Jorge De La Rosa cleared to begin throwing off mound

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Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last June and wound up making only 10 starts during the 2011 season. He should be much more active in 2012.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, De La Rosa has been cleared to begin throwing off a mound regularly and is currently well ahead of schedule in his recovery from the major elbow procedure.

Here’s the 30-year-old southpaw himself:

“They have told me to take my time, that they aren’t going to rush me,” said De La Rosa. “But I believe I can be back in the big leagues in May.”

De La Rosa agreed to a two-year, $21.5 million contract with the Rockies in November of 2010.

Steven Souza diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle

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Steven Souza looked like he sustained a major shoulder injury after diving for a ball and missing on Wednesday night. Turns out, though, that it is not nearly as bad as it could’ve been: he has a strained pectoral muscle. That’ll only keep him out “a couple of weeks” according to Dbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

Good news for Souza and the Diamondbacks, who are counting on their new right fielder’s power to help offset the loss of J.D. Martinez, who helped the Dbacks to the playoffs with his second half home run outburst. He hit 30 with Tampa Bay last year and would seem poised to at least match that given Chase Field’s more hitter-friendly reputation.

Until Souza returns Jarrod Dyson and Yasmany Tomas will likely cover right field.