COL@MIA: Scahill tosses two hitless frames of relief

DENVER -- Right-handed reliever Rob Scahill hopes he won't be overlooked when the Rockies make their plan for the future.

Scahill, 26, followed up six encouraging appearances last season (1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings) with some intriguing work in 20 Major League games this year.

On Tuesday, he replaced an ineffective Juan Nicasio and went 2 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on a Matt Holliday home run. But Scahill, in his first year as a full-time reliever, has pitched scoreless ball in all but five of his appearances and has a 4.60 ERA. At Triple-A Colorado Springs, he went 5-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games covering 46 innings.

The key stat for him was he struck out 45 against 11 walks -- 2.2 walks per nine innings. Last season in Triple-A, when starting all 29 of his appearances, he finished with 159 strikeouts against 74 walks -- 4.4 walks per nine. The improved control could earn him some middle innings for the Rockies, who use their bullpen extensively and need dependable relief when a starter exits.

"I just want to try to leave an impression for next year," Scahill said. "I'm throwing strikes. That was one of the things I'd struggled with in the Minor Leagues, being consistent in the strike zone. That's something I worked very hard on. I feel I've been successful.

"Before, I just had bad misses. I wanted to eliminate completely worthless pitches. Every pitch should have a purpose."

Injury updates: CarGo visits hand specialist

COL@ATL: CarGo throws out Uggla at the plate

DENVER -- It looks as if Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez will finish the season as the most accomplished defensive replacement in recent memory.

Gonzalez originally was scheduled to visit Cleveland hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Thursday, but manager Walt Weiss said he went Wednesday. Gonzalez is leaning toward surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger, but Weiss said he doesn't expect the operation to occur until after the season. Because he can't hold he bat, Gonzalez, a two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, has been used as a late-inning defensive replacement and occasional pinch-runner.

"He will be back again for [Thursday], hopefully … same role, available but not to hit," Weiss said. "We'll probably wait until the season is over [for surgery]. That's not confirmed. That's probably the most likely scenario."

In other injury updates, third baseman Nolan Arenado, who left Monday's game with a sore and swollen right thumb and hasn't started the past two games, took infield practice before Wednesday's game against the Cardinals. The injury affects him most when he's hitting, so he was able to throw. But he is listed as day-to-day, as is catcher Wilin Rosario, who was removed from the past two games because of right calf soreness.

Weiss praises Cuddyer's phenomenal year

A look back at all of Michael Cuddyer's 27 hits

DENVER -- Walt Weiss hopes others find the strong season being posted by veteran Michael Cuddyer as impressive as he does, but the Rockies manager fears that analysts will discard his accomplishments because of Coors Field.

Cuddyer had a 27-game hit streak earlier this season and entered Wednesday's game against the Cardinals leading the National League with a .331 batting average. He also has 20 home runs and 81 RBIs.

"I'm proof that not everybody can hit here," said Weiss, a shortstop for the Rockies in 1994-97. "I think that's a stigma that's going to be tough to break here. I think it was different early on. Much has been made of the humidor [where baseballs are stored to keep them from becoming slippery in the Rocky Mountain atmosphere], but I think it's been a factor.

"You look at the numbers, statistically it will show there's been a bit of a change. It's always going to be a great hitters' park, no doubt about it. There are other great hitters' parks in the NL that rarely get talked about."