Perez returns to mound after hospital stay

Perez returns to mound after hospital stay

PHOENIX -- Reliever Juan Perez was back on the mound Monday for the first time since a short hospital stay for a collapsed lung two weeks ago.

"He threw a bullpen [Monday] -- it went real well, and he's accelerating fast," manager Ron Roenicke said. "He had a smile on his face and he felt good."

Perez, 33, has played in parts of three seasons for the Pirates and Phillies, going 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 relief appearances. The left-hander was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and pitched well enough early on to gain serious consideration for the bullpen, yielding zero runs and two hits while striking out two over the course of three appearances and 3 1/3 innings.

"I think he probably will be ready [to pitch in a game before the Brewers break camp], but I don't know that he will," Roenicke said.

Perez is expected to throw another side session on Thursday, and Roenicke said it was "to be determined" if he still had a chance at making the 25-man roster for Opening Day.

"We're OK with where he is in his status, because he's on a Minor League deal," Roenicke said, meaning the Brewers don't need to worry about keeping him out of Cactus League games in order to backdate a trip to the disabled list to start the season.