ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin threw another bullpen session on Monday as part of his tedious road to recovery, but he found the change of scenery quite nice.
For the first time in two months, Chacin, who last pitched on May 1 because of a nerve issue in the right side of his chest, traveled with the club. Lonely work in triple-digit temps at Busch Stadium is not normally cause for excitement, but Chacin was positively beaming.
"It went really well. I threw a couple of curveballs and changeups -- no sliders, but it was nice and easy," Chacin said. "The next bullpen will be 45 pitches, using my curveball, slider, everything.
"I'm really excited I'm on the trip, too. The last two months, I haven't flown with the team. Just being with my teammates, going out and eating, being in the clubhouse, I really like that."
Trips to St. Louis seem to work for Chacin. The last time he was here, it was to see the noted vascular surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson, who diagnosed his problem. The Rockies had been operating under the assumption that the problem was in his shoulder. The injury is a key reason he went 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts before going on the disabled list.
Chacin would like to be active within two to three weeks. Since Rockies starters are limited to roughly 75 pitches in their four-man rotation, he might be able to return a little earlier than he normally would. He could return as a starter or, at first, as one of the piggy-back starter-types who take over when the actual starter reaches his pitch limit.