Reliever Logan coming along right on schedule

Reliever Logan coming along right on schedule

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If the rest of the steps go as smoothly as his 20-pitch live batting-practice session Friday, Rockies left-handed reliever Boone Logan should soon appear in Spring Training games in preparation for the March 31 start of the regular season.

Logan, 29, who pitched the last four seasons with the Yankees before signing with the Rockies for three years and $16.5 million, is coming off surgery to remove bone chips and shave a bone spur in his throwing elbow. The Rockies have been gradually bringing Logan along, but at a pace that should have him ready.

"It's a big step after my rehab," Logan said. "They've got it scheduled for me but I've got a simulated game after a day or two. It's good. Hopefully, I'll get at least five games in. That's one more game than I had last year [when the Yankees truncated his spring schedule because of elbow pain]."

Logan is a key figure in the Rockies' bullpen plan because of his ability to pitch full innings as well as be a specialist against lefty batters. Having a pitcher of Logan's experience and ability to pitch in the late innings should allow manager Walt Weiss to save lefty Rex Brothers for closing situations on games he doesn't want to use righty LaTroy Hawkins.

The Rockies have to be certain Logan is ready. They'll start the year with 40 games scheduled for the first 42 days and can ill afford to try to nurture through a key pitcher whose health is compromised.

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.