Rangers reliever Jake Diekman threw about 30 pitches in a live bullpen session before Wednesday’s game. He’ll throw another one on Saturday and then likely start a rehab assignment, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
“We’ll find a [rehab] location for him. We haven’t decided if we’re going to start him in Arizona or one of the A ball leagues or Double A,” Banister said.
Diekman, who has been out the entire season while undergoing three major surgeries to remove and rebuild his colon after suffering from ulcerative colitis for most of his life, still has to clear hurdles such as fielding balls off the mound and covering first base.
“There is still a ways to go,” Banister said. “It’s nice to see him back on the mound. There’s definite excitement to see him on a mound and having a hitter in the batter’s box. It’s a special day for him for sure.”
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Diekman said he felt good after the session. The Rangers want to make sure his stuff is up to par before rushing back to the majors.
“Throwing live BPs will let you know if you need another one or not,” Banister said. “[The hitters] will let you know what stage you’re at. We know where he’s at physically and conditioning. But [don’t know] as far as stuff, his pitchability and all that.”
When asked how hard Diekman is throwing right now Banister said velocity is “immaterial right now.”