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Recovering De La Rosa plays catch

Recovering De La Rosa plays catch

Recovering De La Rosa plays catch

DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, whose bruised left thumb has postponed his next start, played catch before Monday night's game against the Cardinals, and is hoping to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday and return on Saturday against the D-backs.

De La Rosa (16-6, 3.49 ERA in 30 starts) also experienced pain on the index and middle fingers in his last start, a no-decision at San Francisco on Tuesday in which he lasted just two innings. If he returns when expected, he'll have two chances to eclipse his career-best victory total (16 in 2009). This season comes after he's missed most of the last two years with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

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"Regardless if he gets it or not, it's been an amazing year, considering all the things he's gone through, missing as much time as he did, starting Spring Training and trying to knock the rust off," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

The Rockies are expected to exercise their $11 million club option for 2014 on De La Rosa, who believes Colorado can make significant improvement next season.

"This year is sad because there is enough talent here to compete with anybody," De La Rosa said. "We just have to fix the things we have to fix, and we can win."

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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