DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Chris Rusin took a big step forward in his rehab from a left shoulder strain by throwing a 30-pitch simulated game Sunday.Rusin, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 14, threw two 15-pitch simulated innings to injured outfielder Gerardo Parra and first-base coach and
DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Chris Rusin took a big step forward in his rehab from a left shoulder strain by throwing a 30-pitch simulated game Sunday.
Rusin, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 14, threw two 15-pitch simulated innings to injured outfielder Gerardo Parra and first-base coach and former Major Leaguer Eric Young. He threw from the windup and out of the stretch and used all of his pitches.
"I feel good," Rusin said. "I went a couple over because I was feeling good. I got a little tired towards the end, but it was good. I'm feeling good."
Because it had been so long since he threw off the mound, Rusin had some mechanical issues to iron out, but was confident it could be solved with side work.
"It's just staying back and not leaking out and separating over the rubber," Rusin said. "If I don't get my arm out, I'm not going to be able to throw strikes, and I'm not going to be able to get the movement on my pitches I'm supposed to get."
Rusin may not have a spot in the starting rotation when he gets back, as rookie Tyler Anderson has been brilliant, and veteran Jorge De La Rosa has returned to his old self. However, he still has a role with the team and will report to Triple-A Albuquerque for a rehab appearance next week and be stretched out to about five innings, whether as a long reliever or starter.
"We're not sure exactly where he's going to fit, but he's still in the plans," said manager Walt Weiss. "It's not like he's going to be the odd man out. He's very versatile, so he's got that going for him. He's left-handed, so there's some things in his favor there. Plus we like him, and I'm comfortable when he's on the mound."
• Weiss announced that the starting rotation will remain the same after the All-Star break with the next five starts going to De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Jon Gray, Anderson, and Tyler Chatwood. Weiss has spoke at length about giving his young starters rest, but the four-day break made skipping a pitcher's rotation spot unnecessary.
"With the break, that serves the purpose there," Weiss said. "Another reason why we have Chatty at the back end of the rotation coming out of the break, he gets another break there. We're always looking for an opportunity to do that if it's needed. We check in with these guys every day. We know how they're feeling physically, mentally. If they need a break, that's something we talk about. Whether it's skipping a start or other ways to give guys a break."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.