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Rockies activate Dahl from injured list

@harding_at_mlb
September 9, 2020

The Rockies activated outfielder David Dahl from the injured list, after he had missed three weeks with lower back soreness. Dahl, a 2019 All-Star, was not in the lineup for Wednesday night’s finale of a three-game set against the Padres. But whether it’s in the outfield or as designated hitter,

The Rockies activated outfielder David Dahl from the injured list, after he had missed three weeks with lower back soreness.

Dahl, a 2019 All-Star, was not in the lineup for Wednesday night’s finale of a three-game set against the Padres. But whether it’s in the outfield or as designated hitter, Dahl figures to be an important figure as the Rockies attempt to make the postseason.

“We’re going to take it day by day,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We have 18 games left, and David has been down for a while. Hopefully, he can make a contribution in some way. Maybe as early as tonight.

“It looks as though he’s healthy, he’s ready to go, he’s in a good frame of mind. We’ll try to get him in there as we get to the weekend and as we get to this [nine-game] homestand [the final homestand of the season, starting with three against the Angels on Friday]. But we need David to be ready.”

By the time of his at-bat on Aug. 17, he had endured an 0-for-17 slump with nine strikeouts, and he was hitting .189 with no home runs and seven RBIs. But last season, Dahl batted .302 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in 100 games before an early August right ankle injury ended his season. In 2018, Dahl was limited to 77 games because of a foot injury, but his overall solid year (.273, 16 homers, 48 RBIs) and strong September helped lift the Rockies into the postseason.

In Dahl’s absence, Raimel Tapia has provided a lift as the leadoff hitter, and recently acquired veteran Kevin Pillar has taken over in center field. Dahl is comfortable in all three outfield positions. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon also can operate as a designated hitter if the Rockies want Dahl in the field.

"It'll be great," third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "I know David wants to be back and he wants to be here. So you know, hopefully he can help us win. And hopefully, we can keep him staying healthy and get him going. That would be a good pickup for the last few games."

The Rockies also optioned right-handed pitchers José Mujica and Antonio Santos, who hurled 5 2/3 combined innings after Chi Chi González struggled in the first inning of Tuesday night’s 14-5 loss to San Diego, to the alternate training site. The team recalled righty Ashton Goudeau in addition to activating Dahl.

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.