07/12/09 2:15 PM ET
Brocail progressing toward return
All-Star break coming at right time for other ailing Astros
By Jason Grodsky / MLB.com
On the disabled list with a torn left hamstring since May 4, Brocail threw 60 pitches before Houston's series finale against the Washington Nationals. He said he feels good but his control is missing.
"My health is phenomenal. I just couldn't throw a strike over the plate," Brocail said. "I would really need a lot of guys to swing [for the fences] to get strikes and swing at everything. I just need mound time. You can throw all the bullpen [sessions] you want, and there are some guys who look phenomenal in bullpens but can't throw a strike in a game. I don't look like either guy right now. I threw all my pitches, and I didn't pitch them -- I threw them."
The 42-year-old veteran said he hopes his control will return as he progresses in his rehab.
Two months ago, Brocail said he was shooting for a return soon after the All-Star break. He will throw again on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday in Los Angeles.
"He looked pretty good and still has great arm strength," Cooper said.
Brocail was just one of many Astros relievers sidelined a month ago, but he is currently the lone member of Houston's bullpen on the disabled list. He isn't, however, the only Astros player battling through an injury.
LaTroy Hawkins (neck), Humberto Quinetro (back), Darin Erstad (hamstring) and Geoff Blum (hamstring) are among the players whom Cooper said are ailing heading into the break.
"A lot of guys are nicked up," Cooper said. "We have a pretty long list of nagging stuff bothering guys. This time a year everyone is nicked up. But this is the last day before the break, so you have to take a deep breath and suck it up and try and go out and help the team."
Jason Grodsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.