Chacin expects to return to rotation at end of DL stint

Chacin expects to return to rotation at end of DL stint

DENVER -- Results from an MRI confirm that right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin has a mild back strain, along with a strain in a lat muscle. But Chacin played catch Tuesday and believes he can return to the rotation on May 5, the day he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Chacin (3-0, 1.46 ERA) suffered the injury after throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings of a 3-1 victory over the D-backs at Coors Field on Friday night. Chacin had suffered mild back spasms while lifting weights during Spring Training, and was stiff throughout his previous start in San Diego because he was uncomfortable on the hotel bed.

But Chacin believes the issue is manageable with exercise and flexibility work. He plans to travel with the Rockies to Arizona after Wednesday afternoon's game against the Braves. There, he will have warmer weather in which to rehab and rebuild his arm. If all goes well, he wants to make an injury rehab start on April 30, then return to the rotation May 5 at home against the Rays.

"It was not that bad, and today it felt really good," Chacin said.

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.