LaTroy Hawkins is continuing to work his way back from shoulder surgery, and the Brewers have been bringing him along slowly this spring. It appears, though, that Hawkins may be nearing a return to the mound. He threw a bullpen session today, and seemed encouraged afterwards:
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Given how slowly he’s progressed this spring, there’s probably still a chance Hawkins starts the year in the DL so he can get his arm where it needs to be. When talking about Takashi Saito, another aging (and fragile) reliever, Ron Roenicke has said he wants to limit him to pitch in 8 or 9 spring games. Presumably, they would want the same from Hawkins before having him make his debut. Like Jonathan Lucroy, it might just be a matter of making sure he’s up to speed.
In the meantime, the bullpen race looks to be very tight. We’ll get a better idea of who the serious contenders are once cuts start being made, but it might be hard to find a spot for Hawkins once he’s finally ready.