Logan had surgery to remove a bone spur and chips from his throwing elbow at the end of last season, when he pitched through pain for 61 appearances for the Yankees last season (5-2, 3.23 ERA). He signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Rockies, who planned all along to make sure he would be fully ready whenever he took the mound during the regular season.
Time is short for him to do enough work to prove he can pitch in the Majors to start the season. Logan threw 2/3 of an inning in a Cactus League game on Thursday.
The Rockies are protecting themselves by using Logan in Minor League games. If he doesn't appear in another Cactus League game and the Rockies deem him not ready to start the season, they can put him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Friday. That would allow him to be eligible to return on April 5 against the D-backs in the second home game of the regular season.
But Logan does not believe the DL will be necessary.
"That's just me speaking," Logan said. "Personally, I don't like seeing it any other way. But I know I've got to be true to everybody when the time comes to make a decision. Hopefully, in my mind, I'll be ready. But it's going to be down to the wire."
If Logan can't start with the Rockies, it could affect their roster makeup. If left-hander Franklin Morales makes the starting rotation and Logan is able to pitch, it would leave Rex Brothers -- the primary setup man and occasional closer depending on matchups -- as the bullpen's only lefty.
The Rockies could slide the versatile Morales to the bullpen and put righty Jordan Lyles in the rotation.
Or the Rockies could use the spot vacated by Logan for right-hander Tommy Kahnle, a Rule 5 pick from the Yankees who has had a stellar camp. The Rockies must keep Kahnle on their 25-man roster for the entire season or else they are required to offer him back to the Yankees for $25,000 -- half the amount the Rockies made for the Rule 5 pick.
Logan said he was pleased Saturday "with a lot of my pitches, the way I felt and the strength I felt."
Using him for one hitter was planned, because the Rockies want to mimic how he'll be used in the regular season. But one test that hasn't been scheduled by the Rockies and their training staff is pitching on consecutive days.
"I don't think it's totally necessary, but we're going to do what we need to do to make sure we're ready for the start of the season," Logan said. "We're not going to cut any corners. If we feel like we need to, we'll find time to do that."
Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said the Rockies are "going along as if he's going to be on the Opening Day roster, but there's always the possibility of maybe needing a few more outings."