Friedrich glad to end drought away from game action

Friedrich glad to end drought away from game action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Monday night was more than just Spring Training for Rockies left-hander Christian Friedrich. He hadn't been in a game of any kind in 10 months and last threw in a Major League contest on July 28, 2012, before suffering a stress fracture of the lower back.

Friedrich's 1 2/3-inning outing against the D-backs was mixed. He struck out three but gave up a run on three hits and two walks. But even with all the rust from not being in games, Friedrich took the outing as a positive first step in his attempt to compete for a spot in the season-opening rotation.

"I took a look around to kind of get acclimated, and it was pretty neat," Friedrich said. "It felt great. It's the beginning of spring and you have ups and downs. But after a year and all the rehab, and I know it was just another game and an inning and two-third, but it felt like it was worth every bit of waiting.

"[Manager Walt Weiss] told me, 'Atta boy, and really nice job.' Everybody was real positive. I know it wasn't exactly what you want to see, with two walks and a few hits and being taken out. But everyone is real supportive of me being back out there throwing."

The Rockies came to camp planning to allow competition for the rotation spot held by Juan Nicasio. Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin could miss the start of the season because of a right shoulder strain, so that opens another spot.

Weiss did not rule out Friedrich, despite his year of minimal activity -- four starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs, the last on April 21. But the time away was something Friedrich would have to overcome.

On Monday, Friedrich said he felt smoother out of the windup than the stretch.

"The coaches are trying to remind me: one thing at a time, not to try to have it all at once," Friedrich said.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.