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Fossum impressing with rapid recovery
LHP Casey Fossum took a big step toward being ready by opening day Monday with his first live bullpen session.
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published March 6, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG - LHP Casey Fossum took a big step toward being ready by opening day Monday with his first live bullpen session.
"Wow, he's much further along than I anticipated," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of the session. "He's looking like he's going to be ready."
Fossum, who had left shoulder surgery in September, threw 43 pitches before Monday's game, pitching coach Jim Hickey said, mixing in all his pitches to Jason Grabowski and Joel Guzman. Fossum said he hoped to pitch in an exhibition game after one more live batting practice session, barring any setbacks.
"I felt like I threw the ball pretty well," Fossum said. "I didn't hit anybody and all my breaking stuff was there. I'll probably take a day and see how it feels tomorrow and then throw one more, and then I should be ready."
Hickey said Fossum could pitch in a game as early at Saturday, but Sunday was more likely because he would like to give the pitcher two days off before and after his next batting practice.
"If all goes well he'll be ready for a game," Hickey said.
Maddon and Hickey have been impressed with Fossum's quick recovery.
"I think a lot of times with guys who hurt their arm, they may be close to their normal velocity but they have no command or control," Maddon said. "Right now I think I'm seeing normal velocity and control and command also."
ANOTHER BLOWN LEAD: The Devil Rays went into the top of the eighth with a two-run lead, but the Twins tagged Ruddy Lugo for one in the eighth and pounded Chris Seddon for three in the ninth for a 4-2 win.
Eli Tintor hit a leadoff triple in the ninth. Justin Morneau's single to center scored Tintor to tie it. After a sacrifice bunt moved pinch-runner Chris Heintz to second, the inning snowballed with a fielding error by shortstop Reid Brignac that scored one run and a two-out single by Denard Span Tampa Catholic that scored another.
"I think the biggest problem was the leadoff triple," Maddon said. "That's a part of the Twins' concepts that we're trying to get done, runner on third base, less than two outs, use the middle of the field."
SEO ON POINT: RHP Jae Seo was impressive in his first spring appearance, retiring all six Twins he faced. He induced popups from 3-4-5 hitters Michael Cuddyer, Morneau and Rondell White in an eight-pitch second. Five outs came on fly balls.
"I felt very good today, better than last year," Seo said. "I wanted to try to throw a lot of two-seam (fastballs) today."
MISCELLANY: Maddon said he was impressed with RHP Edwin Jackson, who despite falling behind all four hitters he faced yielded just one walk in a hitless third inning. ... Outfielder Dustan Mohr hit his first homer of the spring. ... Evan Longoria struck out twice in his first spring start. ... Eight Rays pitchers will participate in a high-tech video filming testing program with XOS Technologies called SportMotion today and Wednesday. ... As part of the 10th anniversary of the National Education Association's Read Across America, relievers Shawn Camp and Lugo will read to about 300 first- and second-graders from Campbell Park Elementary before today's game.