Descalso progressing in Triple-A rehab

Infielder could return soon; Rox not concerned about fatigue

Descalso progressing in Triple-A rehab

DENVER -- Veteran infielder Daniel Descalso, recovering from a broken left hand that has kept him out of action all season, went 3-for-4 with a walk in his second rehab game for Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday and could be nearing a return.

Descalso played the entire game at second base, and he was in the lineup again Wednesday as the designated hitter.

"Danny provides a lot for us -- another veteran leader, a guy that's been through the wars," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's a good player, too."

Before signing with the Rockies for 2015, Descalso, 29, was a utility player for several successful Cardinals teams, who made 61 starts at third for the 2011 World Series champions. Last season, Descalso batted .205 in 101 games for Colorado.

Is it fatigue?
In the first two games of the homestand, the Rockies' offense struggled and the D-backs took advantage of bad innings by starting pitchers to win. With Wednesday's game being the 19th in 20 days (it would have been 20 in 20 if not for a game with the Pirates postponed on April 28), fatigue is a legitimate concern.

"We're at the end of a tough stretch," Weiss said. "That long road trip, playing 20 straight days, I think you're seeing some of the effects of that offensively. Not looking for excuses, that's a matter of fact. It's the same lineup that scored 13 runs in one inning in a pitchers' park [last Thursday at San Francisco]."

Center fielder Charlie Blackmon said he's not necessarily seeing fatigue, because Weiss has tried to avoid riding many of the players too hard.

"Walt's done a good job getting guys a day [off] here and there, using everybody but not overusing everybody," Blackmon said.

Blackmon said the Rockies will survive the stretch because of "more experience, and even some of our young guys are competitive right off the bat."

They're all together
In other years, the team's well-documented struggles at home may have put the Rockies in a deep hole. But going into Wednesday, just four games separated the top from the bottom. Blackmon said there is no clear team to beat.

"It depends on who's pitching for any given team -- there's not one team I worry about that's a clear frontrunner," Blackmon said.

Staying the course
During the Rockies' 6-4 road trip, young right-handers Jon Gray and Eddie Butler were stellar for three of their four combined starts, and Butler pitched well for all but a couple of sequences in the other. Gray will pitch Friday and Butler Saturday in the first two games of the series against the Mets. Weiss said he doesn't look for them to do anything differently because they're at home.

"Just stay the course," Weiss said. "They have to be careful not to make too much of it, and I don't think they will. It's not in their head or anything like that. Do exactly what they've been doing. No reason to make any types of adjustments."

How much time does he need?
Lefty Jorge De La Rosa, out with a left groin strain, has made one rehab start at Albuquerque and is scheduled for at least one more. Weiss said there is concern about his pitch count.

"His outings have been relatively short," Weiss said. "We've got to make sure he's built up, so he can come back and throw 100 pitches if we need it. He's only had one outing where he's been into the sixth."

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.