Eickhoff progresses toward game action

Right-hander rehabbing injured right thumb

Eickhoff progresses toward game action

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Barring any setbacks, Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff hopes to make his Grapefruit League debut later this week.

The 25-year-old right-hander threw live batting practice on Sunday morning as he continues to recover from a non-displaced fracture on the outside of his right thumb.

"It seems to be doing really well," Eickhoff said.

Eickhoff said the session, working with catcher J.P. Arencibia, consisted of about 40 pitches. He threw mostly fastballs but also worked in some changeups and "flipped some curveballs out of the stretch."

"It was good to get those back into the mix there," Eickhoff said of his offspeed pitches.

Eickhoff hopes to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, meaning he could be available for game action as soon as Friday afternoon's game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Otherwise, Eickhoff may attempt to pitch on Saturday against the Blue Jays, though Charlie Morton figures to be on schedule for that game.

"I was really happy about the progress we've made and everything," Eickhoff said. "It's right on schedule like we've discussed, and I couldn't be more excited."

Eickhoff was one piece of a huge trade haul that saw Philadelphia also acquire prospects Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson and Nick Williams from the Rangers in exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman.

A bunting drill on Feb. 11 originally sidelined Eickhoff when he couldn't get out of the way of a pitch.

In eight starts for the Phillies last year, Eickhoff went 3-3 with a 2.65 ERA. He struck out 49 and walked just 13 in 51 innings.

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