|Millwood and McCarthy back on mound, but still in the bullpen instead of a game|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 02 March 2008 12:27|
Millwood, the Rangers' expected opening-day starter who has been slowed by a sore right hamstring, and McCarthy (right elbow soreness) both threw bullpen sessions of about 10 minutes.
``Everything went well,'' pitching coach Mark Connor said.
Still, Millwood and McCarthy have more side work to do before they make their Cactus League debuts.
The 33-year-old Millwood, who had consecutive stints on the disabled list last year because of a strained left hamstring, will throw on the side again Monday and is scheduled to pitch a simulated game Wednesday.
``It will be just like throwing my first game. I just don't have to field my position or cover first base or anything like that,'' Millwood said. ``There are certain things where I can feel (the hamstring), but it's nothing pitching that's bothering me. I think the running and turning, things like that.''
If everything goes well in the simulated game, Millwood expects to be able to make his scheduled spring training start next Monday.
``We can basically buy him another seven or eight days before he has to do that,'' Connor said. ``He'll go his two innings on Wednesday, then back on his regular schedule. ... Hopefully everything's good by then. I don't see any reason to push him back right now as long as we can keep his arm going.''
Manager Ron Washington said Millwood is still on track to start the season opener March 31 at Seattle.
Barring injury or other setbacks, Washington said the Rangers' starting rotation ``will stay like it is.'' That would be Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Jason Jennings, McCarthy and Kason Gabbard.
Millwood aggravated his hamstring in a conditioning drill Feb. 24, and was scratched from his scheduled start Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.
McCarthy was supposed to start the spring training opener, but was held back as a precaution. He will throw another bullpen session this week before pitching in a spring game, maybe as soon as Friday.
``I want him to have another good bullpen, crank up the intensity on the breaking ball a little bit and his changeup,'' Connor said. ``He threw all of his pitches today, and I was happy with the result.''
In his previous bullpen session Friday, McCarthy was limited to throwing fastballs.
Reliever Joaquin Benoit, who Connor described as ``10 days behind,'' also had a good bullpen session. Benoit isn't slowed by an injury but rather skipped winter ball for the first time in his career and is still trying to strengthen his arm.
``It was good. I was more in the strike zone, more consistent,'' Benoit said of his second bullpen session this spring. ``I'm building up. It's something that is not going to take the whole year.''
Notes: RHP Wes Littleton left camp Sunday to attend to an undisclosed family matter. ... Former Rangers manager Jerry Narron, hired by the team last month to be a consultant, donned his familiar No. 5 jersey and was on the field for drills, and threw some batting practice. ``It feels like home,'' said Narron, who managed Texas from May 2001 through the end of 2002. Before then, he had been a Rangers assistant since 1995. He was Cincinnati's manager for two years before being fired in July.