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Colorado Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa on track for April 14 return

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After a whole bunch of back-and-forth regarding his status, it appears Jorge De La Rosa will make his 2015 debut sooner rather than later.

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First he was going to be ready, then he wasn't, and now he is again.

Colorado Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa will make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday, and if all goes according to plan, will start for the big league club in San Francisco on April 14, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.

The Rockies won't need a fifth starter until that date, meaning they'll be able to ride out their current four-man rotation of Kyle Kendrick, Jordan Lyles, Eddie Butler and Tyler Matzek for two cycles. Christian Bergman, added to the Opening Day roster as a reliever, would have been chosen to start on April 14 had De La Rosa not been ready, a scenario that was close to happening.

De La Rosa initially was expected to make that start, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss told Nick Groke of the Denver Post over the weekend that it would be an "absolute best-case scenario" if the veteran southpaw made his 2015 debut before the end of the month.

The Rockies could use some best-case scenarios for once, so let's rejoice about this one panning out, assuming De La Rosa's rehab start goes well.

Links

Middle of order brings out heavy lumber for Rockies | rockies.com
It certainly wasn't an unsung hero that got it done for Colorado on offense on Monday. The team's four star-to-superstar-level players in the lineup -- Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson -- combined to go 10-for-18 with five doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI.

Shifting philosophy: Rox dedicated to new defense | rockies.com
The Rockies are committed to using shifts this season, uncomfortable fielders be damned. While they're not going to go full Astros, Colorado is no longer afraid to stray from conventional wisdom when it comes to its defensive position.

Case in point: Gerardo Parra, an extreme pull-side hitter, has always killed the Rockies, boasting a 142 tOPS+ in 330 career plate appearances against Colorado. The Rockies never adjusted to Parra before, but in his pinch-hit appearance for the Brewers on Opening Day, the veteran outfielder was robbed of a hit because the Rockies shifted on the right side.

Clint Robinson and other great Opening Day stories. | SportsonEarth.com : Andrew Simon Article
Not included in the list of inspiring Opening Day roster stories is Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt, who fought his way through what most people thought would be a career-ending elbow injury to make Colorado's bullpen.

Betancourt, perhaps the best reliever in club history (68 ERA-, 6.2 fWAR with the Rockies) has lost 4-5 mph off of his fastball since arriving in Denver in 2009. You wouldn't know it by watching him on Monday, though. Betancourt's delivery is still as deceptive as ever, and his location -- as always -- was spot on during a spotless eighth inning that included a pair of strikeouts.

Rockies On Paper and Outside The Lines Offseason Recap | Rockies Zingers Colorado Rockies Baseball
Richard Bergstrom recaps the Rockies' offseason as only he can. The conclusion is good, though; after six long months, it appears the new front office regime has cast an overlying message over the entire organization.