Indians closer Chris Perez is making a steady recovery from the oblique strain that he suffered during his first bullpen session of the spring, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, and may be ready to resume mound workouts this week.
Perez, who was originally prescribed a recovery timetable of 4-6 weeks, has already progressed to throwing long toss at a distance of 105 feet.
Once he’s able to extend that to 120 feet, the Indians’ medical staff will clear him for bullpen sessions and then live batting practice.
“I feel good,” Perez told reporters Saturday in Indians camp. “Right now, everything is based on how I’m feeling each day and I’m feeling really good.”
The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 3.32 ERA in 59 2/3 innings last year, saving 36 games in 40 tries. If he’s not ready by Opening Day, early save chances will likely go to talented setup man Vinnie Pestano.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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