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Big League Stew

Finicky fingers of Rockies pitchers cause early problems

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Forget the humidor: The Colorado Rockies need to install a beauty salon in their clubhouse at Coors Field.

Inside it, they'll employ a couple of skilled manicurists who can properly care for the fingers of their multi-million dollar pitching investments.

OK, I'm only kidding. But only sort of because a couple of the Rockies top pitchers — Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa — are already struggling from ailing fingers early this season.

Just hours after I told a commenter in Jeff Passan's Opening Day Blogapaloozathon 2.0 it was unlikely the Rockies would face the same number of injuries that overwhelmed them in 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez was on the mound at Coors Field, his fastball clocking in about 5 MPH lower than usual.

Many frightening thoughts went through the minds of Rockies fans and beat writers with each lifeless delivery. But those fears were eased a bit on Saturday morning when it was revealed Jimenez reopened a cut on his thumb cuticle while playing catch on Thursday. He elected to pitch through the injury on Friday, but never could find the grip on any of his pitches.

"You look at it and think it's a little thing. But it's your hand and you are a pitcher. It's disappointing more than anything," Jimenez said. "At least it happened now. I can get it fixed. With the extra day of rest, I think I should be fine to pitch (against Pittsburgh next Thursday)."

The real question is not whether Jimenez can "fix it" in time to make his next scheduled start. It's can he find a way to prevent it from happening in the future. Jimenez dealt with similar cuts at different times in 2010. Also, the original cut he sustained back on March 2nd became infected and had to be drained.

For now it appears the Rockies have averted disaster, but this sounds like something that could linger and become a huge nuisance for Jimenez and Colorado going forward. They better find a good solution sooner than later. {YSP:MORE}

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De La Rosa

The Rockies had another scare on Saturday when Jorge De La Rosa exited early with a blood blister on his middle finger. De La Rosa missed 10 weeks in 2010 with a torn flexor tendon band on the same middle finger, so the sight of him wincing and showing said finger to a trainer was alarming.

The blister was popped after the game, filed down, and De La Rosa fully expects to make his next start.

Overall the news seems encouraging for Colorado. Extended missed time by either or both pitchers would have been devasting to their pitching depth. If you recall, they're already missing Aaron Cook, who broke a finger in March when a door accidentally closed on his hand. His return is not expected until after May 1.

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