Carp encouraged, starts swinging again

Carp encouraged, starts swinging again

Carp encouraged, starts swinging again
SEATTLE -- Mike Carp took some swings in the batting cage on Tuesday for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list two weeks ago and the Mariners left fielder was feeling much better afterward.

"It was definitely good for the psyche," said Carp, who is recovering from right shoulder problems that have lingered since hurting himself on Opening Night. "I'm all smiles today. I took 25 hacks and felt great."

Carp has been frustrated since spraining his shoulder diving for a ball on the Tokyo Dome turf. He spent a month on the DL with that injury, then hit just .157 in 32 games before acknowledging the shoulder was still an issue both hitting and throwing.

He said trainers have discovered the muscles behind his shoulder had been overcompensating as they tried to protect his injury and began causing other problems. He's spent the past two weeks resting the shoulder, then beginning rehab work to get those muscles firing correctly again.

"It felt normal to swing, finally," Carp said. "I noticed even when I was warming up, it felt the way it's supposed to again. Before I was tucking my shoulder and doing some things that were bad habits, basically. It's more natural this time."

Carp will take 45 swings in the cage on Wednesday and continue building up there, but he doesn't know how soon he'll begin throwing.

"We want to get the hitting going first," he said. "I want to throw now or at least play catch, but we're going to take our time with it and not rush things like last time. That was more me, saying, 'Hey, I'm ready to go,' so I'm going to stick to the program this time.

"We're going to get the hitting going and fix all that first because obviously that's my bread and butter. Get that going, then introduce the throwing, go out on a rehab assignment and get back to playing, hopefully pretty quick."

Reliever Stephen Pryor, the other Mariner on the 15-day disabled list, played long toss on Tuesday, throwing up to 110 feet, as he works back from a strained left groin muscle.