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09/18/11 3:05 PM EST

Back problem forces Gomez from lineup

DENVER -- A day after making his first Major League start, Rockies shortstop Hector Gomez was scratched from the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Giants because of back spasms.

Gomez, 23, who was called up Friday from Double-A Tulsa, went 2-for-4 in Saturday night's 6-5 loss to the Giants and is 2-for-6 in two appearances.

The season started with Gomez missing from the Tulsa lineup with back issues. Before the Rockies called him up, he had to overcome a left hamstring injury. Throughout his professional career, Gomez has been considered a prospect, but injuries have derailed him. He hasn't had a completely healthy season since 2007.

Tommy Field moved from second base to shortstop, and Chris Nelson started at second Sunday.

De La Rosa scheduled to begin throwing

DENVER -- Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa's comeback from Tommy John ligament transfer surgery in his left elbow will reach the next stage Friday, when he begins light throwing in Arizona.

De La Rosa was 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA through 10 starts when he suffered the injury in May.

The going wisdom is a pitcher needs roughly a calendar year to return at full strength. Rockies manager Jim Tracy said he isn't putting a date on De La Rosa's return, but he emphasized to De La Rosa not to push to quicken the pace.

Tracy managed the Dodgers a few years back, and Dr. Frank Jobe, who oversaw De La Rosa's surgery, was a special advisor for that club. Tracy said he learned firsthand the importance of staying on the pace of rehab, even when it seems a conservative pace.

"If you follow the program day to day like you're supposed to, you'll feel like you have a bionic arm," Tracy said. "It will completely heal. Dr. Jobe always told me the guys that end up suffering severe setbacks are those that rush the process. They feel great, but there's a difference between feeling great and being where you need to be."

Stewart headed to instructional league

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart played light catch at Coors Field on Sunday and next week will go to Scottsdale, Ariz., to work in the fall instructional program. He hopes these are the first steps toward putting a season filled with injuries and slumps in the past.

Stewart, the team's Opening Day third baseman and thought to be part of the club's core, was at Triple-A Colorado Springs when he had a season-ending wrist injury. He last played on Aug. 4. In the Majors, he hit .156 with no home runs and six RBIs in 48 games.

Stewart will work himself into baseball shape, gradually increasing his batting activity, for two weeks and possibly appear in games toward the end of the program. The Rockies have also encouraged him to play winter ball. If he does, it'll be in Mexico for Hermosillo.

In the first inning of Spring Training, Stewart bruised his right knee in a collision with outfielder Carlos Gonzalez while chasing a foul ball. He had hamstring pain late in the spring, struggled out of the gate and spent the whole year in and out of the lineup and up and down between the Rockies and Colorado Springs.

"What's frustrating is I could go down and rake in Triple-A, hit for power and drive in a bunch of runs, then come up here and it didn't happen that way," Stewart said. "There were a lot of moving parts up here. Guys were in and out of the lineup, and I just never could really get anything going. In order for me to play, I've got to play every day. In order for them to play me every day, I've got to do well."

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.