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Mori’s back at it

Posted Feb 21, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Feb 21, 2007 at 04:36 PM

RHP Shinji Mori was back on the mound today, taking the latest step in his return from a shoulder injury suffered last spring. He threw about 20 pitches, and Joe Maddon estimated the pitcher was throwing at about 50-60 percent effort.

“I thought at first he was a little bit hesitant, that first maybe 10 pitches or so,” said Maddon. “I think after that he started letting it go a little bit more and the last five or six pitches had a little bit more pop on them. I think it’s natural, and I told him that afterward: ‘If you were reticent or hesitant in regard to throwing the ball originally, it’s only because you’re coming off an injury where you threw the ball and basically felt your shoulder pop out.’

“I think the biggest first step is the mental step. Once he knows he’s not going to hurt himself, I think you’ll see 75 (percent effort), then 80, then 90. But until he’s satisfied that the hand’s not going to keep going with the ball, he’s going to be a little bit hesitant about it, and I think anybody that’s gone through what he’s gone through would be the same.

Pitching coach Jim Hickey wants to give his guys a bit of rest tomorrow, so the Rays will hold off on live batting practice until Friday. The first full-squad workout will focus largely on defense and will wrap up with batting practice thrown by the coaches on three different fields.

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