SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Derrek Lee is hoping to take batting practice on the field Friday after being restricted to hitting soft tosses in the cage during the first days of the full-squad workouts.
Lee, three months removed from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, won't take BP with the team. The veteran will take his swings against one of the minor league coaches.
Earlier today, Lee stood in the cage but kept the bat on his shoulder while Brad Bergesen threw live batting practice. Other hitters were allowed to swing.
"It feels good," Lee said. "There aren't any concerns, but there's no need to rush it. I want to get my at-bats, of course. I'm not taking it so slow that I'll jeopardize the work I've done, but I have to remind myself that I'm coming off surgery.
"I don't want to be stubborn. I want to be smart about it."
Meanwhile, Brian Roberts has returned to camp after undergoing X-rays on his neck. Roberts downplayed the situation, saying it's just a stiff neck and nothing related to his back.