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Chacin scratched from start due to back spasms


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies scratched Opening Day starter Jhoulys Chacin from his start in a split-squad game against the Rangers on Friday because of back spasms he suffered Thursday. The club said the injury is not serious, and the move was precautionary.

Chacin, 25, is still expected to make his first career Opening Day start April 1 at Milwaukee. Manager Walt Weiss announced on Monday that Chacin would start the opener, saying he was impressed with Chacin's professionalism and approach throughout camp.

The injury occurred during a workout.

Weiss said he would like to see Chacin throw a couple of innings Saturday, either in the team's game against the Padres that night or in a Minor League game.

"We're just being cautious," Weiss said. "It doesn't look like it's anything serious, but there's no reason 24 hours later to run him out there and have him make a start."

The Rockies hope for a bounce-back season from Chacin, who went 3-5 with a 4.43 ERA in a 2012 season interrupted by a nerve injury in the right side of his pectoral muscle.

Chacin was 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA through five starts in 2012 when the Rockies planned to send him down to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but they then decided to investigate the cause of his drop in velocity and it was discovered he had a right pectoral injury. After spending 97 games on the disabled list, Chacin returned a different pitcher and went 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in his final nine starts of the season.

This spring, Chacin has devoted himself to working on his fastball and changeup, and he has a 7.00 ERA in three Cactus League starts. He also made one appearance for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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