SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Eddie Guardado was able to pitch an inning in a Minor League game Sunday but is still battling the flu and is not expected to pitch in a Cactus League game before the Rangers leave Arizona.
"He threw the ball good but he's still sick," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "He's coughing and still having trouble breathing. But true to his personality, he went out there and threw 17 pitches. I'd just like to get this stuff out of his system."
Guardado, signed as a free agent in the offseason to be a candidate to close or left-handed setup reliever, hasn't pitched in a Cactus League game since March 12. The plan right now is for him to pitch in another Minor League game Tuesday and Thursday, then possibly an exhibition game Saturday against Double-A Frisco.
By pitching Guardado in Minor League games, the Rangers have the option of putting him on the disabled list and backdating it as many as 10 days into Spring Training. In other words, he would go on the 15-day disabled list but could only miss a minimum of five days in the regular season. That option is eliminated if he plays in a Cactus League game.
Connor said that's not a consideration and Guardado insists he'll be ready for Opening Day.
"He's pitching in Minor League games the rest of the way but we're not talking about backdating or the D.L.," Connor said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.