DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa is moving closer to returning to the mound for the first time since last May, when he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. De La Rosa will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and could throw a batting-practice session Saturday. He should have faced hitters by now, but last week he had to be away to tend to a personal matter. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said De La Rosa has not had a recurrence of the forearm tightness and elbow swelling that scuttled an earlier comeback attempt this season. It all points to De La Rosa pushing for a return before this season ends so he'll have game action. Then De La Rosa will be expected to be a veteran leader of the rotation next season.
The Rockies haven't announced a date for De La Rosa's return to the Majors. After years of bouncing to various organizations, De La Rosa, 31, found a home with the Rockies and is 39-26 with a 4.38 ERA from 2008-11.