PHOENIX -- Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Saturday -- the first big test since he suffered a back strain on April 19 and landed on the disabled list.
Chacin will throw either in an extended spring game or Minor League game Tuesday, with a goal of returning to the rotation against the Rays at Coors Field on May 5.
In four starts, Chacin is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA, with 16 strikeouts against six walks.
"Right now, I think he's the best starter in the National League, and we need him back," Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario said. "I ask him every day how he's feeling, because we want that guy on the mound."
Rosario credits Bichette's praise for home run
PHOENIX -- Rockies hitting coach Dante Bichette's teaching style is to allow the players' athletic ability to come out. To that end, an encouraging word goes much further than any batting tip. Catcher Wilin Rosario heard the coach on Friday night.
In the batting cage, Bichette looked at Rosario and told him he was the best hitter in the world. Rosario said he thought of those words before hitting his sixth-inning leadoff home run against Brandon McCarthy in the 6-3 victory over the D-backs.
"I said, 'If he says that, I know I'm the best hitter,'" a smiling Rosario said Saturday.
Rosario entered Saturday's action fourth among Major League catchers with five home runs and tied for second at his position with 15 RBIs. He also was hitting .309.
"He's a kid that's really talented and you can see him in front of your own eyes making adjustments," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "This kid is going to hit for a high average. I don't think he's going to hit .240 during his career with some power. He's going to be a good hitter that hits for power."
Outman relieved Gregorius OK after pitch to head
PHOENIX -- Rockies left-hander Josh Outman began to feel less stressed Saturday after visiting with D-backs shortstop Didi Gregorius, whom Outman hit in the right temple with a pitch on Friday night.
Outman met with Gregorius in the weight room at Chase Field. CT scan results were normal, but Gregorius was still sore on Saturday. The D-backs will decide after Sunday's game whether to place Gregorius on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Now Outman will try to not let the incident disturb him the next time he takes the mound.
"I don't really know how to handle this one, because I've never really hit anybody in the head before," Outman said. "But I went over and made sure he was OK, let him know that it was an accident. I apologized anyway, even though it was an accident. I still feel bad about it. You don't want anyone to get hurt in a situation like that.
"But just knowing that he's OK and knowing he understands I feel bad about it, it was an accident that hopefully doesn't happen again, will help me maintain my focus."
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.