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Jhoulys Chacin injury: Rockies starter will likely begin season on disabled list

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"Feeling better" does not mean "will avoid the DL," apparently.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jhoulys Chacin might be feeling better by the day, but that probably won't get him back on the mound in time for the start of the regular season.

Chacin is "almost a certainty" to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. That's unfortunate news, but not necessarily unexpected, about the 26-year-old right-hander. He began throwing from long distances on Tuesday after having only played catch since being shut down last month with shoulder inflammation. The Rockies begin the season in 20 days, and there's still no timetable for when Chacin will make his first spring training start, let alone for when he'll get enough reps to be ready for real baseball.

If Chacin's situation plays out as expected, the Rockies' Opening Day rotation will include Jorge De La Rosa, Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson, Juan Nicasio and likely one of Franklin Morales, Jordan Lyles or Christian Friedrich.

Nicasio, who entered the spring supposedly in competition for the No. 5 spot, has blown away opposing hitters this spring and was already a virtual lock for the rotation before Chacin's injury. Morales has been solid in three starts, though he ran into some trouble on Monday as a result of poor command. Lyles has allowed only one earned run in eight Cactus League innings and has his strikeout game working surprisingly well, while Friedrich has scuffled to varying degrees in each of his two starts.