Rockies’ C.J. Cron progressing slowly from back injury

First baseman C.J. Cron, the Rockies’ lone All-Star from last season, will remain on the injured list beyond what the club originally forecast.

Cron has been on the 10-day IL since May 12 but he said Monday that he’s not doing any baseball activities yet and there is no timetable for his return.

“It’s getting better, but I don’t have a (return date),” said Cron, explaining that the pain is in on the left side of his lower back. “We are doing a lot of pool exercises to get moving a little bit and trying to relax those muscles. I’m getting a lot of heat on it. Heat has been my friend.”

Cron is slashing .228/.277/.462 with six home runs, nine doubles and 20 RBIs in 36 games. He came out of the gate hot, hitting 7 for 19 with three homers in his first three games. Since then, he’s slashed .192/.237./.320 with three home runs.

Cron, who said he dealt with a sore back during spring training, underwent an MRI recently but the test showed no structural damage.

“I pride myself on playing and I’m trying to get better as fast as possible, that’s all I can do,” he said.

Manager Bud Black said the club originally hoped Cron would be able to return relatively quickly but acknowledged that wasn’t going to happen.

“We had hoped it would be a 10-day stint, but right now it doesn’t look that way,” Black said before the Rockies hosted Miami at Coors Field. “He’s still a little bit sore, but he is progressing.”

B-Rod’s timetable. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers, who had surgery March 7 to repair the left shoulder he injured during spring training, remains hopeful that he can play again this season. Initially, it seemed likely that he would miss the entire season.

“I feel ahead of schedule, maybe a few weeks ahead,” Rodgers said. “The goal is to come back this year but it’s hard to know.”

Rodgers took a small step forward Monday, taking groundballs in the infield for the first time since the injury.

“They hit balls straight at me, so it was good to get back on the dirt,” Rodgers said. “And I have been swinging a fungo.”

Black said there is a realistic chance Rodgers will return this season, but added, “There is still a ways to go with that normal course of action to heal.”

More injury updates. Right-hander Noah Davis (elbow inflammation) is getting close to rejoining the starting rotation. He threw a full bullpen Monday, including two simulated innings. Black said he’ll announce Davis’ plan in a couple of days.

Right-handed reliever Tyler Kinley (elbow surgery) recently visited a doctor in Texas and got a thumbs-up. There is a good chance Kinley will be back in the bullpen before the All-Star break.

Salute to Hummel. Rick Hummel, the legendary Cardinals baseball writer who spent more than 50 years with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died Saturday at the age of 77. Tributes for the man nicknamed “The Commish” poured in from around baseball on Monday.

Black fondly remembered Hummel, who was inducted into the writer’s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

“You can put him in there with all of the great baseball writers, for me,” Black said. “He was on the beat for the Cardinals forever. When I saw his byline I always knew there was going to be good substance. Always.

“He got it. He understood baseball. He understood how this whole thing works. He understood players, coaches, managers, fans, the front office. He was a classic baseball writer.”

Tuesday’s Pitching Matchup

Marlins RHP Eury Perez (1-0, 2.79 ERA) at Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (3-4, 6.70)

6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Coors Field


Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Gomber is riding a roller coaster. The lefty allowed five runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in the Rockies’ 11-6 win over the Reds in his last start. Yet he’s 3-0 with a 3.54 ERA over his last five starts. He’s been beaten up at Coors Field, going 1-2 with an 8.75 ERA, eight walks, 17 strikeouts and six home runs allowed in five starts. Gomber has made two starts and two relief appearances against the Marlins in his career, going 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA, with 16 strikeouts and three walks.

Perez earned his first big-league MLB win on Thursday against the Nationals, becoming the youngest pitcher in Marlins history to earn a win at 20 years, 33 days old. He pitched five innings, allowed only one run and struck out six. He made his debut May 12 against Cincinnati and became the youngest pitcher in Marlins history (20 yrs, 27 days). He threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Pitching probables

  • Wednesday: Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-5, 5.05) at Rockies RHP Karl Kauffmann (0-1, 8.31), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
  • Thursday: Marlins LHP Braxton Garrett (1-2, 4.60) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (4-5, 3.88), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
  • Friday: Mets RHP Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.01) at Rockies RHP Connor Seabold (1-1, 5.97), 6:40 p.m.

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