Proctor setting sights on May 1 return
Marlins hurler anxious to get back onto hill after October surgery
JUPITER, Fla. -- Taking everything into the equation, Scott Proctor is targeting May 1 as a realistic day to join the Marlins.
Proctor will have a better indication after he undergoes another MRI examination later in the week and is cleared to begin throwing.
Bothered by scar tissue in his right elbow, Proctor has made one Grapefruit League appearance while missing pretty much all of Spring Training. Proctor had surgery on his throwing elbow in October, and dealing with scar tissue is common during the recovery process.
"I'm champing at the bit getting ready to throw," Proctor said Sunday. "I'm feeling really good. ... My target date is May 1. Whether we adhere to that, we'll see."
The 32-year-old free agent was signed in January, and he is expected to be a valuable leader in a setup role.
No one on the Marlins has said May 1 is a realistic time frame, but Proctor is striving to miss just the season's first month.
"From what they talk about in throwing progression, starting at 60 feet and going to 90 -- long-tossing -- that's what I'm gearing for," Proctor said. "They say the biggest thing is once we get back, we'll try to go back-to-back days and multiple innings."
Piecing together the bullpen has been a challenge for Florida because Proctor and closer Matt Lindstrom (strained right rotator cuff) are fighting through injuries.
Right-handers in contention for the setup role are Logan Kensing, Leo Nunez, Kiko Calero, Brian Sanches and Carlos Martinez.
Starters Rick VandenHurk and Burke Badenhop also are being looked at as relievers.
Even though the bullpen is unsettled, Proctor is confident the Marlins have enough quality arms in camp to get by.
"There's not really a question mark of the bullpen," Proctor said. "There are a lot of good guys that are going to get an opportunity now. The guys we have are very, very talented. They've got great stuff."
Proctor is most interested in being fully healthy when he returns.
"The biggest thing is being able to answer the bell every day," Proctor said. "When I'm back and they activate me, they're not babying me."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.