Chacin sent to pen as De La Rosa readies to return

Jorge De La Rosa is returning to the Colorado Rockies’ rotation

and that means Jhoulys Chacin is headed to the bullpen.

De La Rosa (3-1, 3.91 ERA) has been out since April 25 with a

torn tendon in his left middle finger. He will be activated Friday

night to pitch against NL West-leader San Diego at Coors Field.

When healthy, De La Rosa teamed with Ubaldo Jimenez (14-1) to

form a potent duo, and the Rockies are eager to see the two

anchoring their rotation again this summer.

Chacin is 5-7 with a 3.59 ERA with 34 walks and 76 strikeouts in

72 2-3 innings pitched.

“Regardless of which role he’s in, he’s a valuable entity to

our club because of the way he’s pitching,” manager Jim Tracy

said.

Tracy also confirmed that Jimenez will pitch against St. Louis

on Thursday, leaving him available to start the All-Star game on

regular rest for the National League if Philadelphia manager

Charlie Manuel chooses to use him in that role.

“He’ll have a full complement of rest for whatever it is or

however it is they’re going to use him in the All-Star game,”

Tracy said.

The Rockies haven’t had their planned rotation in place all

season. They lost lefty Jeff Francis on the eve of the season

opener with a side injury and then lost Jason Hammel (groin) and De

La Rosa.

“If you do it right and you approach it correctly mentally, in

the face of adversity you find strength,” Tracy said. “Which

brings me back to Jhouyls Chacin and the progress and the growth

that this young man has made to where this guy in whatever capacity

it is can help us win games at the major league level.”

Tracy had a meeting with Chacin before Tuesday night’s game

against St. Louis to explain that he shouldn’t view his new role in

the bullpen as a demotion.

“’Whatever it is that I can do to help the team win.’ Those are

the words that came out of his mouth,” Tracy said. “That’s pretty

doggone special.”

Chacin’s move to the bullpen could be temporary. Tracy said

he’ll re-evaluate his rotation after the All-Star break.