|Shane Watson, image- Jay Floyd
Following his second shoulder surgery in a year, the Phillies' first round draft choice from 2012 began a throwing program on Friday under the watchful eyes of Phillies trainers and coaches in Clearwater, FL on Friday.
Watson threw 25 pitches from 60 feet and stated via text message on Sunday that he feels good. The California native will throw again on Monday. Going forward, his throwing program will consist of throwing two consecutive days, followed by one day off, throwing two days and so on, as he works to build arm strength.
Currently, the six-foot-four 200-pounder is also working on strengthening modalities with the Phils' training staff as well as "dry mound work" with minor league pitching coach Steve Schrenk.
The 2015 season will begin with Watson serving a 50-game suspension, stemming from a positive test for a banned substance late last season. The suspension will count as served, despite the 21-year-old being on the disabled list at the time. The forced time off could be good for Watson, who experienced setbacks following his previous surgery to correct an enlarged capsule.
Watson went under the knife most recently in late autumn after his initial procedure last January wasn't enough to keep him in throwing shape.
Prior to being sidelined with his initial shoulder ailment in July 2013 as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Watson posted a 4-7 record with a 4.44 ERA and a 6.9 K/9 mark in 21 career pro games.
The current projection is to have Watson seeing game action by June, if everything progresses well.