Ubaldo's thumb better, but next start in doubt

Ubaldo's thumb better, but next start in doubt

Ubaldo's thumb better, but next start in doubt
DENVER --The right thumb injury that plagued Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez in his Opening Day start against the D-backs is making good progress, but the status for his next scheduled start, Friday at Pittsburgh, is still in doubt.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said the team hopes to have Jimenez, who gave up six runs (five earned) in six innings in a 7-6 loss to the D-backs last Friday, throw a bullpen session Wednesday to test the cuticle injury on his right thumb.

"There's the possibility that we're going to do that if the finger is exactly where we want it to be," Tracy said. "His finger looks much, much better, no question about it. Yet we don't want to push it to the point where we take major steps backwards just in playing catch where we irritate it and pull [the cuticle] back again."

Jimenez had a similar cut to the cuticle on his pitching thumb during Spring Training and he missed a start, but that injury became infected while the current cut did not.

If Jimenez is unable to start Friday, Tracy said left-hander Jorge De La Rosa would start in his place.

De La Rosa would be on his regular rest because the Rockies' game against the D-backs on Sunday was postponed due to rain and snow.

"We've made great strides [with Jimenez], so we'll wait and see," Tracy said. "But if there's any doubt in our mind, we're going to err on the side of caution."