Peacock feels 'awesome' after facing Minor League hitters

Peacock feels 'awesome' after facing Minor League hitters

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander Brad Peacock said he felt "awesome" after facing hitters on Saturday morning for the second time since undergoing surgery on his right hip in October. Peacock threw two sets of 20 pitches to a group of Minor Leaguers on the back fields.

"I threw all my pitches, and it went really good," Peacock said. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow and go from there."

The next step for Peacock is a simulated game in which he'll pitch and field, which will be a big step. He is likely to begin the season on the disabled list because he's behind the rest of the pitchers in camp, though he could be ready to pitch in games by the time the season starts.

"He's a little behind because we haven't had the luxury of building him up in the normal routine," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We'll watch him go through this step by step, and to continue to have good days is the most important. But it's getting less and less likely that [he'll be] available to us when we break."

Peacock, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 6 to repair a torn labrum and remove bone spurs in his right hip, started last season in the bullpen before making 24 starts, setting career highs in appearances (28), starts (24), innings pitched (131 2/3) and strikeouts (119). He went 4-9 with a 4.72 ERA.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.