DENVER -- The Rockies received sober but expected news from pitcher Jorge De La Rosa's continued attempt to rebound from left elbow surgery. They also saw the first baby steps in right-hander Jhoulys Chacin's return from difficult-to-pin-down pain that has sidelined him for a month. Chacin played light catch, about 25 tosses, Saturday morning at Coors Field -- his first throwing since the injury occurred. De La Rosa experienced left biceps tightness Friday night while giving up four runs and five hits, including a homer, in an injury rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs at Salt Lake, and was expected to fly to Denver on Saturday to be seen by Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger.
It's not the first flareup for De La Rosa, who underwent the surgery last June. De La Rosa was on a rehab assignment that potentially could have had him starting on Saturday against the Dodgers, but two weeks ago the Rockies shut him down because of forearm tightness. Since then, he has made two starts for Colorado Springs and has a 9.45 ERA. This bout with tightness, as with the last one, was something the Rockies say is common in return from such an operation. Dugger was not alarmed. "I don't know [the extent of the problem] because I haven't seen him yet, but it's just tightness," Dugger said. "It's probably inflamed somewhere right around the elbow. We'll see how it is." But Saturday was a good day for Chacin, who was 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts through May 1. The Rockies were going to option him to Colorado Springs until an examination revealed right shoulder inflammation, but Chacin and the club probed further when the shoulder wasn't responding to treatment and a strengthening program. It turned out the injury was to Chacin's pectoralis minor muscle, in the chest. That is believed to be the cause of weakness and diminished velocity. Having treated that, Chacin has made progress. Dugger said Chacin was pain-free during his game of catch on Saturday.