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Rockies taking note of Chacin's big toe

SCOTSDALE, Ariz. -- Colorado's path to improvement is inextricably linked to improved health up and down its roster, but nowhere is it more important than in a pitching staff decimated by injuries in 2012. So when Jhoulys Chacin was bothered by a contusion to his left big toe during his first outing Tuesday against the Cubs, the Rockies took careful note.

Chacin originally suffered the contusion in the weight room, and was first bothered by it during fielding drills four days before his first appearance. He pitched so well Tuesday, throwing two perfect innings, that optimism is high regarding his arm. But with Chacin leaving after Saturday's scheduled start to pitch for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, concern is giving optimism a run for its money.

"My priority is to keep that arm in shape right now, no matter what," said Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger. "It's a wait-and-see type of thing. His bullpen was very good. His afterwards conditioning wasn't very good. It's only certain movements that hurt. He can't run up on his toes if he's going to cover the bag."

Chacin downplayed any concerns, maintaining confidence that he'll stay on track with the Rockies and be ready to compete in the World Baseball Classic.

"After I threw my bullpen, it was a little bit sore after, but I think it will be fine," Chacin said. "I don't think it's going to be a big deal."