There is an outstanding Michael Cuddyer story in the Denver Post this morning. We all knew that Cuddy was close to a second stint on the disabled list with a bruised rib suffered earlier this month, but until Troy Renck’s story this morning I don’t think we knew just how close.
Cuddyer. Image: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The story goes that head trainer Keith Dugger informed Cuddyer that he would need to go back on the shelf. Cuddyer went on a walk, and at that point he decided to heave a baseball really far. He proceeded to repeat this routine until he realized what it would take to play through the pain. As he told Renck in this morning’s story:
"I am sure it was a crazy sight. I was just out there tossing balls across the street from my house. After several throws, I was able to start coping with the pain. Going on the DL again was the last thing I wanted to do.”"
Cuddyer then persuaded the front office to defer a decision about the disabled list, gutted out a full workout, and remained on the active roster. It is in the time since then that he has extended his hitting streak to 21 games, reached base in 40 straight games, and created a legitimate case for himself as a National League All-Star. Playing through pain is one thing; playing like a star while in pain is entirely another.
With a number of interesting story-lines, Michael Cuddyer is emerging as the top story of the Colorado Rockies 2013 season. More than Roy Oswalt‘s arrival, more than another Troy Tulowitzki‘s injury, more than Todd Helton‘s notable decline in playing time, more than Nolan Arenado‘s promotion, and even more than Carlos Gonzalez‘s MVP numbers, Cuddyer’s character and play on the field seem to tell the story of why the Rockies still matter.
The smiling veteran was already one of the easiest players in baseball to cheer for; today’s story only adds to that fact.