Rockies encouraged by Chatwood's status

Rockies encouraged by Chatwood's status

DENVER -- Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood played catch Tuesday, the first step as he attempts to return from right elbow inflammation.

Chatwood said he also played catch Monday, throwing from 90 feet both times, and hopes to throw a bullpen this weekend in Baltimore, though nothing has been scheduled yet. The club placed Chatwood -- who has not pitched since July 31 -- on the 15-day disabled list Thursday (retroactive to Aug. 1).

"He's coming along well," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Playing catch, that's as much as he's done so far. But no issues there and not sure exactly when he'll throw his next bullpen. He's progressing toward that quickly."

Since he returned to the big leagues in late April, Chatwood has been one of the Rockies' most reliable starters.

The right-hander allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of 15 starts, going 7-4 with a 3.15 ERA. His ERA stayed comfortably under three until his final start before he went on the DL, when he served up 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) over just 2 1/3 innings in a 9-0 loss to the Braves.

After slipping out of the playoff picture -- possibly temporarily -- following a brutal 1-9 road trip that ended Thursday, some questioned whether the Rockies would even test their promising young pitcher's arm this year. Weiss, however, said he expected Chatwood to play before season's end.

"Yeah, I do," Weiss said. "It's been encouraging last few days that he's able to go out there. He's got full range of motion."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.