Apr 11, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT
ATLANTA — Doug Fister took another key step toward his eventual return from a strained lat muscle on Friday, throwing 35 pitches in a bullpen session at Turner Field and reporting no problems with either his side or his elbow.
“Really impressive,” manager Matt Williams said. “Threw it where he wanted to, had good life, he felt good after. We’ll progress from there, but it’s a really encouraging sign that he felt good afterward.”
Out since the final day of spring training when he felt tightness in his side while trying to pitch a minor-league game in Viera, Fister had only been throwing on flat ground in recent days but ramped it up Friday afternoon in pitching atop a bullpen mound for the first time. He threw mostly fastballs and changeups, according to Williams, but mixed in a few breaking balls along the way.
The Nationals plan to have Fister throw off a mound again in a few days, building up to 50 pitches. After that, he would likely be ready to face live hitters, either in a simulated game or perhaps on a rehab assignment in Viera or with one of the club’s minor-league affiliates.
“He’ll definitely have to have [a rehab assignment],” Williams said. “The question is when. We don’t know that yet.”
Though elbow inflammation initially slowed Fister’s progress in spring training, that issue has not cropped up at all over the last two weeks.
“He was fine until the lat issue,” Williams said. “So right now, it’s the lat. In all of his throwing and all the stuff we’ve been doing, he hasn’t reported any problem with the elbow. So that’s great.”
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nats nearly doubled in franchise value from 2014 to 2015
- Gonzalez settles down, with help from Scherzer
- Former Nats pitcher earns rotation spot with Texas Rangers
- Ian Desmond ranks highly among shortstops, according to ESPN
- Gio Gonzalez faces Mets in Viera
- Harper sidelined as Nats' injuries continue to mount
- Who should Nats' tab as Rendon's fill-in?
- Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Mark Zuckerman & Marc Carig
- Scherzer dominates Cardinals' "A" lineup
- Harper on criticism, hopes for 2015: 'I want to do damage'