Hamels back to throwing; Ross nearing return

Hamels back to throwing; Ross nearing return

BOSTON -- Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels has begun a throwing program as he continues his recovery from a strained oblique muscle in his right side. Hamels started playing catch this week with the Rangers in Boston to play the Red Sox.

"It feels good," Hamels said. "Right now, it's about being able to get the proper mechanics without compensating and causing another injury. Things are going well."

Hamels went on the disabled list after being scratched from a start against the Astros on May 2, when he felt the issue while warming up. The original diagnosis was Hamels would be sidelined eight weeks, and Tuesday marked three weeks since the injury.

"The plan is to play catch for a week, increasing distance and pitches," Hamels said. "That will give me the best idea of when to get back on the mound and have bullpen [sessions] before I face live hitters."

Hamels is continuing to travel with the Rangers while on the disabled list. He is expected to sit down with general manager Jon Daniels and the medical staff when the Rangers return to Arlington to formulate a more specific throwing program.

Ross to throw again at Triple A: Right-hander Tyson Ross is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday at Omaha. It could be his final outing before being fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and be ready to join the rotation.

Ross on signing with Rangers

Ross is scheduled to throw approximately 90 pitches over six innings. He threw 73 on Tuesday for Round Rock over five scoreless innings in a 14-3 win over Las Vegas.

"Very good reports," manager Jeff Banister. "Good velocity on the fastball, the slider was swing and miss. He felt good and was aggressive with all his pitches. He needs to continue the pitch-count and strength buildup. There is still an element of conservative to make sure there are no setbacks."

Rangers beat
• Right-handed reliever Jose Leclerc, on the disabled list with a bruised right index finger, played catch Wednesday for the first time since getting a cortisone injection last week. He could throw off a mound Friday.

• Infielder Hanser Alberto, is finally making progress from the sore shoulder that has sidelined him since Spring Training. He is doing full baseball activities in Surprise, Ariz., and could start playing in extended spring training games this weekend.

• Reliever Jake Diekman is scheduled for a third ulcerative colitis surgery in June but is still able to play catch for now and keep his arm active as much as possible.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.