07/03/12 1:10 AM ET
Friedrich's start pushed back by a day
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Chacin thrilled to be in St. Louis with Rockies
ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin threw another bullpen session on Monday as part of his tedious road to recovery, but he found the change of scenery quite nice.For the first time in two months, Chacin, who last pitched on May 1 because of a nerve issue in the right side of his chest, traveled with the club. Lonely work in triple-digit temps at Busch Stadium is not normally cause for excitement, but Chacin was positively beaming. "It went really well. I threw a couple of curveballs and changeups -- no sliders, but it was nice and easy," Chacin said. "The next bullpen will be 45 pitches, using my curveball, slider, everything. "I'm really excited I'm on the trip, too. The last two months, I haven't flown with the team. Just being with my teammates, going out and eating, being in the clubhouse, I really like that." Trips to St. Louis seem to work for Chacin. The last time he was here, it was to see the noted vascular surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson, who diagnosed his problem. The Rockies had been operating under the assumption that the problem was in his shoulder. The injury is a key reason he went 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts before going on the disabled list. Chacin would like to be active within two to three weeks. Since Rockies starters are limited to roughly 75 pitches in their four-man rotation, he might be able to return a little earlier than he normally would. He could return as a starter or, at first, as one of the piggy-back starter-types who take over when the actual starter reaches his pitch limit.
Veteran first baseman Todd Helton did not start on Monday, and told the Denver Post that he has a sore right hip.
Right-hander Juan Nicasio, who hasn't pitched since June 2 because of a strained left knee, faced hitters on Saturday, will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday and will take part in a simulated game on Thursday. After resting left fielder Carlos Gonzalez on Sunday -- a 2-0 home loss to the Padres -- manager Jim Tracy kept center fielder Dexter Fowler out of the starting lineup on Monday and said that the training staff was treating him for soreness in his left lat. Fowler entered the game late and batted in the eighth, grounding hard into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Fowler acknowledged that he was being treated but said the muscle problem was minor.Tracy also said that the Rockies are moving toward sending veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez on an injury rehab assignment. Hernandez hasn't played since May 23 because of a strained left hand. Gonzalez has asked for bench coach Tom Runnells to pitch to him during the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby. But Runnells, who missed two games because of a death in his family, hasn't decided if he will travel to Kansas City for the event.
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.