DENVER -- The lineup is finally back in sight for Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
After more than three weeks on the disabled list, Gonzalez said Friday he would make three rehab starts with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He was scheduled to fly to Fresno, Calif., where the Sky Sox were playing Friday night, and said he was scheduled to play seven innings Saturday followed by full games Sunday and Monday.
Gonzalez said he hoped to be back with the Rockies on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Gonzalez has been bothered by a sprained right middle finger since July 7 and eventually landed on the disabled list Aug. 4. He took batting practice for the first time Tuesday, but the rehab starts are the first indication Gonzalez should be back with the Rockies very soon.
Despite missing nearly a month, Gonzalez leads the Rockies in homers (26) and RBIs (70), and his .591 slugging percentage leads the National League. Those numbers have manager Walt Weiss counting down the days until Gonzalez is back on the field.
"It's big that we finish strong as a team, and CarGo has talked about getting back here with us and helping us finish strong," Weiss said. "So yeah, it would be huge to have him back and have that bat back in the middle of our lineup. Fun to see him out there doing his thing again."
Eyeing comeback, Betancourt to have Tommy John
DENVER -- Rafael Betancourt is determined to make a comeback.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he spoke with Betancourt and confirmed the reliever would have Tommy John surgery while trying to extend his career.
"He wants to try to pitch again, so I think if he's going to do that, that's probably the best course of action," Weiss said. "If he just tried to rehab and go out there, I think it's still always hanging over his head when he takes the mound that he's got a damaged ligament in his arm.
"So if he's going to try to get out there and compete again, and that's what he wants to do -- he made it clear that's what he wants to do -- he's going to go this route, and when he goes back out there he's able to take his best shot."
After finding out he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament Tuesday, Betancourt, 38, initially said he would try to rehab his right elbow through platelet-rich plasma treatment and avoid surgery. But Weiss said the change of heart came when the Rockies closer realized his career had not reached its proper conclusion.
Betancourt told the Deportes Union Radio network, a Venezuelan radio station, that he planned to see noted Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday and hoped to have the surgery in September. The Venezuelan newspaper Mi Diario first reported that Betancourt planned to surgically repair his throwing arm.
Weiss was not sure of an exact timetable for the surgery but estimated it would be two or three weeks before Betancourt had the surgery.
Date set for Chatwood's return to rotation
DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood is on pace to start Sunday's series finale against the Reds, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before Friday's series opener.
The Rockies scratched Jeff Manship (0-4, 6.86 ERA) in favor of Jorge De La Rosa (14-6, 3.28) before Friday's opener against the Reds, an indication that the rotation was nearing full strength.
"Chatty seems ready to roll on Sunday, barring anything between now and then," Weiss said. "We've been getting a couple pieces back here for the last month. So it's a good sign."
Chatwood, 23, has been one of Colorado's breakout stars this year, boasting a 3.15 ERA -- lowest among Rockies starters -- and tossing at least six innings in 10 of 15 starts.
Chatwood was sharp Tuesday in his rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings.
After four starts with the Rockies, Manship will be a long-inning reliever, Weiss said. His addition gives the Rockies eight arms in the bullpen.
"He's a guy that can give us some length obviously," Weiss said. "He's been stretched out as a starter, so it's an extra arm out there in the 'pen."
Rockies rest Cuddyer in opener vs. Reds
DENVER -- The guy who never takes a play off needed rest.
Manager Walt Weiss knew Michael Cuddyer could use an extra day to freshen his legs and decided to sit the outfielder for the first of a three-game series against the Reds on Friday.
"I told him on Wednesday that I was planning on giving him [another day off]," Weiss said. "He's been going real hard; I can see his legs getting a little heavy, so I wanted to give him two days."
Cuddyer hit .322 entering Friday's games, just 11 points shy of the NL leader, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, giving Cuddyer a legitimate shot at a batting title heading into the final month of the season.
Weiss also said Friday that center fielder Dexter Fowler remained a few days away from returning to the lineup. The skipper had said Wednesday that Fowler, who injured his left knee trying to steal second in Monday's win over the Giants, was improving but was unlikely to play before Saturday or Sunday.
Though Fowler remains on the active roster, Weiss is trying to avoid using him.
"Ideally I'd stay away from him," Weiss said. "But he's got a uniform on -- he's usable."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.