SURPRISE, Ariz. -- RHP Colby Lewis is reaching another milestone today in his recovery from mid-season elbow surgery, as he is scheduled to throw a 25-pitch bullpen session for the first time.
The Rangers have been cautious and conservative with their advancement toward this moment and manager Ron Washington even indicated earlier in the week that the right-hander is even a little bit ahead of schedule. However, that does not indicate Lewis will return to the rotation earlier than expected.
"Won't happen" Washington emphatically stated. "The last time I saw him in the bullpen, he had a tremendous stroke, his stroke was the same as before he got hurt. I'm just looking for him to maintain that stroke, and if he does then I know everything is working out fine."
Other injury notes:
OF Engel Beltre continues to show improvement from a sore shoulder and will test the injury today in the batting cage. The results of that session may determine if he can represent Spain in the World Baseball Classic. Beltre is scheduled to leave the Rangers on Sunday, so the team would likely have to offer a definitive answer by tomorrow.
RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) and Ramon Mendez (right elbow surgery - stress fracture) will throw a bullpen session Friday.
3B Adrian Beltre continues his recovery from a sore calf and is getting closer to a return.
OF Joey Butler (lower back stiffness) and OF Craig Gentry (hamstring tightness) are improving and could see playing time this weekend.
C Eli Whiteside is sidelined with a mild left calf strain.
RHP Kyle McClellan (right shoulder soreness) will advance from long toss to throwing off a half mound today.