Hoffman on track to join Brewers on trip

Hoffman on track to join Brewers on trip

PHILADELPHIA -- Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman threw 18 pitches for Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday and remains on track to rejoin the Brewers before the end of their road trip.

Hoffman, sidelined since March 13 by a strained muscle on the right side of his rib cage, began what is supposed to be a two-game rehabilitation assignment by working the first inning for Nashville at Memphis. He surrendered a run on two hits -- both doubles -- before turning things over to scheduled Sounds starter Chase Wright.

Ten of Hoffman's 18 pitches were strikes, and he struck out one batter without issuing a walk.

He'll pitch again on Friday for Nashville at Memphis, according to Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, but next time will work one of the middle innings to get accustomed to his in-game routine. Typically, Hoffman pitched the seventh inning in Spring Training games.

Brewers officials suggested that Hoffman make that appearance in the comfortable surroundings of Miller Park, where the team's Class A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, are hosting Peoria on Friday in what's being billed as the "Border Battle." But Hoffman preferred to face Triple-A hitters.

"He wanted to face the stiffer competition," Ash said.

If Hoffman passes that final test, he could rejoin the Brewers on Saturday in Houston and potentially be available for duty beginning Sunday.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.