DENVER -- His final line didn't have fans jumping from their seats, but the more important news from Carlos Gonzalez's first rehab start was his right middle finger didn't flare up.
Gonzalez played seven innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs in Fresno, Calif., Saturday night and finished 0-for-3 with two groundouts, reaching base on an error. It was the first time Gonzalez played competitive baseball since Aug. 4, before he landed on the disabled list Aug. 7 with a sprained right middle finger.
Gonzalez said Friday he would play two rehab games Saturday and Sunday and hoped to rejoin the big league club Tuesday for the final two games of the series against the Dodgers.
"He's going to play a couple more games," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Then hopefully he can join us sometime during that Dodgers series, before we take off. That's best-case."
Though the Rockies' playoff hopes have all but disappeared, Weiss, a former player, knows firsthand why it still matters that Gonzalez finish the year on the field instead of the bench. They will certainly welcome Gonzalez's offensive power to the lineup -- he leads the club in homers and RBIs -- but it can also help him mentally heading into next season.
"It's important that they finish the season healthy and productive and going into the offseason with that type of mindset setting up for next year," Weiss said. "It's just always a different feeling when you finish the season hurt as an injured player. It always feels like you're trying to work your way back from something."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.