Jurrjens throws first bullpen session (with quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens did more today than put on a uniform and participate in fielding drills. He also completed a bullpen session in the indoor batting cage.

JurrjensEdited.jpgJurrjens threw off a mound outside the media workroom around 11:55 a.m. before heading to the cage, where hitters were tracking pitches for the first time. You can’t determine a lot from a side session, but he seemed to have a fluid motion during his 10-minute warmup.

Minor league catcher Allan de San Miguel set the target for Jurrjens, who signed a minor league deal on Friday.

There are two mounds set up near the cage, and local products Steve Johnson (St. Paul’s) and Zach Clark (UMBC) threw together at 12:15 p.m.

Every pitcher scheduled to throw made it through today’s workout without a hitch.

Zach Britton was impressive again, consistently hitting his target low in the strike zone with impressive velocity for the first week of camp.

Update: Jurrjens estimated that he’s thrown 15 bullpen sessions, including 14 before he arrived in camp.

“It went good today,” he said. “I’m still trying to get my windup. There’s some stuff I need to fix, but I felt really good about the way the ball was coming out, and I’m pain-free.

“This is the first time I had a pitching coach behind me to pick out some things I’m doing bad with my mechanics. I think from now, my bullpens are going to keep getting better and better. It’s going to become easier for me.

“I got into some bad habits the last few years with my mechanics. My body would want to do the wrong mechanics. I’m just trying to correct them every time I throw a pitch and make sure I’m feeling my delivery during the whole pitch, and then I can correct it myself, too.”

Jurrjens said he will be ready to pitch when the exhibition games start on Feb. 23.

“I’m ready,” he said. “I’m doing everything. I’ve had no setbacks. Just working to get stronger and get more comfortable on the mound more and more and get ready when the games start.

“The stronger I get, the mechanics will come quicker and the more comfortable I get on the mound, the quicker they get, too. It’s going to become more of a mind game for me to trust myself and trust what I’m doing to get stronger and go out there and just try to have fun.”

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