Rays pitchers showing progress in rehab programs

Rays pitchers showing progress in rehab programs

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rehab is the rage for the Rays.

Though the team's disabled list swelled to eight on Wednesday when James Loney (mild right oblique strain) went on the 15-day DL, many of those residing on the list are moving in the right direction.

Drew Smyly (left-shoulder tendinitis) will start the season opener for the Class A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs on Thursday night and is scheduled to throw two innings.

Jake McGee (left-elbow surgery) will throw his first live batting practice session on Thursday in extended spring training, and he will throw another on Monday. If all goes well, as McGee anticipates, he will head to Triple-A Durham to begin pitching in games.

McGee painted two scenarios for his return. The earliest would see him return to the team on April 25. That would be contingent on him not making back-to-back appearances before returning. If he makes back-to-back appearances, he speculated he would be back with the team on May 1 when the Rays play in Baltimore.

Alex Colome (pneumonia) threw a two-inning simulated game at the Charlotte Sports Park complex on Tuesday, as did right-hander Ronald Belisario.

Colome, who said he felt fine on Wednesday, will start for the Stone Crabs on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla. Belisario will throw during an extended spring training intrasquad game on Friday.

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