Rangers’ reliever Tony Barnette is close to return to the mound for the first time since Sept. 4.
A strained right oblique has kept Barnette unavailable for nearly two weeks.
“I think we’re getting closer to it, shouldn’t be too far off,” said Barnette, who threw from 90 feet before Friday’s game.
Things are going well and are moving in the right direction.
Rangers reliever Tony Barnette
Barnette, who is 6-3 with a 2.15 ERA in 58 2/3 innings, said he threw about 15 pitches off flat ground with no issues.
Manager Jeff Banister doesn’t expect to have Barnette back until the last week of the regular season, perhaps by Sept. 26, 10 days away.
“I just got to keep pushing on with the progress, keep pushing it and testing it day-by-day,” he said.
Banister said the club hopes to give him a chance to acclimate himself on the mound in games before the postseason.
2.15 Tony Barnette’s earned-run average in 58 2/3 innings in 2016.
“Obviously, if he’s healthy, if he feels good and the ball is coming out of his hand well, we’d love to see him in some Major League games, just to know what we’ve got and see where he’s at, his feel for the baseball,” he said.
Barnette said he’s improved.
“Things are going well and are moving in the right direction,” he said.