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Jason Motte faces hitters for first time since Tommy John surgery

Mar 15, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Jason Motte Getty Getty Images

Jason Motte isn’t expected to join the Cardinals bullpen until May, but he took an important step yesterday in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the bearded reliever faced live hitters for the first time in a year.

Motte threw about 20 pitches to a group of Cardinals minor leaguers. While he wasn’t happy with his control, that’s not unexpected at this point of the rehab process. The most important thing is that he felt good.

“It was definitely more intense,” said Motte, who is recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. “It was more effort, more adrenaline than just throwing a bullpen (session). It felt good. It feels good now. It’s not like I walked off the mound and it was miserable.

“Each day we’re taking steps forward and today was a big step.”

Assuming Motte bounces back OK, the plan calls for him to throw to hitters again in three days. Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said he’ll need to get through about three or four sessions before being cleared for game action, after which he’ll need to get through a handful of rehab appearances before joining the big club. The St. Louis bullpen is already pretty stacked, but they’ll be even scarier if Motte can return to form.

  1. matt20hew - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Reblogged this on #TodaysNews.

  2. blues1988 - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    and the rich get richer

  3. perryt200 - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I love that pic. Motte looks genuinely happy.

    • cmtill14 - Mar 15, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      With a touch of Duck Dynasty. Happy for him. Really good guy and one of my favorite relievers.

  4. ozzies85dinger - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Cards pen may be stacked, but there is plenty of room for Motte.

  5. cardslifer - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Straight gas.

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