MILWAUKEE -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss has emphasized patience as Nolan Arenado has worked toward a return from a fractured left middle finger, but the skipper did not hide his pleasure in hearing about Arenado's strong rehab debut with Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Arenado went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored and handled two putouts with ease in seven innings with the Sky Sox on Saturday night.
"Got a good report on Nolan. Heard he looked real good," Weiss said. "You never know how guys are going to show up after missing that much time, but he jumped right in and performed well last night."
The Sky Sox will be home until Thursday, and Arenado has said he hopes to be back with the Major League club for its series opener against the Dodgers on Thursday.
Would Weiss possibly push for Arenado to make a return sooner, during this week's series in Washington?
"That one's probably over my head with the medical staff," Weiss said. "But if he gets two hits and two RBIs every night on the rehab assignment, I'll push for it."
A return would allow Arenado to make one last push for a spot the All-Star Game. He led National League third baseman in the initial ballot update released by Major League Baseball but was fifth in the most recent update after missing time with the injury. But he trailed leader Aramis Ramirez by only 260,000 votes, and the team has restarted a campaign to push for the third baseman to make the team.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 9:59 p.m. MT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15, on FOX.
Regardless of whether Arenado makes the trip to Minneapolis, Weiss is excited to have him back in the clubhouse in Denver, where the Rockies have hit a rough patch.
"It'll be big. Nolan brings a lot of passion, energy and youthful exuberance to our club, and probably the best third baseman I've ever seen," the manager said. "All those things mean a lot to our club, and it'll be good to have him back."
Chacin shows dip in velocity following injury
MILWAUKEE -- After missing the first month of the season with a right shoulder strain, Jhoulys Chacin has struggled to find the form he had last season, when he pitched 197 1/3 innings. He had his worst start of the year Saturday against Milwaukee, allowing seven runs in 5 2/3 innings.
In the start, he struggled to reach 90 mph with his fastball and had trouble with the sinker on which he normally relies. Chacin has insisted he feels no pain but says he has had trouble getting his arm loose at the beginning of starts, a possible factor when he allowed a first-inning three-run home run to Carlos Gomez in Saturday's 7-4 loss.
Chacin, who has a 1-7 record with a 5.40 ERA, did acknowledge that he was worried he might not be getting enough out of his arm, and Weiss said the team had been concerned about the drop in velocity as well.
"We've been looking at it," Weiss said. "We're seeing the same thing. The ball maybe is not coming out of his hand like we're used to seeing it. He's such a tough kid that he's finding a way to compete without his stuff. That's ongoing. We talk to him before every start, in between starts. He says he feels fine. No pain, just takes a little longer to get loose and those types of things. It's something that we'll continue to monitor with him. The ball's not coming out the same way we saw it last year."
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.