Bettis to replace ailing De La Rosa in next start

Rockies lefty pushed back a day because of flu

Bettis to replace ailing De La Rosa in next start

DENVER -- With left-hander Jorge De La Rosa ailing with the stomach flu, the Rockies moved right-hander Chad Bettis up a day to start Monday's opener of a four-game set against the Pirates at Coors Field.

The plan is for De La Rosa, who did some throwing Sunday morning and felt better than manager Walt Weiss expected, to pitch Tuesday, followed by righties Jon Gray on Wednesday and Tyler Chatwood on Thursday.

Bettis (2-0, 3.33 ERA) retired all but three of the 21 batters he faced at Cincinnati on Wednesday afternoon, but he gave up three runs -- on consecutive home runs -- in a game the Rockies lost. Bettis has held opponents to a .213 batting average and has 19 strikeouts against six walks.

De La Rosa (1-2, 9.87 ERA) has generally struggled, but he had his only win in his last home start -- against the Giants on April 14.

The Rockies originally planned for lefty Chris Rusin to be their starter for Monday, but changed their minds Sunday, when Rusin replaced ineffective starter Jordan Lyles and threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit and three strikeouts in the Rockies' 12-10 loss to the Dodgers at Coors Field.

Hundley could be back Monday

Rockies catcher Nick Hundley, who last played on April 13, before going on the seven-day concussion disabled list three days later, went 0-for-2 with a walk Saturday for Triple-A Albuquerque in the first game of his injury rehab assignment. He was scheduled for seven innings Sunday, and Weiss said he could be activated Monday against the Pirates.

Blackmon in spikes

A day after taking batting practice and doing outfield drills in turf shoes, center fielder Charlie Blackmon (turf toe, left foot) ran the bases and the outfield warning track at Coors Field in baseball spikes -- a key landmark for a player returning from his type of injury. Blackmon went to custom orthotics in his left shoe when he experienced the same injury several years ago and doesn't plan any other special equipment.

"I have been a baseball player of sorts the last couple of days," said Blackmon, who hopes to do an injury rehab assignment this week. Weiss said it's possible Blackmon, on the disabled list since April 14, could return Friday -- the earliest possible date.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.