Rockies' Cook to return Friday vs. Cardinals

BY foxsports • September 23, 2009

Right-hander Aaron Cook will return to the Rockies rotation in Friday's series opener against the visiting Cardinals.

Manager Jim Tracy said Cook, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 22 with a strained right elbow, will be limited to 70 pitches.

Jason Hammel will pitch with his regular four days of rest and start Thursday's series finale against San Diego.

Despite published reports to the contrary, the Rockies' timetable all along had been for Cook to rejoin the rotation this week so that he could have two starts before a possible postseason appearance.

There were initial discussions that Cook, who's 10-6 with a 4.47 ERA, could come back as early as Tuesday.

By starting Cook on Friday and having Hammel pitch against the Padres, it keeps potential postseason opponent St. Louis from getting another look at Hammel, who is in his first season in the National League.

This also puts Cook in line to also start the final home game of the season, Oct. 1 against Milwaukee, and if he is able to stretch out during those two starts it would place him in consideration for a spot in the postseason rotation if the Rockies claim the NL wild-card.

The rotation is aligned right now for a potential postseason setup in which Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa pitch the first two games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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