De La Rosa continues to move closer to return

De La Rosa continues to move closer to return

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies have announced their season-opening, five-man pitching rotation, but the starter in waiting is at least as important as any of the five.

Jorge De La Rosa is throwing bullpen sessions and gradually working his way back from left elbow surgery he underwent last May. The Rockies, however, will not quicken a timetable that has him back in the Majors in late May or June.

"No setbacks -- I'm moving forward," said De La Rosa, who said he would throw a light bullpen session on Sunday. De La Rose is next scheduled to throw a 45-pitch "live" batting practice on Tuesday, using all his pitches, but has not been slated for Minor League game action.

De La Rosa, who turns 31 on April 5, likes the much-needed experience the staff has added. Just before Spring Training, the club traded with the Orioles for Jeremy Guthrie, who turns 33 on April 8. Then there's 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who earned a spot after being out since the middle of 2010 because of the same elbow surgery that De La Rosa had.

"I was the old one before they got here," De La Rosa said. "But I still felt young."

Like the rest of the baseball world, De La Rosa is marveling at the fact Moyer looks to be more than just a feel-good story, but a competitive hurler.

"It's hard to believe that he's back, but I'm excited," De La Rosa said. "I'm going to try to learn from him."

De La Rosa also said he is excited about the young members of the rotation -- Jhoulys Chacin, 24, Juan Nicasio, 35, and Drew Pomeranz, 23.

"We've got a lot of talent to compete with anyone," De La Rosa said. "I hope when I get back to the big leagues I can help them win games. I hope our team is in a good position."