May 31, 2014 9:19 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
CLEVELAND -- Rockies veteran Michael Cuddyer dusted off his infield skills for a start at third base against the Indians on Saturday afternoon.
It was Cuddyer's first appearance at third since July 14, 2010, for the Twins. He played 14 games, including 13 starts, at third that season. Rockies manager Walt Weiss saw Cuddyer, the regular right fielder who moves to first base on occasion, as an option at third after Nolan Arenado suffered a broken middle finger on May 23.
"He [Weiss] mentioned it, so I went out and started taking grounders the last four or five days," said Cuddyer, who was preparing for his 172nd game and 151st start at the hot corner.
The move meant five of the six outfielders on the Rockies' roster were in play. The outfield was Carlos Gonzalez in left, Drew Stubbs in center and Charlie Blackmon in right, and Corey Dickerson was the designated hitter.
Charlie Culberson, who has played regularly at third since Arenado was injured, rested.
"This is one of the options I had when Nolan went down," Weiss said. "Cuddy has played over 170 games at third base in his big league career. It gives us another opportunity to get one of the outfielders who has been playing well in Stubbs. I feel like he's a weapon for us we can use, especially when we're struggling offensively to create some things."
Stubbs went into Saturday 3-for-9 on a road trip that has seen the Rockies go 2-5.
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Dickerson started as the designated hitter on Saturday against the Indians for the second straight game. He managed a double, but also struck out three times in Friday night's 5-2 loss to the Indians.
"When we do play these games it's hard to DH, but you'd rather be getting these at-bats than not playing at all," Dickerson said. "I can DH. I've done it in the past, so it's a good opportunity."
The Rockies are carrying six outfielders, and manager Walt Weiss found a way to put five in the lineup on Saturday. Weiss started Dickerson, put regular right fielder Michael Cuddyer at third base -- a position he had not played since 2010, and used an outfield of Carlos Gonzalez, Drew Stubbs and Charlie Blackmon.
With the Rockies 2-5 on the current road trip, Dickerson entered Saturday 4-for-11 with four walks and three runs scored. Dickerson had his share of trouble Friday against Indians starter Corey Kluber, who struck out 12, but the double boosted his confidence.
"That's something you can never lose as a player, your confidence," Dickerson said. "I always look at the positives, never the negatives. I've always said to myself to just have one [hit] a day or look at the positives, and they outweigh the negatives."