Hanrahan's first session doesn't go as planned

Reliever not yet at full strength in comeback bid

Hanrahan's first session doesn't go as planned

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joel Hanrahan now has a baseline for where he's throwing in his comeback attempt. It's not what he wanted at this point.

"It didn't go as I'd hoped," Hanrahan said Sunday morning after he cut short his first bullpen session of Spring Training on Saturday with soreness.

That echoes what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus cautioned on Friday when asked about Hanrahan, the former All-Star closer trying to return to pitching after missing most of the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Hanrahan was among the pitchers scheduled to throw off the back mounds at Tigertown on Saturday morning, but it was a relatively short session.

"He said he didn't feel his best today," Ausmus said Saturday. "He'll come back in a couple days, see how it goes."

He's not shutting it down, but he's coming to the realization that he's further away from pitching in games than he might have hoped after an offseason of rest and rehab.

"We're maybe a little further out than I had hoped," Hanrahan said.

That could change if something clicks, which he's hoping happens at some point this spring. It could be scar tissue breaking or it could be a mechanical slot that feels comfortable.

As long as he's experiencing soreness and not pain, Hanrahan is still throwing. If it takes more time than he has in this camp, he's willing to keep trying. He has talked with team officials about the possibility of staying in Tigertown for extended spring camp if he runs out of time to be ready for the start of the season.

"Opening Day would probably be a little bit of a surprise," he said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.