Lefties Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard each threw 45-pitch bullpen sessions today, and both remain well ahead of schedule for a return to the mound.
Lee with throw another, long bullpen session on Tuesday, perhaps as many as 60 pitches, then throw a 35-40 pitch simulated game on Friday.
Bedard will throw 55-60 pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday.
"Erik's a few weeks behind Cliff, if only because his is an arm issue, not a abdominal strain," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "But they both looked strong today. Very encouraging."
The Mariners want both men throw between 75-80 pitches in a game beforre being activated, which likely means a minor league start or two.
If it were up to Lee, he'd be pitching somewhere today - Wakamatsu has already said, only half joking, that holding the former Cy Young Award winner back is near impossible.
Bedard, too, is feeling strong and ahead of schedule. He's been through this before - coming back from invasive surgery - and his approach is simple. He does what he's told, when he's told, pushes to the limit and waits to see what the medical folks want next.
He's been through too many setbacks to hurry himself into another.
Today's lineup vs. Texas, another new one for the season:
- Ichiro, RF
- Chone Figgins, 2B
- Casey Kotchman, 1B
- Franklin Gutierrez, CF
- Ken Griffey Jr., DH
- Jose Lopez, 3B
- Eric Byrnes, LF
- Adam Moore, C
- Jack Wilson, SS
- Ian Snell, P