Hundley catches bullpen; Matzek optioned

Hundley catches bullpen; Matzek optioned

ST. LOUIS -- The Rockies' Nick Hundley made a stride toward a return from a left oblique injury by catching Chad Bettis' bullpen session on Thursday at Busch Stadium.

Hundley sustained the injury during batting practice before the May 7 game against the Giants. After nearly two weeks of rest and rehab, squatting to catch Bettis was his first baseball activity. If Hundley recovers well, the big step will be swinging the bat.

"It [the oblique] is the second-highest rate of recurring injury, so you've got to make sure you're good to go," Hundley said.

Hundley is dealing with his second injury in 2016. He missed 10 games earlier this season with a concussion. Hundley's season illustrates the challenge of staying healthy behind the plate.

"I don't think you ever think like that; I don't, at least," Hundley said. "I take pride in doing everything I can to stay healthy. This is disappointing, but at the same time, I won't do anything different."

Rockies option Matzek, who has taken forward steps

The Rockies announced that they've activated lefty pitcher Tyler Matzek from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Class A Modesto. He was working through performance anxiety.

Matzek has made one-batter appearances in five games, including the previous three nights. After walking the only batter he faced in the first three games, Matzek has worked clean outings in the past two as he works toward lengthier appearances.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com 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.