Cishek tosses 'pen session; Furbush testing shoulder

Cishek tosses 'pen session; Furbush testing shoulder

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners closer Steve Cishek threw about 20 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday as he works back from some biceps tenderness that has kept the righty out of Cactus League games for the past week, while lefty setup man Charlie Furbush said he'll play catch on Tuesday to test his sore triceps.

Cishek says the club is just being careful after he felt a little soreness last week, but he noted that's nothing unusual at this point in camp, with three weeks until Opening Day.

"It's too early in the spring to do anything crazy, so we are just being cautious," Cishek said. "I've still been throwing every day. We all deal with soreness. I should be in games pretty soon."

Cishek pitched twice early in the Cactus League season, throwing scoreless innings against the Padres and Rangers the first week of games. But he hasn't been back on the mound since March 6, and that is something manager Scott Servais is keeping an eye on, particularly given that Cishek's long side-winding delivery requires some timing.

"That's what makes him effective," Servais said. "He's got a lot of moving parts. He's a bigger guy that throws from down under, so the timing issue and being consistent with release-point delivery -- it is important. He'll be the first to tell you that he pitches better when he pitches more, which is pretty common for the guys that do it like he does it."

Furbush's issue is a little more concerning, given he spent the last three months of 2015 on the disabled list with a slight rotator cuff tear. The 29-year-old threw live batting practice last Monday, but he has been limited since then, when the shoulder didn't respond well the next time he went out to play catch.

Furbush said the good news is his problem isn't in the same spot as last year's issue, as he's feeling tightness more in the outer biceps and believes it's just normal spring soreness.

"It's something I want to be smart about in the long run for my health," Furbush said. "Obviously, I was pitching on the mound, and I felt good about it. But just the recovery period was longer than I expected. A little more tightness. I thought over time we'd knock that out, but that's kind of where we are right now. As soon as I can get that out of there, I don't see why I can't press the gas pedal and get back on the mound and get pitching again."

Furbush figures he'll need four or five games to be ready for the season and, yes, he's eager to get the green light.

"I do want to get on the mound and go, absolutely," he said. "It's just the life of a pitcher right now. I'm trying to do everything I can to get back out there, and hopefully it happens sooner [rather] than later. But it is what it is, and I'm just trying to do my best to stay strong."

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.