVER -- The fickle fingers of Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and third baseman Nolan Arenado are beginning to point toward a return to the lineup.
Arenado, who suffered a broken left middle finger on May 23, said Monday he has been cleared to grip a bat, but not yet swing it. Still, it shows the strengthening exercises he is undergoing are making an impact.
Gonzalez, who underwent surgery June 10 to remove a benign tumor from his left index finger, had 17 stitches taken out of the hand on Sunday. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said three or four stitches were left at the crease between the thumb and index finger, and those will be taken out "in the next day or two."
After that, Gonzalez can begin working toward a return.
Bergman likely to make Wednesday's start
DENVER -- Rockies rookie right-handed pitcher Christian Bergman's ailing left hand and wrist -- sore and swollen since he was hit at the base of his glove by a line drive in his last start -- have made dramatic progress, and his status for his start on Wednesday afternoon against the Cardinals has gone from doubtful to probable.
Bergman (0-2, 7.20 ERA) underwent an MRI exam on Monday, but will go for additional testing Tuesday. If the results are clear of structural damage, he will start the finale against the Cards and a former Fort Collins prep star, left-hander Marco Gonzales -- the Cardinals' top Draft pick last year, who will be making his Major League debut.
However, the Rockies scratched left-hander Johan Flande from his scheduled start for Triple-A Colorado Springs against Reno on Monday night and have him standing by as a precaution. Flande is 2-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 14 games, including 13 starts, at Colorado Springs.
Bergman, three games into his Major League career, said he has regained much of the range of motion in the hand. A line drive by the Brewers' Aramis Ramirez caused Bergman's injury.
"If I had to guess, it's fine," Bergman said. "I think it'll be just like a pain tolerance thing."
As for hitting, Bergman said he can grip the bat, but "I don't know if I want to swing it."
• Rookie right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler (right rotator cuff inflammation), who was shut down last week to devote time to strengthening) threw at 70 feet Monday with no problem and after building up to 120 or more feet will begin pitching on flat ground, then the slope of the mound, then the mound itself.
• After originally scheduling live batting-practice sessions for Monday, the Rockies moved sessions for lefty Brett Anderson (broken left index finger), righty Tyler Chatwood (right flexor tendon strain) and lefty reliever Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation) to Tuesday.
• Right-handed starter Jordan Lyles (broken left hand) was seen testing the hand while wearing a glove.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.