Friedrich likely to see first game action Monday

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Left-hander Christian Friedrich began camp battling tightness in his lower back but was ready to work his way back into game action last week. However, rainy weather played havoc with his schedule. Now, after facing hitters twice, he is looking to throw in game action on Monday.

Friedrich went 5-8 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 starts as a rookie last season before a stress fracture in the right side of his lower back kept him off the mound after July 28. He came to camp hoping to compete for a rotation spot, and now time is working against him.

"Throwing to the mitt only gets you so far," said Friedrich, who hopes to add a changeup to keep hitters off his two-seam fastball and help him force more grounders -- one of the absolutes for new manager Walt Weiss. "It helps you find your command, but there's nothing like throwing in a live game."

Friedrich said he does not know if he'll pitch in a Cactus League game or a Minor League contest, but he expects to go two innings Monday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.