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Rockies' David Dahl goes on disabled list with broken foot, expected to miss 6-8 weeks

By: Patrick Saunders , The Denver Post (TNS
June 2, 2018 Updated: June 2, 2018 at 10:41 am
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Colorado Rockies pinch-hitter David Dahl circles the bases after hitting a two-run home run off San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Cory Gearrin during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Denver. The Rockies won 11-4. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

When promising Rockies outfielder David Dahl fouled a ball off the top of his right foot in the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s game, he was in pain, and he was concerned.

But there was no way, he hoped, he was injured again.

But when Dahl woke up Thursday morning, discovered he couldn’t put weight on his foot and had to crawl to the shower, he knew it was bad news. A CT scan later in the day confirmed it. Dahl had broken the second metatarsal bone of his right foot. The Rockies placed him on the 10-day disabled list Friday, and manager Bud Black said the club expects Dahl to miss 6-8 weeks.

“I kept saying, ‘Why does this keep happening?’ ” said Dahl, 24, whose career has been plagued by unusual injuries. “I have never hit a ball off the top of my foot my whole career. It stinks, but it is what it is.”

It’s been a career setbacks for Dahl, the 10th pick of the 2012 draft. In 2015, while playing in Double-A New Britain, Dahl was involved in a violent outfield collision that resulted in a ruptured spleen. He underwent surgery to have his spleen removed and played in only 73 games that season. Last year, he suffered a rib injury during spring training and played in just two Cactus League games before he was shut down. The stress reaction (a shade away from being a stress fracture) caused pain and tenderness in his upper back. He never played a game in the majors in 2017 and the Rockies finally decided to restrict him from all baseball activities for nearly sixth months.

Now he’s dealing with a broken foot.

“It’s just bad luck,” he said. “But hopefully I’m getting (the injuries) out of the way early in my career, kind of like Charlie (Blackmon). He had a lot of injuries coming up, but now he’s made himself the player he is. That’s a good example to follow.”

Among Blackmon’s injuries was a broken right foot in 2011, the season he made his big-league debut.

There was some good news for the Rockies on Friday as they opened a three-game series vs. the Dodgers at Coors Field. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu returned from his stint on the disabled list after missing 15 games with a broken thumb.

Dahl’s injury means the team will have to rely more on rookie outfielder Noel Cuevas, and it could also mean some time in left field for first baseman Ian Desmond. Cuevas entered Friday night’s game against the Dodgers batting .297 (19-for-64) with one triple, one double and four RBIs.

“Noel’s done a nice job as a rookie-status player,” Black said. “He’s doing the things we need him to do. He’s putting the ball in play and getting some hits. Hopefully there will be some more RBIs coming. He plays good defense and can run the bases.”

But Cuevas doesn’t possess Dahl’s firepower or speed. In 32 games since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, Dahl hit .275 (25-for-91) with eight runs, three doubles, two triples, four home runs and 13 RBIs.

“His overall game’s getting better,” Black said. “I don’t think we saw the best of David, but it’s in there. It’s in there for sure. We saw some extra-base hits, we saw some long balls. And I do know this: he doesn’t play tentative at the plate. He’s aggressive and he’s confident in his play.”

Dahl expressed frustration, not only about the latest injury, but about the timing of it; he was starting to get into a groove.

“I was feeling really good,” he said. “I was barreling up a lot of balls, even if they weren’t for hits. On this homestand, I was starting to get it done. On the road trip, the numbers weren’t there, but I felt like the quality of the at-bats, and the solid contact was there.”

Among Dahl’s biggest challenge remains left-handed pitchers, who he’s hitting just .143 (4-for-28) against with 13 strikeouts.

Then, there’s that issue of staying healthy.

“What would I tell David? That being hurt stinks, but still try to find way to get better,” Blackmon said. “Maybe he starts asking more questions. Maybe he focuses on pitchers tipping pitches. Most of all, stay involved, continue to be part of the team.”

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