SAN DIEGO -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, a prime candidate to win the National League Gold Glove Award as a rookie, was out of the starting lineup on Friday night because of the right thumb bruise he suffered in Wednesday night's 7-5 victory over the Dodgers. But he insists the injury will not cost him any more time.
Even if his thumb hurts, Arenado, 22, has reason to fight through the pain.
"My body feels good, my mind feels good, and I have the most games played on the team and my goal is to finish with the most," said Arenado, whose 116 games going into Friday's game against the Padres put him two games ahead of catcher Wilin Rosario and right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who were in the lineup. "That would be pretty special for me.
"I want to finish strong, and I want to play in every game after today."
Arenado wasn't called up to the Majors until April 28, and he has sat rarely since. The fact he's leading the team in games is partly due to his youth and durability, but also partly to the fact that several regulars have spent time on the disabled list.
In addition to the highlight-reel defense, Areando has accounted well for himself at the plate, hitting .271 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. Manager Walt Weiss kept him in the lineup despite some periods when pitchers took advantage of his inexperience, and it's beginning to pay off in positive numbers.
Arenado entered Friday's 4-3 loss to the Padres as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, and Jesus Guzman's walk-off single scooted just fair beyond his reach to end the game.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.