Cliff Lee threw off a mound for the first time today 8-10 pitches, depending on you were listening to, will throw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday and, on the 14th will pitch a simulated game.
"We're going to build his pitch count up in simulated games, then send him out - for one, two games, we just don't know yet," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We'll let his progress dictate."
Sidelined since March 12 with a strained abdominal muscle, Lee is coming along faster than the team had hoped, but there's still no return date.
Similarly, Erik Bedard threw a 40-pitch bullpen session this afternoon and is well ahead of his once-June projected return. Whethe that holds is another question, but he's throwing well and, like Lee, will soon begin simulated games.
Bedard hasn't pitched since last July, and underwent shoulder surgery in August last year.
Also, for those scoring at home, remove the error charged to third baseman Jose Lopez on Tuesday - it was changed to a hit for Ryan Sweeney by the official scorer, post-game. Lopez hasn't committed an error yet.
That's the Lee-Bedard update. Now, a lineup vs. Oakland:
- Ichiro, RF
- Chone Figgins, 2B
- Casey Kotchman, 1B
- Milton Bradley, LF
- Ken Griffey Jr, DH
- Jose Lopez, 3B
- Franklin Gutierrez, CF
- Rob Johnson, C
- Jack Wilson, SS
- Ryan Rowland-Smith, P