Chatwood tapped to start Saturday

Rockies using six-man rotation for at least one cycle

Chatwood tapped to start Saturday

DENVER -- Confident in Tyler Chatwood's health after one rehab start, the Rockies plan to start him on Saturday and use a six-man rotation for the time being.

Chatwood is coming off a second stint on the 15-day disabled list this season with a back injury after a mid-back strain forced him to miss two starts in June. He did not allow an earned run in his 4 1/3-inning rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss would not commit to sticking with the expanded rotation beyond one cycle but is comfortable putting Chatwood back in a rotation that already features Chad Bettis and Jorge De La Rosa, and rookies Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and Jeff Hoffman.

Spacing out the starts for the rookies could be key. Gray (147 1/3 innings) and Anderson (113 2/3 innings) are nearing their career-high of innings pitched (155 and 120 1/3 innings, respectively), while Hoffman (128 2/3 innings) has already surpassed his previous high (104 innings) just over a year after coming back from Tommy John surgery.

"If you're trying to limit innings, like we are with certain guys, there's a benefit there," Weiss said. "I think most pitchers probably prefer being on a five-day rotation, because that's what they're used to, but altering it by a day is not a drastic change."

Chatwood feels more confident than he did coming off his injury earlier this season. He gave himself more time to rest and is happy to be pain-free.

"I just want to be able to start like I was at the beginning of the year," Chatwood said. "Ever since my back, I tweaked it a little bit, I've been fighting myself. I've been trying to make sure I didn't feel any pain or anything, so I want to go out there and focus on pitching and executing pitches and getting guys out and not worry about anything else."

Chatwood has been working to remove the recoil at the follow through of his delivery to make sure his muscles tense up. He's also hoping that the change will help him keep the ball down better, which he had trouble with after the initial injury.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.