Colorado Rockies pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio weren't with the team at the end of last season, but they're preparing to be there in the spring, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. Both pitchers are still rehabbing from injuries that cost them most or all of their 2011 seasons, but noticeable progress is being made.
Nicasio's 2011 season ended up Aug. 5 when a line drive from Washington's Ian Desmond struck him in the back and fractured his C-1 vertebrae. He's still throwing to hitters with a screen in front of him for protection, but he told Renck that he's excited to return to facing hitters without the additional protection and compete for a rotation spot during Spring Training.
De La Rosa, on the other hand, doesn't expect to return to the majors until May. But after having Tommy John surgery just eight months ago, that's a pretty optimistic timetable even for today's standards. The 30-year-old lefty is also throwing off a mound, though, even if he told Renck that the club refuses to rush him back to the majors.
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