Positive outlook on De La Rosa's rehab work

Positive outlook on De La Rosa's rehab work

DENVER -- Rockies left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa felt some stiffness at the end of his four-inning rehab start at Double-A Tulsa on Thursday, but reviews were generally positive as he continues his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery, head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said.

De La Rosa was in Denver on Friday being evaluated and did some normal light throwing, after pitching four innings and giving up three hits, with four strikeouts and three walks against Northwest Arkansas. He threw 73 pitches. It was his fourth rehab start, but his previous outing was ended after one inning because of left forearm stiffness.

If De La Rosa stays on schedule, he will start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday and make another Triple-A start on May 27 before returning to the Rockies' rotation on June 2 against the Dodgers at Coors Field. But Dugger said the schedule could be adjusted if there are problems. The Rockies will know more based on how De La Rosa feels Saturday, when he could be throwing a bullpen session based on how he feels.

"He threw too many pitches for four innings, but he did good," Dugger said. "Velocity is going to come and go, especially that first year out of rehab -- look at [Adam] Wainwright with St. Louis. Velocity is up and down.

"There's going to be some stiffness. It's repeating mechanics that's important."

Also, right-hander Juan Nicasio said he experienced lingering soreness in his sore right hip but felt better after receiving treatment Friday. Nicasio was hit on the hip by a line drive from the second batter of Thursday's game, the D-backs' Willie Bloomquist. Pain and stiffness in the hip was one reason Nicasio lasted just 4 2/3 innings and walked five to tie a career high. The Rockies' bullpen was every bit as wild, and the Rockies lost, 9-7. Nicasio did not figure in the decision.