Recovering Nady working with Rothschild
Cubs outfielder using pitching coach's tutelage at camp
MESA, Ariz. -- Xavier Nady's changeup is coming along just fine.
Just kidding. The Cubs outfielder, who is rehabbing from a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, is working on his throwing mechanics with pitching coach Larry Rothschild. On Saturday, Nady played catch with Rothschild, throwing from about 120 feet in the outfield at Fitch Park.
The rehab is going well, but whether Nady will be ready by Opening Day is still to be determined.
"I have no idea," Nady said. "I couldn't tell you. The way I look at it, you have five or six weeks left [of Spring Training]. Now that you're throwing more, and you eventually start going four, five days a week, that obviously gets your spirits up. Right now, who knows how I'll feel [by Opening Day]. Hopefully, I don't experience any setbacks. We'll see."
The focus of his program is to strengthen the ligament in his elbow.
"It feels good," he said. "I understand there's still some time that needs to evolve into the healing. It's gradually getting better. It's encouraging."
During outfield drills, he doesn't throw overhand but flips the ball underhand after making a catch.
Hitting hasn't been a problem. On Friday, Nady was able to hit off the curveball machine and faced Randy Wells and Justin Berg during live batting practice on Saturday.
The Cubs hope pitcher Angel Guzman is able to throw on Sunday, the first time since the right-hander was shut down because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
Reliever Jeff Gray, bothered by a groin injury, was expected to throw off a mound when the Cubs change camps and move to HoHoKam Park prior to Cactus League games.
Ted Lilly did some running and played catch on Saturday. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said no timetable has been set for the left-hander's return to the rotation.
"I haven't pressed Larry for any details," Piniella said. "When [Lilly] is ready, we'll get him going. I think he'll miss the first two weeks, probably the first month of the season."
Right now, Lilly's program is focused on conditioning more than throwing.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.