3/24/2013 1:22 P.M. ET
Perez likely to be ready for Opening Day
Closer, who's been recovering from shoulder strain, threw in Minors game Saturday
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians closer Chris Perez should be on the active 25-man roster when the season begins on April 2 at Toronto, manager Terry Francona said on Sunday.
Perez, who has been recovering from a right shoulder strain, threw in a Minor League game on Saturday against the Dodgers and reported no pain on Sunday. He's been out since Feb. 26, and had to drop off the Team USA roster for the World Baseball Classic because of the injury.
"He did well," Francona said about Perez's Saturday outing. "He had a long inning with a lot of foul balls and he threw 30 pitches. The good side of that is that he feels real good. We're going to give him an extra day just because he threw so many pitches. So he'll come back again on Tuesday."
Francona said that Perez can pitch every other day beginning Tuesday as Spring Training winds down, and then will throw a light 'pen session on April 1, the day before the start of the regular season.
As far as him being ready to start the season on the active roster, Francona said:
"I think everything leans toward that as long as there are no setbacks, which I don't think there will be. I think he's looking pretty good."
The 27-year-old right-hander has been the Tribe's primary closer for the last three seasons, recording 39 last year and 98 overall during that period.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.