BRADENTON, Fla. — It was a good day for the Pirates’ bullpen, even though nobody picked up a ball.
Workouts at Pirate City were cut short so players could make it to the annual charity golf tournament. Pitchers did not throw.
Two key relievers, closer Octavio Dotel and right-hander Joel Hanrahan, bounced around in good moods after getting positive reports from doctors.
Dotel, who has been shut down the past week, smiled and gave a thumbs-up when asked if his strained left oblique is feeling better. “I’m going to start throwing next week, I hope,” Dotel said.
Hanrahan will begin a throwing program Wednesday and hopes to take the mound for the first time 10 days later. His sore elbow came up clean when examined by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.
“I’m just happy to get clearance to start doing things with my arm,” Hanrahan said. “I feel like a real person again.”
The Pirates need Dotel and Hanrahan to be ready from the giddy-up this season. Dotel is 36 and has not worked as a full-time closer in two years. Hanrahan is an important bridge from the middle innings to setup man Brendan Donnelly and Dotel.