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News » Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-18

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-18

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-18
Brandon Backe, who hasn't pitched in a game since suffering a left intercostals strain in early March, will throw a simulated game Saturday for the first time since he was hurt.

If all goes well, Backe might even be ready to start a rehab assignment as early as late next week.

"I feel good," he said. "It's a slow process. Not trying to go any quicker than what they're telling me. I don't feel anything, so that's good."

Asked at what stage of spring training he would be health wise at this point, Backe felt strong enough to possibly make a two-inning, 40-pitch appearance, which equates to the first week of exhibition games and third week of a six-week camp overall.

"My arm's in better shape than it would be arriving to spring training," he said. "I feel like I could go and throw two innings in the first outing in spring training, but they're not going to let me."

Well, Cecil Cooper indicated Backe might be close to being allowed to go out and pitch in a game while the club.

"Tomorrow it's a simulated game," Cooper said. "From there, we'll map it out for all three (pitchers on the DL, Backe, Doug Brocail and Brian Moehler)."

While qualifying that he was just thinking out loud, Cooper said it was possible that after Saturday's simulated game Backe might throw another one two days later, another one two days after that and then a side session and then "He might ready to go pitch."

"Brandon's coming along pretty good actually," Cooper said.

REDS 2, ASTROS 1: One day after he couldn't pitch because of a mid-back strain, Jose Valverde pitched despite a bit of discomfort and blew his first save opportunity of the year when Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run home run off him. The Astros were limited to only four hits to further hurt their cause.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 18, 2009

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