Schmidt ready for second rehab start

Schmidt ready for second rehab start

MILWAUKEE -- Disabled pitcher Jason Schmidt threw a 38-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday and is scheduled to make his second Minor League rehab appearance Saturday for Class A Inland Empire.

Manager Joe Torre said Schmidt, 11 months after shoulder surgery, could throw as many as three innings with a pitch count between 30 and 45.

After throwing, Schmidt spent 10 minutes talking mechanics with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Schmidt said he is getting loose quicker and now is focusing on arm extension.

"It's that last little bit, getting out in front, that you're scared to really let it go," said Schmidt. "Part of it is mental, part of it is physical. You might get that bite or even if you don't get the bite, you might wind up with a setback the next day. That's the fear and you have to get past that."

Injured infielder Nomar Garciaparra reported his calf muscle was slightly improved, but he's still not ready for game action. When he is, Torre confirmed that Garciaparra volunteered to play shortstop and Torre said he would be open to it, but was hopeful that by the time Garciaparra is ready to return, disabled shortstop Rafael Furcal would also be back.

Furcal reported that the injection he received on Monday "hit the spot," according to Torre.

Closer Takashi Saito, who missed the previous four games with flu symptoms, was available for game action.

"I'd like to get into position to use him," Torre said, a reference to the five-game losing streak. "You can't blame him for us not winning."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.