Motte ramps up in bullpen session; could face hitters next

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL | @BFeldman

KMOV.com

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 11 at 9:03 PM

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals reliever Jason Motte took things to another level today in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.  The former NL leader in saves threw what he considers to be the hardest throwing bullpen he's had thus far.

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"Intensity-wise that was probably up there," Motte said afterwards. "This time and last time were probably pretty close.  This one was probably a little more (intense).  I guess this time it was easier to get to that point.  It feels good.  We'll see what the next step is."
 
Could that next step be facing hitters?  Motte says that's possible.  But he isn't focusing on what timetable the Cardinals have for him. 
 
"A lot of it now is recovery and how I feel the next day," Motte said. "As we've taken steps I've felt good. I've been moving (my rehab) forward because the way I've been recovering has been good."
 
If Motte recovers well from this bullpen session he could face hitters in a couple days.  From there the Cards would like to get him into a Grapefruit League game or two before they leave Florida. 
 
That way he's well on his way to joining the big league team sooner than later during the regular season.

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