Bergman among Rox arms on the mend

Bergman among Rox arms on the mend

DENVER -- Pitching reinforcements are coming, which means the Rockies will do some roster shuffling.

Right-handed long reliever Christian Bergman, who sustained a left oblique injury on May 19, threw 76 pitches over five innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday and should be ready to be activated. Lefty closer Jake McGee, recovering from left knee inflammation, pitched a clean inning on Tuesday at Class A Advanced Modesto and expects to return after pitching again at Modesto on Thursday.

Righty reliever Adam Ottavino, who hasn't pitched since last April 25 because of Tommy John surgery, has made eight Minor League rehab starts and is close after throwing a clean, two-strikeout inning for Albuquerque on Tuesday.

Righty starter Tyler Chatwood, who sustained a back injury on June 18, is scheduled for 70-75 pitches at Modesto on Thursday. It has not been decided whether he needs another start. At 8-4 with a 3.15 ERA (5-0, 1.25 on the road), Chatwood is key in the rotation.

Chatwood exits with injury

That means many decisions will need to be made soon, and that doesn't even include lefty Chris Rusin (left shoulder inflammation), who is playing catch and working toward throwing bullpens.

As for who could be the odd men out, one could be righty Eddie Butler, who has a 12.34 ERA in 11 2/3 innings in his last three outings (two starts). With the team off on Thursday, the Rockies are internally discussing going with four starters the next time through the rotation.

"There are going to be a lot of moving parts here, coming up, so we'll sit down and talk about those things," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We're trying get to a level of consistency with Eddie. That's the bottom line."

An interesting option is Rockies No. 4-ranked prospect Jeff Hoffman, who brings a 4-5 record and 3.49 ERA into Thursday night's start for Albuquerque at Sacramento. After a brief period of uneven performances, the righty has struck out 20 in his last 13 innings over two starts.

"I think he's pretty close," Weiss said of Hoffman, who on Tuesday was announced as an invitee to the SiriusXM Futures Game during All-Star Weekend in San Diego. "I'm not sure when that would be."

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.