Camp notes: Zumaya, Escobar make strides 

March, 24, 2009

• Tigers relief pitcher Joel Zumaya threw off a mound Monday, his first time doing so in three weeks since dealing with a sore shoulder and muscle cramps. Zumaya's throwing session lasted about five minutes, and he's scheduled to have more extensive sessions in the coming days. Tigers manager Jim Leyland remains skeptical Zumaya will be on the team's active roster when the season opens. However, after seeing incumbent closer Brandon Lyon serve up not one, not two, not three, but four home runs in the sixth inning against the Red Sox on Monday, Leyland might aim to accelerate Zumaya's recovery. Fernando Rodney wasn't much better than Lyon, as he allowed three runs in his one inning of work Monday.

• In that same Red Sox-Tigers game, a hurler who fared much better was former Dodger Brad Penny. His Grapefruit League debut with Boston was a success, as he needed only 33 pitches to breeze through three hitless innings. Penny and John Smoltz aren't expected to be on the team's Opening Day roster, but each could be smart dollar choices late in auction drafts.