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Dahl happy with progress in rehab

Rockies outfielder: 'I feel better than I thought I would'
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque for a rib injury that has kept him out of the Majors all season, feels like he is on a faster-than-expected track back to Denver.

"I feel better than I thought I would," Dahl said Tuesday by phone from Albuquerque, where he was scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader against Tacoma. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well. But I'm still a tick late on fastballs and kind of off anticipating how breaking balls are going to break. I can see the spin, but where it's going to end up is something I'm working on getting back fully.

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DENVER -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque for a rib injury that has kept him out of the Majors all season, feels like he is on a faster-than-expected track back to Denver.

"I feel better than I thought I would," Dahl said Tuesday by phone from Albuquerque, where he was scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader against Tacoma. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well. But I'm still a tick late on fastballs and kind of off anticipating how breaking balls are going to break. I can see the spin, but where it's going to end up is something I'm working on getting back fully.

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"I'm getting my legs under me while getting back to playing every single day. It's fun to be back out there playing every day."

The 23-year-old Dahl, who hit .315 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 63 games as a rookie last season, sustained a stress reaction in his sixth rib early in Spring Training.

Dahl began a maximum 20-day rehab assignment last Wednesday, the first two games at Class A Advanced Lancaster and four more (entering Tuesday) at Albuquerque. Six games into what amounts to an accelerated Spring Training, he was hitting .333 (7-for-21) with a home run, eight RBIs and a triple, and he had played all three outfield positions.

Depending on the Rockies' needs, they could recall Dahl from the assignment early or when the 20-day clock expires. If he isn't ready or if there isn't a roster spot, Colorado could option him to Albuquerque and then recall him when (or before) the rosters expand to 40 on Sept. 1.

What's difficult is determining how much time a player who didn't have a true Spring Training needs. Dahl said he can't compare it to a normal Spring Training because the pace is different. He was playing the full nine innings in his fourth rehab game. That would occur much later in a regular spring.

Manager Bud Black said there is no predetermined number of at-bats before Dahl will be considered for a return. Dahl said he is just focusing on being ready when the call comes.

"I'm really excited for when I can come back, but right now I'm focused on where I am every day here, getting my at-bats and putting the work in," Dahl said. "I'm not looking ahead."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl