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Arenado back in lineup day after being plunked

Rockies 3B on forearm: 'It’s something I’ve just got to play through'
@harding_at_mlb
June 13, 2019

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado expects to be “stiff for awhile” after being hit with a pitch on his left forearm and exiting Wednesday’s game, but that’s not going to keep him off the field. Arenado pronounced himself healthy enough to start against the Padres on Thursday, one

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado expects to be “stiff for awhile” after being hit with a pitch on his left forearm and exiting Wednesday’s game, but that’s not going to keep him off the field.

Arenado pronounced himself healthy enough to start against the Padres on Thursday, one day after Cubs lefty Cole Hamels hit him with a fastball in the Rockies’ 10-1 loss.

“It’s going to be a little sore, bruised, but it’s something I’ve just got to play through,” said Arenado, who batted cleanup against the Padres.

The 90.5 mph fastball was part of a contentious day between the Cubs and Rockies. The game resulted in four players being hit by a pitch and two others buzzed high. In the aftermath, a quote from Cubs manager Joe Maddon took issue with Arenado yelling at Hamels and toward the Cubs dugout.

“I always have a rule with my guys -- it’s not a rule, but as a hitter, you’ve got two options: Go to the mound or go to first base,” Maddon said. “But don’t sit there and jabber. Either one is fine, but you have two choices at that point. To this point, our guys have gone to first base and I respect that.”

Of course, there is a penalty for Maddon’s first option. Last April 11, Arenado charged Padres righty Luis Perdomo, and after appeal, he was suspended five games. The Rockies went 3-2, but there is no telling if Arenado's presence could have turned one of the games in a year that ended with a 163rd regular-season game to decide the National League West, which the Dodgers won.

For his part, Arenado said he made his point adequately Wednesday and didn’t consider charging. The Rockies had hit Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant twice the previous night, and three times this season.

“I kind of knew it was coming, so it’s just baseball, man” said Arenado, who already wears ankle and elbow protection, and will wear some covering on the forearm. “You hit a couple of their guys, there’s usually a price to pay for certain things like that, and I understand that.

“Not in that situation [would he consider going to the mound].”

Thursday began a run of 17 straight games within the NL West for the Rockies, where they and the D-backs entered 9 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers.

Dunn returns

Lefty Mike Dunn returned from his left A/C joint inflammation, and the Rockies optioned lefty Phillip Diehl to Triple-A Albuquerque. Dunn (1-0, 5.19 ERA), scoreless in 21 of his 27 appearances, underwent surgery on the joint at the end of last season, and this year’s injury was fallout from the operation.

“The big thing was we feel I probably popped some scar tissue free from the surgery, so I just had to let the area calm down after it released,” Dunn said. “I threw a bullpen that went really well, about 32 pitches -- treated it as 15-20 warmup and an inning's worth.”

Freeland: A means to an end

Lefty Kyle Freeland's second start at Triple-A Albuquerque was a struggle -- nine runs (eight earned) and eight hits, with five walks and five strikeouts, all in 5 2/3 innings. Two of the hits were home runs, but manager Bud Black reminded that there is a process at work.

"He's definitely working on some things, for sure, and in time we're going to see the fruits of his labor in Triple-A," said Black, who said he had not seen the video or the full report.

2nd-round pick grabs award

Rockies second-round pick Aaron Schunk received the 2019 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award from the College Baseball Foundation. With the University of Georgia, Schunk batted .339 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs as the regular third baseman, and as closer, he had 22 saves and went 1-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 17 appearances.

Schunk, who will be a third baseman in the Rockies’ system, signed a bonus worth $1,102,700, the full value for the No. 62 overall pick, according to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.