MILWAUKEE -- Zack Greinke took a big step toward returning to the Brewers' rotation on Thursday by throwing off a bullpen mound at Miller Park. It was his first mound work since he was shut down in mid-March to let a cracked left rib heal.
Greinke still faces weeks of rehabilitation. He will have to throw a series of bullpen sessions and perhaps simulated games before he's cleared for a Minor League rehab assignment. That process could take 10 days to two weeks. Then he will have to build his pitch count in Minor League games over the course of another three or four weeks.
"He's been really throwing the ball well," said manager Ron Roenicke, adding that the Brewers will be cautious. "Once his arm is built up and strong, then you can push him."
Following are some updates on the four other Brewers on the 15-day disabled list:
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy was to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Huntsville on Thursday night. Defensively, he's ready to return to the Majors after missing all of Spring Training with a fractured right pinkie finger, it's merely a matter of him getting comfortable at the plate.
"He's wanting to get that right, and we are, too, before he comes back here," Roenicke said. "Everybody is different, but it can be as low as five at-bats for some guys, and then as many as 30 for somebody else. It was 30 or more for me."
Lucroy has been texting updates to bench coach Jerry Narron, and the team will receive daily reports from Huntsville manager Mike Guerrero.
Reliever LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) is slated to pitch on Friday for Class A Brevard County, and Manny Parra (back) on Saturday for Class A Wisconsin.
Right fielder Corey Hart (strained rib cage), who will try hitting again on Friday, told 620-AM's Trenni Kusnierek that he'll see if acupuncture helps speed his return.