De La Rosa appears headed to disabled list

Left-hander limited by left-groin tightness

De La Rosa appears headed to disabled list

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa isn't scheduled for bullpen sessions and is all but certain to be bound for the disabled list to begin the regular season with recurring left-groin tightness. That means the identity of the starting pitcher for the April 10 home opener against the Cubs is uncertain.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday he is not prepared to make such an announcement. But De La Rosa, who has made just two starts this spring -- one in a "B" game, the other Friday, when he left with the injury -- is limited to playing catch.

The good news is De La Rosa, 30-17 with a 3.81 ERA over the last two seasons and the winningest pitcher in Coors Field history, has dealt with groin issues throughout his career, especially during Spring Training. This one is not expected to be a long-term issue if properly managed.

Outlook: De La Rosa, SP, COL

De La Rosa has shown some ability to pitch through injury. He began last year healthy and struggled in April, and he was in pain for much of the rest of the year with a back problem and a bruised left thumb (blisters and other finger and thumb issues also have been a constant), yet became by far the team's best pitcher. But the Rockies don't believe it's necessary to push him now.

"We're not going to put him on the mound for at least a few days," Weiss said.

Weiss said he's not going to announce a decision until "we run out of days," but with De La Rosa only playing catch -- which Weiss said "has gone OK" -- it puts the home opener in serious doubt.

Should the Rockies put De La Rosa on the disabled list, the placement would be back-dated to Saturday. The Rockies could bring him back on April 14, at the end of a three-game road set with the Giants. That's the first date the Rockies need a fifth starting pitcher.

Weiss said the Rockies are more concerned about the full season than the home opener.

"This is something he's had several times before, so you can categorize it as being chronic," Weiss said. "That being the case, we want to make sure he's good to go so this thing doesn't pop up again."

The Rockies will need to settle the identities of their pitchers, other than Opening Day starter Kyle Kendrick, Tyler Matzek and Jordan Lyles, before determining who would throw the home opener.

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.