MILWAUKEE -- After being removed in the seventh inning of Thursday night's 7-3 loss to the Brewers with lower back tightness, Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario was out of the lineup Friday with the same injury. Rosario said his back was "a lot better" and that he would be available off the bench if needed.
Rosario added that he had been dealing with the tightness for the past four or five days.
"It's not that serious," Rosario said. "If I can play, I'll play, but yesterday in the seventh it got a little tight and I felt like I couldn't squat really good, and that's why I talked to the manager and we made the decision to pull me out of the game."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss downplayed the injury, saying that lifting Rosario was a precaution. The catcher received treatment on his back before Friday night's game in Milwaukee.
This is not Rosario's first go-round in the trainer's room: The catcher dealt with nagging hand issues earlier in the season, spent time on the disabled list with a viral infection and missed a game earlier this month because of illness.
Perhaps because of all the maladies, Rosario is batting well below his career average, with a slash line of .246/.282/.441 entering Friday. He has shown improvement in June, when he was batting .288/.324/.530, and Weiss said he was encouraged by the catcher's recent at-bats.
"I think he's shown signs of [improvement] over the last week or so," Weiss sad. "I think it's always a little tougher when you miss some time like he did early on. He's showing signs of being himself again."
Though it has been a rough year health-wise for Rosario and the entire team, he maintained a positive attitude on Friday.
"I don't want to get to the point to say that [it's frustrating]," Rosario said. "God gives us everything we can handle, so if He gives me all these little things, it's for something. I say every day that I wake up, 'Thank you for another day,' and be happy to be here. I wake up and try to figure out the way to get better."
Attention on Arenado as he nears return
MILWAUKEE -- Pacing around the Rockies' clubhouse before Friday's game, Nolan Arenado looked ready to go. The third baseman alternated between sitting at his locker rearranging his bats and standing in the middle of the room, practicing his swing.
Friday was, after all, the first time Arenado took live batting practice with the team since fracturing his middle finger on May 24. As long as there were no setbacks, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Arenado would start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday. Weiss had no exact timeline for Arenado's return to Denver but sounded optimistic.
"I don't think it's going to be too terribly long," Weiss said. "Nolan's going to be champing at the bit to get back here. A lot of these things you've got to play by ear, the rehab assignments, coming back from an injury. We'll see how he responds and how he's playing. Obviously we want to get him back here as soon as possible."
With news that Arenado was close to returning, the Rockies launched an All-Star Game voting campaign for the third baseman, creating the hashtag "#GIFtedArenado" to refer to his dazzling plays at the hot corner that easily translate into Internet GIFs.
Despite being sidelined, Arenado was fifth among National League third basemen in the All-Star balloting update released by Major League Baseball on Monday. Before the injury, he was batting .305/.333/.489 with six home runs. Arenado is also the reigning Gold Glove winner at third base.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 9:59 p.m. MT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15, on FOX.
Though Arenado was particularly charged up on Friday, Weiss noted that Arenado always brings energy to the team's clubhouse. His return will certainly be a boost to a Colorado team that has been decimated by injuries.
"That's just the way he's wired," Weiss said. "That's who he is. He's the same way when he's playing every day. I joke around and say that's why I never give him any days off when he's playing, because he's tough to live with in here. He's bouncing off the walls in here, so I run him out there every day.
"He's got a lot of energy, a lot of passion. It's good to see that youthful excitement that he brings every day."
Anderson on track to start rehab soon
MILWAUKEE -- Injured Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson threw his second live batting practice session this week before Friday's game at Miller Park, and afterward manager Walt Weiss said that the session went "really well." The lefty is still on track to throw a bullpen session before Sunday's series finale in Milwaukee. Weiss said Anderson would return to Colorado after that and start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on July 2.
Anderson has been on the disabled list since April 14 with a fractured left index finger. Weiss said there was no exact timetable for when Anderson might be able to rejoin the hobbled Rockies rotation.
"It's hard to map out," Weiss said. "We've got to build his arm back up. I'm not saying he's going to need as many starts as he would in Spring Training, but he's going to have to be built up a little bit."
Meanwhile, righty Tyler Chatwood, who felt tightness in the forearm after his live batting practice session on Tuesday, did not make the trip to Miller Park. The team said Chatwood was continuing his rehab with the club's trainers in Denver. Chatwood has been on the DL since April 30 with a right elbow strain.
Despite placing an emphasis on inducing ground balls at the beginning of the season, the Rockies had given up a Major League-high 100 home runs entering Friday, and Weiss said the absence of Anderson and Chatwood was a big factor in that.
"Fly balls usually do damage at our place, so the ability to get ground balls is important for everybody, especially for us," Weiss said. "Two of our big ground-ball guys have been out most of the year with Anderson and Chatwood. Regardless of who's out there, they've got to be able to find a way to execute that."
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.