PHOENIX -- Brewers pitchers and catchers reported promisingly healthy Wednesday for the start of Spring Training, with only one of the 27 pitchers on the camp roster -- reliever LaTroy Hawkins -- on a restricted throwing program. Hawkins underwent right shoulder surgery late last August and is on schedule in his rehabilitation. He began throwing in early January and is still playing catch on flat ground but expects to be active for the start of the season. "I'm feeling pretty good," Hawkins said. "Roger [Caplinger, the Brewers' head athletic trainer] said I'll be able to go back-to-back days next week and then get on a mound. I didn't feel that good in December, so I shut it down for a month, and since I started playing catch around New Year's Day, I've been feeling great. That month off made it night and day."
Now he's back on track to be at 100 percent strength for the Brewers' March 31 season opener in Cincinnati. "That's been the goal all along -- Opening Day," Hawkins said. "The doctor told me right away that he's not trying to get me ready for Feb. 16, he's trying to get me ready for Opening Day. That's been our mindset." The long list of healthy pitchers included free-agent acquisition Takashi Saito, who was left off the Braves' postseason roster last year because of a right shoulder injury. He arrived in camp earlier this week, threw a bullpen session on Sunday and expected to throw again Wednesday. "There is nothing wrong, but I know words can only get me so far," he said through a translator. "I have to prove that I can actually contribute to the team." Two others were missing from camp Wednesday. Closer John Axford was ill with what he described on Twitter as a 24-hour bout of food poisoning. Catcher Shawn Riggans, a non-roster invitee, was out with pneumonia.