Furbush feeling fine after first mound test

Lefty on road back following '15 shoulder DL stint

Furbush feeling fine after first mound test

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Charlie Furbush, who figures to be a key component in this year's Mariners bullpen, threw 25 pitches on Monday in his first mound test of the spring, and said all felt great after he missed the last half of the 2015 season with shoulder problems.

The 29-year-old southpaw figured he was throwing at about 90 percent effort level in his initial time off the mound since camp opened Saturday. He also threw a light session just prior to camp, but said this was a big step forward in his return.

Mariners Spring Training info

"It felt good," he said. "I was just building up my progression. This is only my second time up on the mound, so obviously the next time out I can be more intense. I was just going through it, but I was pretty pleased with how I finished up."

Furbush posted a 2.08 ERA in 33 appearances last season before going on the disabled list in early July with a slight tear in his rotator cuff. The Mariners are counting on him to be their lefty setup man if all goes well this spring.

Furbush said his biggest challenge at this point is to not overdo things initially.

"I spoke with our trainer about that. Just being around our guys, I get a little excited and want to compete," he said. "But obviously I have to take it a little easy up front. That's the only thing I have to watch out for, is jumping the gun too quick. But today was a real good step in the right direction. I felt good, felt strong and finished up good. And all my pitches were working."

Furbush is scheduled to throw again on Thursday, along with the other pitchers who threw bullpens on Monday -- Mike Montgomery, Vidal Nuno, Tony Zych, Cody Martin and Evan Scribner.

Worth noting

• Veteran right-hander Joaquin Benoit was also scheduled to throw on Monday, but he was held out after dealing with some tightness in his hamstring and lower back, according to manager Scott Servais.

Left-hander Paul Fry, who is recovering from an illness, and Felix Hernandez, who'll begin his throwing later this week, are the only other pitchers who've yet to throw a bullpen session.

• Outfielder Nori Aoki arrived on Monday as position players continue trickling into camp prior to Wednesday's official report day. General manager Jerry Dipoto said he expects all 23 position players to be in when physicals are taken Wednesday. The first full-squad workout is set for Thursday.

One clarification, however. Second baseman Robinson Cano, who initially was reported to have arrived at camp on Friday, actually hasn't checked in yet. There was some confusion when Cano was listed among the players who took their physical exams on Friday.

Cano, Nelson Cruz, Franklin Gutierrez, Ketel Marte and Seth Smith are among the position players expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.