Doolittle throws off mound; Crisp swings off tee

Doolittle throws off mound; Crisp swings off tee

OAKLAND -- A couple of the A's biggest stars are making significant progress as they rehab from their respective injuries. While closer Sean Doolittle threw off the mound on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing an offseason procedure on his left shoulder, leadoff man Coco Crisp (elbow surgery) hit off a tee and is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon.

"I feel like I've continued to get stronger to build up the strength I need in my shoulder," Doolittle said. "It feels really good to have that hurdle, that step under my belt now, getting off the mound and having it go well."

Doolittle received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left shoulder in January after experiencing inflammation in the area. The southpaw threw 21 pitches on Tuesday, all fastballs, saying he yanked his 20th and wanted to finish on a good note.

"The ball was coming out clean, I was around the zone," Doolittle said. "If I made a bad pitch, I was able to make an adjustment and fix it. It was a really good first day. Hopefully it wasn't beginner's luck, but I'll take it."

Doolittle is expected to throw more bullpens before eventually facing hitters and getting into game situations. The A's bullpen has been struggling in his absence, posting a 4.43 ERA as a unit, which ranked 25th in the league entering Tuesday's game against the Angels.

Crisp, who underwent right elbow surgery April 3 to remove bone chips, sounds very close to game action. He is hoping to play for Class A Advanced Stockton at some point during their upcoming homestand, which runs Friday through May 7.

The veteran outfielder said it will be an adjustment, since it's the first time he was sidelined for Spring Training in his career. Not to mention he's making the move from center field to left.

"We'll see how it goes," Crisp said. "I don't know how many games I'll need down there or if I'll feel good right away, as far as my timing and my body."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.