De La Rosa enjoying start-by-start approach

Although future uncertain, veteran 'having fun every time' he gets ball

De La Rosa enjoying start-by-start approach

WASHINGTON -- Rockies left-handed veteran Jorge De La Rosa knows looking too far back reminds him of a forgettable first two months of the season, and the future bears uncertainty.

But De La Rosa (8-7, 5.07 ERA) is living start to start -- and enjoying it. He lost his rotation spot with an 11.41 ERA through six starts. After a rejuvenating bullpen stint, De La Rosa is 6-3 with a 3.56 ERA in 13 starts going into Saturday's assignment against the Nationals.

With the Rockies below .500, there is always the chance a prime contender could snap De La Rosa up in a trade. The non-waiver Trade Deadline passed on Aug. 1, but teams can trade players who have cleared waivers. If it happens in time for him to be placed on another team's roster by Sept. 1, he could be eligible for the postseason. And his two-year, $25 million contract is up at season's end. But when De La Rosa, 35, is pitching well, he can put off those concerns.

"I'm having fun every time I pitch," De La Rosa said. "All I have to do is give the team a chance to win every time I pitch and prepare to have a really good game all the time."

Chances are De La Rosa will finish the season in a Rockies uniform, in which he has set several club marks, including wins (86) and strikeouts (959). Unlike lefty reliever Boone Logan, who drew interest last month and could be the subject of phone calls in the coming days, De La Rosa is not a speculation subject.

De La Rosa said he has given little thought to the offseason. The Rockies are building a cadre of young starting pitching, and it's not clear if they will attempt to re-sign him. The work in the bullpen was eye-opening and could be a future opportunity, though he said he has always been a starter.

"I'm a Rockie right now, and I just want to pitch well here, finish strong -- no matter what happens," De La Rosa said.

Rockies visit Walter Reed
In what has become a tradition during the Rockies' visits to Washington, several players and coaches on Friday visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Pitchers Tyler Anderson and Matt Carasiti, catchers Nick Hundley and Tony Wolters, infielder Daniel Descalso, catching coach Rene Lachemann and bullpen catcher Aaron Munoz represented the club and met with patients, medical staff and other military personnel.

Chatwood nearing a return, other updates
• Righty Tyler Chatwood, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 16 with a back strain (his second bout with this injury this season), threw the second bullpen session of his recovery on Friday. Manager Walt Weiss said he could be a candidate for either a simulated game when the team returns to Denver, or he could throw his next pitches during a Minor League rehab assignment.

• Second baseman DJ LeMahieu missed his third straight game with a sore left wrist, and he said he hopes to return to the starting lineup Saturday afternoon.

• First baseman Mark Reynolds, who broke his left hamate bone Aug. 11 and had surgery to remove the offending piece from his hand, said he can do everything but hold a bat. He hopes to swing "20-25 days post-surgery," which occurred Aug. 15.

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.