De La Rosa to make spring debut in B game

Rockies' lefty returning from groin tightness; plans to be ready for regular season

De La Rosa to make spring debut in B game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa said his recovery from left groin tightness took longer than he expected, but he will make his Spring Training debut Sunday morning in a B game against the D-backs.

De La Rosa was scratched before his first scheduled Cactus League game and missed a second turn. But he believes if there is no physical setback during Sunday's scheduled two innings and the rest of the spring goes well, he will be on schedule to pitch his first turn through the regular-season rotation.

"I can go three or four innings next time," De La Rosa said. "It depends on what they want."

De La Rosa was throwing a simulated game early in camp against shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and other regulars when he began to feel the tightness.

"I think it was because I did a lot of legs [in a workout] the day before," De La Rosa said. "I was throwing with high intensity. And the game was too early in the morning."

Outlook: De La Rosa, SP, COL

De La Rosa, 33, went 14-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 32 starts last season, after going 16-6 with a 3.49 ERA in 2013. While De La Rosa would be a logical candidate for Opening Day on April 6 in Milwaukee, manager Walt Weiss has the option of saving him for the home opener on April 10 against the Cubs. De La Rosa went 10-2 with a 3.08 ERA at Coors Field last season, and for his career is 45-14 with a 3.98 ERA in 81 games (76 starts) in Denver.

De La Rosa will have to be up and ready early Sunday. The B game starts at 11 a.m. MT/10 a.m. local time.

It'll be a star-studded B game of sorts. De La Rosa will start, followed by No. 2-ranked prospect Eddie Butler for three innings, LaTroy Hawkins, Kraig Sitton, Adam Ottavino and John Axford.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.