DENVER -- When Dexter Fowler twisted his left knee sliding into second on Aug. 26, it seemed like an injury that wouldn't keep him out for more than a few days.
However, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said that the center fielder's side-to-side movement is still an issue. Fowler has made just three starts since suffering the injury. The most recent was on Sept. 6, and he was replaced in the bottom of the sixth.
"It hasn't changed a whole lot," Weiss said. "I think he's getting better, but to make a start and go out there for nine innings and be able to run left and right and run the bases -- still not there yet."
Though the injury makes it tough for him to man the spacious Coors Field outfield, Fowler can still contribute as a pinch-hitter. He has two hits in five such appearances after he struck out in the sixth inning of Friday's 9-4 victory over the D-backs, and Weiss will continue to use him in that role.
"That's probably the one way we can use him," he said. "That's why I've been firing early as pinch-hitter at times, because it's not a guy we're going to use defensively late in the game with that type of thing. So it's a bullet you can fire early if you have an opportunity to."
Arenado plays through bruised right thumb
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado can't stand sitting on the bench.
So he was back in the starting lineup and played through a bruised right thumb in Friday night's 9-4 win over the D-backs after missing the last three games. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk.
"I want to try to get in there and do something," Arenado said before the game. "If I can't, if it doesn't feel good and it's hurting, I probably won't play anymore. But [it's] something I got to deal with, and hopefully it doesn't flare up as bad."
Arenado was pulled from a Sept. 4 win over the Dodgers due to the thumb injury and missed his next start. He said it was something that had bothered him for several weeks. The thumb can flare up easily, but Arenado convinced Weiss to give him another chance.
"We want to make sure he feels good enough to go in there, and if he gets jammed, it wasn't going to blow up again," Weiss said. "That might be the case, but he assured me that he felt good enough to take a shot at it tonight."
Arenado said about the only thing that he can do to minimize stress to the injured area is holding the bat more in his hands instead of gripping it with his fingers.
"It's bruised, so if you keep hitting on a bruise, it's going to stay there," he said. "The only way it's going to go away is in the offseason when I put the bat down."
Arenado's played Gold Glove Award-worthy defense at third base and flashed big league offensive talent since he was called up April 28, hitting .268 with 10 homers and 50 RBIs.
De La Rosa scratched, McHugh gets call Saturday
DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa will miss his second consecutive start and Collin McHugh will take the mound in his place on Saturday against the D-backs, the Rockies announced following Friday's 9-4 win over Arizona.
"It's going to be tough for [De La Rosa] to make his start," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before the game.
The Rockies left-hander, one of the anchors of a much-improved rotation, has been pitching through a sore left thumb since June. He also battled pain in his index and middle fingers in a Sept. 10 start against the Giants, but lasted just two innings and hasn't pitched since.
As recently as Monday, when he played catch, De La Rosa was hopeful that he could make his Saturday start.
McHugh will start in place of the southpaw as he did Monday, when he allowed one run over five innings against the Cardinals.
After missing this start, De La Rosa likely won't get more than one more start this year. He's having one of the best seasons of his career; his 16 wins tie a career high and his 3.49 ERA is the lowest of his career
Cuddyer hopes to return to game action Sunday
DENVER -- Right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who is tied with the Braves' Chris Johnson for the best batting average in the National League, took a cortisone shot to reduce swelling in his injured left wrist with the hope that he can swing the bat on Saturday and return Sunday.
Cuddyer suffered the wrist injury when he rolled over it while making a diving catch in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at Coors Field. He also suffered a right forearm contusion, but the wrist is the bigger issue because the left hand is at the base of the bat.
"I'll try to swing tomorrow, see how it feels and hopefully I'll get to go on Sunday," said Cuddyer, who took the shot Thursday.
There is no thought on Cuddyer's part of sitting on his average. He was willing to take the painkiller just to play the final six games, even though the Rockies have long been out of playoff contention. Even if he isn't going to hit, manager Walt Weiss could use him as a defensive replacement.
Cuddyer said he is happy that the Rockies, chock full of young players getting opportunities because of numerous injuries, are pushing hard at the finish.
"To beat St. Louis two out of four -- a team that's in the race, playing hard -- that's a good win," he said. "Then to be able to back it up tonight with another good win is another good win," he said of the Rockies' 9-4 victory over the D-backs on Friday.
Johnson went 3-for-4 in the Braves 9-5 victory over the Cubs to pull even with Cuddyer at .331 on Friday.
Cuddyer, who has never hit better than .284 in a season, also has 20 home runs and 81 RBIs this year.
• Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who hasn't played since Aug. 4 because of a right middle finger sprain, took a cortisone shot when he visited Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland this week and hopes it will allow him to hit off a tee in about a week. If the pain returns when he swings or otherwise puts his finger in a "compromising position," Gonzalez is likely to opt for surgery, according to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger. The surgery would have to occur by Nov. 1, so he will be able to recover and rehab for Spring Training in 2014.
• Weiss said he expects catcher Wilin Rosario to suit up again before the season ends. Rosario hasn't played since Tuesday due to a right calf strain, but Weiss said he has made slight progress.
• When asked if Thursday's 15-inning victory was the longest game Weiss had been a part of, he noted that he played all 15 innings in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS when he was with the Braves.
"Emotionally, it's draining," Weiss said. "A game like that, there's a lot of chances to win a game, but you don't win -- the other team has chances. And so emotionally, it's draining, especially on top of the fact that it was the NCLS. The stakes were high."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.