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Gray 'feels good,' ready to make Minors start

March 28, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Fitted with custom orthotics and feeling good just standing, Rockies right-hander Jon Gray believes his left big toe is fine for his start in a Minor League game Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll check off the final box and be in line to start Monday's season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Fitted with custom orthotics and feeling good just standing, Rockies right-hander Jon Gray believes his left big toe is fine for his start in a Minor League game Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll check off the final box and be in line to start Monday's season opener at Milwaukee.
Gray suffered the injury sprinting from the batter's box after making contact during his March 19 start. Then, he was removed Friday after 2 2/3 innings when manager Bud Black, pitching coach Steve Foster and the training staff noticed him avoiding rising onto his toes while making a pickoff move.
"I haven't worked on pickoff moves, but the range of motion feels good and being on my feet feels a lot better," Gray said. "I don't feel I have to compensate."
Gray is scheduled for 90 pitches Wednesday. Black is expected to announce his full rotation once he is certain of Gray's health.
Worth noting
• Center fielder Charlie Blackmon and left-handed relief pitcher Jake McGee have missed the last couple days with a flu bug that has worked its way through the Rockies' clubhouse. Gerardo Parra has led off the last two games.
• Left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin faced hitters Tuesday, his first session since suffering a right oblique strain on March 3. Rusin, who is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game Friday, at the time was competing for a rotation spot, but he has extensive bullpen experience. Black said Rusin likely will begin the year on the 15-day disabled list to build to the point that he can pitch multiple innings.

• Righty Chad Qualls threw a bullpen session Tuesday as he attempts to come back from a right elbow strain that has kept him out of game action since March 1.
• Left-handed-hitting Ryan McMahon, the Rockies' No. 8 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, has played some second base with Double-A Hartford toward the end of Spring Training, after working previously as a third baseman and first baseman.

Rockies senior player development director Zach Wilson said McMahon -- the team's second-round Draft pick in 2013 out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., as a third baseman -- has the "hands, feet, athleticism" for second base. Wilson said playing there "regularly might be a stretch, but he will play some" at the position.
• Righty reliever Adam Ottavino pitched 1 1/3 innings during a Triple-A game against the D-backs on Tuesday, and gave up one run -- on a Paul Goldschmidt bloop single -- and two hits, with one walk.

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