Doolittle progressing, expects to resume throwing next week

A's closer working way back from slight rotator cuff tear, shoulder soreness

Doolittle progressing, expects to resume throwing next week

MESA, Ariz. -- A's closer Sean Doolittle expects to resume throwing next week as he continues to work his way back from a slight rotator cuff tear and soreness in his left shoulder.

Doolittle was optimistic about his progress and said he plans to begin a throwing program similar to what he ordinarily goes through in the offseason and see how his shoulder responds.

"I feel like I could be throwing; I feel like I could have been throwing for a couple weeks," Doolittle said. "But, you know, we've got to make sure we do it right and make sure the shoulder and everything in there is really strong before we start that process."

Doolittle was reluctant to put a timeline on when he could rejoin the A's. Once he starts throwing next week, he said it will give him a better indication.

"It's responded really well to everything we've thrown at it so far," he said. "I don't want to put a timetable on it, put too much pressure on it or anything like that. But it's doing really well. [I'm] just trying not to mess it up."

Doolittle took over as closer last May and ran with it, recording 22 saves and a 2.73 ERA en route to his first All-Star appearance. His 11.13 strikeout to walk ratio was the No. 2 mark in the Majors.

But for the time being, he's been relegated to a passive role while his teammates gear up for the season.

"It's frustrating because with all the moves we made -- there's a lot of young guys here, there's a lot of new guys here -- I really like the way the team is shaping up," Doolittle said. "I think it's going to be a fun, exciting team to be a part of, so I'm pretty bummed I'm not going to be ready to go along with everyone else."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.