Sore McGee still expects early May return

Colome, Smyly, Cobb also among group of Rays' rehabbing arms

Sore McGee still expects early May return

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake McGee cut loose a little too much on Thursday, leaving him with some soreness. Nevertheless, all is well for the left-hander and for the rest of the corps of rehabbing Rays pitchers.

McGee, who had "loose bodies" removed from his left elbow in December, said his elbow "feels great," but reported that the rest of his body was a little stiff after pitching in an extended Spring Training game. However, McGee remained optimistic he will be back pitching for the Rays by the first part of May.

Rays manager Kevin Cash noted of McGee's Thursday outing: "Ramped it up, blowing gas, and his back stiffened up a little on him."

Outlook: McGee, RP, TB

McGee said he was hitting 98 mph during Thursday's stint.

Cash said the Rays will be cautious. McGee will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Meanwhile, Alex Colome (pneumonia) made a rehab start on Tuesday for Triple-A Durham against Charlotte (White Sox), allowing one run on four hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three while throwing 77 pitches.

Top Prospects: Colome, TB

Drew Smyly (left shoudler tendinitis) threw a bullpen on Tuesday after throwing 3 2/3 innings (68 pitches) Sunday for Double-A Montgomery, his third rehab start. The jury is still out on whether Smyly will need to make a fourth rehab start prior to rejoining the Rays.

Smyly takes another step forward

"We're not quite ready to commit on one way or the other," Cash said. "I know after his outing [Sunday] he feels really good."

Alex Cobb (right forearm tendinitis) played catch Tuesday and will play catch again on Wednesday with the hope of throwing his first bullpen session by the end of the week.

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