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Gazette Premium Content Rockies activate 3B Arenado from 15-day DL

photo - Injured Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, front, jokes with fans along with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki while watching the Rockies face the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning of the Rockies' 10-3 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Arenado is on the 15-day disabled list with a fracture of his left middle finger. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) + caption
Injured Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, front, jokes with fans along with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki while watching the Rockies face the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning of the Rockies' 10-3 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Arenado is on the 15-day disabled list with a fracture of his left middle finger. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The Associated Press Updated: July 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies activated third baseman Nolan Arenado from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and optioned left-hander Christian Friedrich to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Arenado was set to play Thursday night and bat sixth against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series.

The second-year player was happy to be back after missing an extended period.

"I've been fortunate enough to never go on the DL (before), so that was something I took a lot of pride in and I was fortunate in that," Arenado said. "I always focused on playing every day. To be back out here is refreshing."

Arenado broke the middle finger on his left hand sliding into second base in Atlanta on May 23. Arenado won a Gold Glove last year as a rookie. He is hitting .305.

Arenado also hit safely in 28 straight games from April 9-May 8 to set a franchise record.

"He was having a great first half before he got hurt," manager Walt Weiss said. "He brings a lot to our club on both sides of the ball, so it'll be good to see him running around out there again."

The Rockies were 10-27 without him in the lineup, but he wasn't the only Colorado player to go down since the team started 26-21. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer fractured his shoulder playing third on June 5, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez had a benign tumor removed from his left index finger five days later and several injuries to the pitching staff prompted the major league debut of four starters in the last month.

Getting Arenado back is just a step, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said.

"More than anything he just gives some energy to the team. Something different from the people we've been running out there," Tulowitzki said. "Defensively, he's one of the best in the league, if not the best defensive third baseman. More so than putting pressure on him, though, to come back and try to turn this thing around, bottom line is pitching needs to be better. One guy can't win this thing. Just because you get one guy back it doesn't mean everything is fixed. That's not how it works."

Friedrich was 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts since being recalled June 21.

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