SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While a healthy-size crowd watched the Rockies and Brewers play out the Cactus schedule Thursday, the important work -- as far as Rockies pitching was concerned -- was taking place away from the game, as lefty Jorge De La Rosa pitched in a Minor League tilt. De La Rosa threw against a D-Backs' Triple-A lineup and gave up one run and three hits in six innings. The Rockies will start De La Rosa against the Brewers on Tuesday night in the second regular-season game, and they wanted to keep opposing hitters from having a good look at him. "The last inning I got a little tired, but I finished good," De La Rosa said.
The D-backs used a couple of Major Leaguers, including Jason Kubel and Miguel Montero. De La Rosa threw 81 pitches -- a sign of health after having his last Cactus League start scrapped because of left forearm tightness. De La Rosa, who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery on the left side in June 2011 and was out until making three end-of-the-season starts last year (0-2, 9.82 ERA), struggled in his first two starts, but became progressively better. "I've started feeling like me again," said De La Rosa, who can touch 93 mph with his fastball -- slightly slower than before the injury -- and is happy with his breaking ball. "Last year was a tough year, but I'm back to finding me." De La Rosa said he has not experienced any issues with the elbow.
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.