Joakim Soria feels good on mound

February, 17, 2013
2/17/13
10:56
AM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria was smiling on Sunday, pleased that after throwing three bullpen sessions his arm felt good. He still feels that sometime in May is a realistic target for his return from Tommy John surgery last April.

"I won't know for sure until I face hitters," Soria said. "Threw the first few bullpens, everything has gone smooth. That is nice."

Soria, who moved from the other side of the Surprise Recreation Campus to join the Rangers, threw two 15-pitch bullpens and one 20-pitch pen and will be moving up to 30 pitches on Monday. After a few sessions at that rate, he'll throw 45 pitches. He's only throwing fastballs at this point and says that he'll have an even better idea of how his arm feels once he adds breaking balls and off-speed pitches into the mix. He said he'll likely start with the changeup in a few weeks.

Soria was throwing for five minutes at 75 feet, five minutes at 105 feet and 10 minutes at 120 feet before he graduated to the mound. The long-toss regimen is designed to keep strengthening his arm.

This is Soria's second rehab from Tommy John surgery, so he knows how his arm should feel and he's encouraged so far.

"The intensity goes up when you face a hitter," Soria said. "I'll know more once I pitch in a game."

Manager Ron Washington is happy with what he's seen so far.

"I'm very pleased with the progress he's made," Washington said. "We just have to make sure that when he comes back, it's only one time. He's a quality pitcher. He's closed ballgames before. What he brings is an extra mentality in that bullpen of getting outs.

"He's throwing the ball freely. He hasn't opened up, but he's throwing it freely. He's happy with what he's doing. When he's happy, I'm happy."

Other injury news:
  • Justin Miller (Tommy John in April) threw a 30-pitch bullpen on Tuesday.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.70 12 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .309
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .796
ERAY. Darvish 0.00
SOY. Darvish 15