Weaver 'back to normal'

Weaver 'back to normal'

PHOENIX -- Angels starter Jered Weaver has progressed enough this spring from the tightness in his right forearm that he made this bold prediction on Thursday:

"I'm looking to make my start on April 6," Weaver said, before going out for a bullpen session at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Manager Mike Scioscia isn't so sure. Bartolo Colon, the former American League Cy Young Award winner who's recovering from a sore right shoulder, also tossed a bullpen session on Thursday, although he's not ticketed to return until late April or early May. But right now, Scioscia said he's willing to give Weaver the benefit of the doubt.

"There's an outside chance Jered will be ready for his first start," Scioscia said before the Angels played the Brewers at the Maryvale Ball Park. "But there's a probability he might be pushed back a start."

Not if Weaver has anything to do with it.

Weaver threw 123 innings and was 11-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 14 starts last season after he replaced his brother, Jeff, on the Angels' 25-man roster. With the pain in his biceps having dissipated about a week ago, the younger of the Weaver brothers wants to prove that his 2006 rookie season wasn't a fluke.

"I'm not a good pitcher [yet]," Weaver said. "I had one good half year."

The downside of all that work for the first time in his career was some fatigue in his throwing arm.

"I've experienced this before in college, but not to this extent," Weaver said. "I never threw that many innings before -- definitely not. Last year was a whole new experience. Everybody has to adjust their program accordingly. It's the first time I've ever been through this. It'll probably be different the next four offseasons. Obviously, this happened after my first year, so you're going to feel something."

One thing Weaver now knows: He has to build up arm strength. This spring, Weaver came back from the nagging injury by repeating arm exercises with eight-to-10 pound weights. He did six different exercises three times each day, and he expects to incorporate those exercises into his daily routine.

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Until now, the injury has made his Spring Training regimen mundane. He's tired of dealing with it and tired of talking about it.

"A little bit," Weaver said of growing weary of the injury. "It's been kind of frustrating. They're going to move up my bullpens a little more now, so I should be getting into a better pace. I'll feel more like I'm in the thick of things."

Actually, Scioscia said he's hoping to get Weaver on an every-other-day bullpen schedule with the rest of the starters. The hope is that Scioscia will be able to put Weaver on the mound in a game situation next week, as the Cactus League schedule begins to dwindle.

Barring a setback, whether Weaver is ready for his first regular-season start depends on how things develop in the next week.

"There's a progression there to get ready for a Major League game." Scioscia said. "You have to build up to enough pitches to get deep into it. If he's feeling good and he maintains his stamina, but he gets to only 60 or 70 pitches, then he's not ready. If his stamina is good enough where he's throwing 90 to 100 pitches, then he's ready for a Major League game. So we've got to get him to that point."

If Weaver has anything to say about it, he'll be back to that point by the time camp breaks at the end of March.

"I'm back to normal," Weaver declared about his arm. "Now I'm trying to get ready for the season."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.