SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada will play catch again tomorrow, assuming his left elbow responds favorably to today’s session, and he could return to the mound sometime next week.
Wada had his elbow drained on Sunday and received a cortisone injection. He was shut down until today.
“I felt very good. I felt much better than I did before I took this rest,” he said through his interpreter.
“I’m going to play catch tomorrow and then we’re going to see how things go and make a new plan. From what they’ve told me, I’m going to play catch tomorrow.”
Wada has dealt with a similar condition in the past, but he didn’t want to revisit those days.
“I can’t get into specific details about that - just things I’d like to keep to myself as to how I handled it before. But I rest for a couple days and then I play some catch and I get back on a mound, and it seems to be shaking out that way this time,” he said.
“They’ve really let me rest and I feel like we’re doing this the right way.”
Wada can’t say for sure when he’ll throw a bullpen session.
“I haven’t really received any instructions on that specifically thus far,” he said. “Of course, I want to get back out there as fast as I can, get out there and do my best. They’re going to make a program and I’m going to follow it to the best of my ability because I want to be able to throw without pain.”
Wada threw from 50 feet today, and the distance will be increased before he’s cleared to throw off a mound.
“Got the results we were hoping to get,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“You can see it in his face that he feels a lot better. I talked to him about it yesterday afternoon and he was looking forward to today.”
As for tomorrow’s flat-ground session, Showalter said, “Same thing tomorrow except a little more intensity. He’s doing well with it. Swelling, other things have gone away, so he’s ready, but we’ll see if the mound work brings it back. But I’m hoping if you look at his history and everything that this is kind of normal.”
Showalter said there’s enough time for Wada to get ready for the season, “but we don’t need any more setbacks with him. He can get back on schedule, but if he has another setback, it’d be put in jeopardy.”
Coming up: Showalter talks about Tommy Hunter, and other topics.