LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies believe the left forearm tightness that pitcher Jorge De La Rosa experienced during a rehab start Saturday night at Double-A Tulsa is a normal part of recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery. He will be watched for the next couple of days before the Rockies determine the next step.
De La Rosa, who suffered the injury last May, is scheduled for three more rehab stats -- Thursday for Tulsa and May 22 and 27 for Triple-A Colorado Springs. That would mean a return to the Majors on June 2 against the Dodgers at Coors Field.
However, if the tightness is too much of a delay in his program, the Rockies could recall him to the Majors, place him on the 15-day disabled list for the tightness and have another 30-day rehab window.
De La Rosa, who had made two starts at Class A Advanced Modesto, threw 28 pitches and gave up five hits and four runs in Tulsa's game against Arkansas, then was pulled as a precaution after consulting with a trainer. Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said the tightness was in the mid-to-lower forearm, so it isn't in the area of the surgery.
"You expect these types of bumps coming through rehab," Dugger said. "Is this a new injury? No. It's just a little inflammation, a little tightness, especially when you start upping the intensity and going against higher-level teams."
Dugger also said De La Rosa has begun swinging a bat lately, and sometimes that can lead to forearm tightness when recovering from elbow surgery.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said it's somewhat a surprise De La Rosa had not experienced a setback before now.
"You're thinking there might be something here or there," Tracy said. "But you know that there's going to be something that comes up that suggests it's all part of this rehab process."
Even when De La Rosa returns to the Majors, the Rockies will closely monitor his innings, pitch count, the intensity of the innings and the length of innings.