The Colorado Rockies' veteran first baseman Todd Helton was placed on the disabled list yesterday with a strained left forearm. Helton has been sitting out since April 20th with the problem but the Rockies had given him a few days of rest before making the decision in case the forearm healed quickly.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported that although Helton had been feeling better, he was aware that one bad swing could cause a setback:
"It's those tendons that go into the wrist," Helton said. "It just bothers me to swing. It's gotten a lot better but I'm sure one good swing, I'd be right back where I started. So I'll let this thing get healed up and get right back after it."
Helton first hurt his forearm during a chilly doubleheader against the New York Mets on April 16th. As he has not played for several days, the stint can be backdated and he will be eligible to return from the DL on May 5th. Trainer Keith Dugger explained that Helton really just needed rest to recover from the injury:
"It's not the strain that's giving him a problem, it's the inflammation running along the sheath of the tendon," said Rockies trainer Keith Dugger. "It causes irritation. The best course of action is just rest." (Troy Renck, Denver Post)
Prospect Ryan Wheeler was called up to take Helton's place on the roster and played third base for the Rockies last night, with Jordan Pacheco switching to first. Pacheco will continue to get playing time at first in Helton's absence. According to Harding, manager Walt Weiss said that left-handed hitting Wheeler was only in the lineup Thursday because they were up against Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill. Chris Nelson is expected to be back in the lineup Friday, although the Rockies face another righty in Brandon McCarthy.
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