ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Kelvim Escobar took another step forward in his road to recovery from a shoulder tear as he threw off the mound for the second time this season and said his shoulder "continues to feel stronger." Escobar, who threw for three minutes off a mound Friday, threw 30 fastballs at about 70-80 percent effort on Monday. "It was the first time I'd thrown those pitches off the mound in a long time," Escobar said. "It felt pretty good."
Escobar still doesn't have a timetable for his return, but will continue to throw off the mound every few days to strengthen his shoulder, which was diagnosed with a labrum tear in late March. Escobar will continue to take at least one day off between bullpen sessions, but will continue to play catch on days he doesn't throw from the mound. Escobar said it's a good sign that his shoulder doesn't tighten up after he throws, which was a problem in earlier workouts in March before he was shut down. "I don't feel that pinch I had before," Escobar said. "It feels a lot stronger. I just have to get used to throwing, but other than that, I feel good." Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar's progress is encouraging, but he still has a ways to go before he's completely healthy. "He needs to fine-tune some off-speed stuff in order to get some good work in there," Scioscia said. "He needs to get more length, but he's accomplishing that and threw well for us earlier." Escobar, 32, is coming off a career year in which he established a career high in wins, with 18, and posted a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.