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Baseball notebook: Pitchers progress

Dontrelle Willis starts a rehab assignment Tuesday. (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Dontrelle Willis starts a rehab assignment Tuesday. (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Detroit manager Jim Leyland is encouraged with the progress of reliever Joel Zumaya and starters Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman.

Speaking before Sunday’s series finale in Seattle, Leyland said that initial reports on Zumaya’s relief appearance Saturday night with Triple-A Toledo were good. Zumaya threw two scoreless innings, allowed just two hits and struck out one in his first outing at Toledo.

Leyland said Zumaya is scheduled to throw again Tuesday and Wednesday.

Willis is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Class-A Lakeland on Tuesday as he recovers from anxiety disorder, and Bonderman has looked strong in bullpen sessions as he battles tightness in his pitching shoulder.

Vision trouble

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann was out of the lineup in Pittsburgh due to blurriness in his left eye, but is hoping that a different type of treatment will allow him to avoid additional surgery.

McCann had laser surgery to improve his vision following the 2007 season, and he had no problems last year. This season, he began experiencing blurry vision and dryness in the left eye during the Braves’ first night game and the problem hasn’t gone away.

Beckett gets break

Josh Beckett’s suspension has been reduced from six games to five, allowing the Boston Red Sox ace to take his next turn in the rotation.

Beckett threw a pitch near the head of the Los Angeles Angels’ Bobby Abreu on April 12, leading to both dugouts and bullpens emptying. The right-hander was suspended Tuesday and immediately appealed the ruling.

With the Red Sox off Thursday, the new penalty allows Beckett to switch spots with Jon Lester and start Saturday. Lester is now scheduled to start the series opener against the New York Yankees on Friday.

“We didn’t actually have a hearing because everybody has to answer to somebody, and my boss told me that this was the best thing for the ballclub,” Beckett said. “If it was up to me, obviously we would have went through with this whole thing because I don’t think I deserve even one game. When your boss tells you that something is best for the whole group then that’s what we do.”

 
Tags: baseball, MLB

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