Escobar 'feeling almost too good'
Hurler pleased with bullpen session, rehab from shoulder surgery
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Another day, another glowing report on Kelvim Escobar ... and from Kelvim Escobar.
"I threw 35 pitches today, all fastballs," Escobar said Wednesday afternoon. "Everything was good, normal. The ball came out of my hand good, and it felt like I had my normal delivery and everything.
"I'll take two days to recover and move up to 45 pitches on Saturday. When I get to 60, I should be able throw some BP [batting practice]. I'm feeling almost too good."
By that Escobar means he needs to remember this is a process, and that he needs to follow each step as dictated by the medical experts and not overextend himself.
"I've been throwing curveballs and changeups when I play catch," Escobar said. "I feel normal doing that. All I'm looking for is my strength, my endurance."
An 18-game winner in 2007, Escobar missed the entire 2008 season when a tear was detected in his right labrum, requiring shoulder surgery in July.
"I think I'm lucky where [the tear] was -- in the back of the shoulder, where you have a lot of muscles," Escobar, 32, said. "If it was in the front, it would go down into the bicep, and that could cause some problems. I'm really not feeling anything with it now."
Escobar's comeback continues to amaze teammates.
"I saw him throw the other day," John Lackey, the staff ace, said. "It was coming out hot. He looked really good.
"If Eskie comes back, it's like getting a top-end free agent. His split and change combination is probably the best around. And he's still got a nice heater.
"If we can get Eskie out there, throwing the way he can, that would be great. It's a pretty strong rotation now, but he takes us to another level. He's a difference-maker, for sure."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia continues to be upbeat about Escobar's return to the rotation while remaining careful not to apply any timetables.
"He's making some great strides," Scioscia said. "He won't be ready for Opening Day, but if he keeps making strides, he's going to surprise everybody with how quickly he recovers from this.
"The next two weeks will give us a lot more clarity. It's one thing to throw a bullpen [session], another to get in games, with raised intensity. If there's no setback, we contemplate him getting in a game before Spring Training ends, starting the progression with game action."
Another Angels starter, Jered Weaver, also is accelerating his pace and could appear in a game within 10 days, Scioscia said.
Weaver, who had some stiffness in his right shoulder when he reported to camp, also had a bullpen session on Wednesday.
"His intensity's been good," Scioscia said. "He's turned it loose. He needs to build stamina with a longer workout. He'll have at least one more throwing session, probably two [before appearing in a Cactus League game]. That week-to-10-day window looks pretty good."
Ervin Santana pitched in an intrasquad game on Tuesday.
"He threw good for the first time," Scioscia said. "His stuff was good. There's some normal soreness today. He came out of it well."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.