DENVER -- Dexter Fowler simply hasn't been the same player since he took a fastball off his right hand in a June 13 loss to the Nationals.
In 63 games before that first injury, which eventually sent him to the disabled list, Fowler was hitting .302 with a .399 on-base percentage -- probably the most important number for a leadoff hitter. The initial injury to his right index finger turned into a wrist issue, and he's hitting just .211 with a .330 OBP since June 14.
The Rockies were 33-30 with a fully healthy Fowler atop the lineup, but have sunk to 25-31 in the games he's played since. And that's more than pure coincidence.
"Dexter was a guy at the top of the lineup that really seemed to make our offense go when we were going well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Now the Rockies center fielder is battling a left knee he twisted in an Aug. 26 game against the Giants when he tried to steal second. He's started just three games since and the knee acted up again in a fifth-inning pinch-hit appearance in Saturday's 7-2 loss to the D-backs.
That only led to further speculation that Weiss will shut down Fowler for the remainder of the year.
"The fact that he re-aggravated that injury, I think it's not out of the question [to shut him down]," Weiss said. "It's also not out of the question that he could make an appearance again, but we're coming to the end here, so it's possible that he may not."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.