Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner threw a 30-pitch bullpen Friday morning, his first in camp since being slowed by upper right biceps soreness.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Cashner has shown progress since returning from Arlington. Cashner, however, is unlikely to be ready for his spot in the rotation by the first week of the season.
“He continues to hit marks with the throwing program but it’s a day to day process with him,” Banister said. “We’ll see how he is after the workload today.”
Cashner said he felt great after Friday’s session. He said his first potential regular-season start is too far off to gauge how long he needs to be ready.
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“It all depends on once I get going how quick I can build up,” said Cashner, 30. “I still have to go through what everybody else went through to build up.”
That includes ramping up his pitch count, throwing live bullpens and putting together multi-inning stints.
“It’s better to miss a week than a month for sure,” he said. “I don’t know where I’ll be. I just have to go through the throwing progressions and see where I’m at.
Banister said it’s possible the Rangers would use a four-man rotation the first week or so of the season before Cashner is available.
“We like to honor the off days and keep our guys in that rotation as long we can honor the off days,” he said. “We are in a situation here, given the timetable, where we could start the season and go through the first few times through the rotation with only four starters. It’s not optimum but we could do that.”
The Rangers rotation in that scenario would likely be Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and then a combination of Mike Hauschild, Dillon Gee and A.J. Griffin.