Toronto Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan was told Sunday to press onwards as planned in his rehabilitation from elbow surgery by the man who performed the operation.
The big left-hander threw live batting practice in Dunedin, Fla., for the second time in the morning before later meeting with Dr. Timothy Kremchek at Knology Park. Next up for Ryan will be a simulated game or BP session Wednesday, complete with the doctor's blessing.
Meanwhile, Ryan's teammates got their first win of spring training, beating the Cincinnati Reds 8-4.
"It was good," Ryan said of his meeting with Kremchek "It was pretty much the plan we already had set out. We just wanted to talk to him and get a second opinion. I just kind of got checked up to see where everything was at. Everything was good and I'll just follow the plan they have set up.
"He kind of touched all the bases when we went in there and sat down and talked to him. There wasn't a lot left to ask. There were just some little nitpicky things that I have that he kind of touched on."
Ryan underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last May 10 and the Blue Jays are hoping he'll be ready to go for the start of the season. The plan is to get him some game action by the middle of March, which would allow him to build up enough for opening day.
Ryan said his session Sunday was another positive step.
'Toward the end I was better'
"I wasn't as sharp location-wise, but it was probably the best the ball's come out," he said. "It was moving a lot — good sliders. It was only 25 pitches, so it wasn't a lot, but toward the end I was a lot better.
"I wasn't really worried about the arm today. It was more about mechanics than anything. That was good."
Ryan was most pleased that he could focus on his arm slot and throwing the ball on a downward slope. He believes that's an important sign of progress.
"Absolutely, that was the big thing for me today," said Ryan. "Once you stop worrying about your arm because you know it's OK, now you start nitpicking things that you need to work on, which is where I want to be right now.
"It's something I need to work on. I haven't been out there in a while and there's going to be little bumps like that and you'll fall into some bad habits if you don't work on it right now, so that's what we're going to do next time out."