DENVER -- Waiting has been the hardest part for Matt Daley.
The Rockies' right-handed reliever has been on the disabled list since June 4 with right shoulder inflammation, and the recovery process -- one that involves plenty of rest -- has been, at times, maddening.
"It's by far the toughest thing I've had to do in baseball, is do nothing," he said. "My entire career, all you want to do is work your butt off, work hard, get to the big leagues and have a goal in mind. Now it's just, 'Sit around and wait.' It's mentally draining."
After several weeks of next to no activity while allowing anti-inflammatory medicine to kick in, Daley progressed to shoulder-strengthening exercises and threw soft toss from about 60 feet for the first time on Wednesday. He is expecting to do the same Thursday. A throwing program from that point has yet to be scheduled, Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
"We'll just kind of see how it responds from there," Daley said.
Daley, 29, said he has experienced minor shoulder issues at other points in his career, "but this is probably as much as it's hurt."
The right-hander, who made his Major League debut with the Rockies in 2009, was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 20 and had his sights set on being a key contributor out of the Colorado 'pen. Daley gave up just one earned run in his first four appearances, but hampered by the shoulder, he surrendered six earned runs over his last three, a span of two innings.
"It's about getting up every day doing your rehab, knowing that it's going to get you back to where you want, Daley said. "But definitely mentally frustrating more than anything."