As part of a two prong move before tonight’s game against the much-ballyhooed Los Angeles Dodgers, the Colorado Rockies made a move that had become inevitable in recent days (as reported by Troy Renck):
Dex to DL
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 2, 2013
Renck also notes that Fowler will be eligible to return to the team on July 11th. Felled by a bum finger from a more-bum bunt attempt over a week ago, Fowler’s game has been visibly impacted by the injury for a while now. Unable to swing the bat from the left side of the plate, at one point saying that it felt like he was swinging with one hand, Fowler had been relegated to the effectiveness of something like a platoon player.
Fowler was slated to start tonight, only to be scratched close to game time once again. As such the Rockies reached the point where they could no longer afford to keep him on the roster under those circumstances. They need him to get healthy and be in the everyday lineup again.
Without Fowler the Rockies lose their lead-off hitter, a blow that has been somewhat softened by the recent surge of DJ LeMahieu. What hurts more is the loss of Fowler’s defense in center field. It looks like the Rockies will turn to Tyler Colvin and Corey Dickerson to fill that spot, both of whom are better suited to the corners of the outfield. Of course the team does have a gold glove option available for center field in their current left fielder Carlos Gonzalez. It appears they will remain steadfast in their commitment to only play him in left field, however.
The merits of that philosophy are another discussion for another day. As for tonight, the only silver lining to losing Fowler is the return of reliever Edgmer Escalona, he of the hot temper and electric fastball. Once a fringe candidate to even make the roster, Escalona and his 7.52 K/9 will be a welcome sight for Matt Belisle and other overworked relief pitchers in the bullpen. Plus, the Rockies need somebody who yells and pounds his chest and stuff.