Aaron Cook to make three rehab starts before coming off DL

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Aaron Cook hasn’t started a big-league game since September 9 of last season, the Rockies right-hander is ready to take the next step in his recovery from shoulder and finger injuries.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Cook will make the first of at least three minor-league rehab starts tomorrow at Double-A and is slated to throw four innings.

Renck speculates that Cook is in line to rejoin the Rockies’ rotation on May 29 or May 30, but the ground-ball machine will need to avoid setbacks before coming off the 60-day disabled list.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.