Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Colon looks sharper against minor-leaguers

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon remains a viable candidate to break camp in the White Sox' starting rotation, pitching coach Don Cooper said today after watching the 35-year-old continue his comeback from offseason elbow surgery.

''We're still hoping for that and everything seems to be pointing in that direction,'' Cooper said. ''But we have alternatives if he doesn't. We have guys like [Clayton] Richard and guys like that if we feel he isn't throwing the ball quite up to snuff, we'll make the decision. If he needs more time, we'll give him more time, but right now, we're on schedule.''

Facing minor-league hitters from the Texas Rangers on a back field at Camelback Ranch, Colon threw 44 pitches, 35 for strikes. Velocity on his fastball topped out at 87 mph.

This after Colon made his Cactus League debut Monday, throwing only 22 of 40 pitches for strikes.

''Basically, another step forward,'' Cooper said. ''He threw three innings of [44] pitches. We have just enough time to get him ready if he continues to progress. He felt good all throughout the outing. We'll check him tomorrow morning. If he feels good, he'll be on a five-day work week. He'll pitch five days from now. We're not sure where yet, we haven't decided that. But we are heading forward.

''Better control, he's out there for three innings, everything is a little bit better. But we need more and we have to continue to climb.''

Any concerns about his velocity?

''Velocity? I mean how fair is it to judge somebody on velocity and command if it's his second time on the mound in a year?'' Cooper said. ''We're just trying to take it one step at a time and go inning by inning and he has been doing that so far.''

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on March 20, 2009 4:06 PM.

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