Broxton has successful first live batting practice

Broxton has successful first live batting practice

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton faced hitters in live batting practice for the first time this spring Tuesday morning and emerged pain-free.

Broxton, who had been throwing 20- to 25-pitch bullpen sessions, threw close to 45 pitches, including warmup pitches. The right-hander had right forearm surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon in August.

"Arm-wise I feel great," Broxton said. "Command-wise I struggled today but that was the first time I faced batters since before the surgery. All of that will come around. I'm really pleased with the way my arm is bouncing back and how I'm feeling out there on an everyday basis."

Broxton expects to throw a bullpen session in two days and possibly another live batting-practice session. It remains unclear if he will be ready to start the season with the big league club when camp breaks at the end of the month.

"We are all excited to see him back out. It's one step closer to getting him in games and get ready to help us," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We just don't know if he will be ready for Opening Day. That's undecided but certainly there's a chance he will be."

Broxton went 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 30 2/3 innings for the Reds last season. He's 31-27 with a 3.16 ERA in 480 2/3 innings in parts of nine seasons with the Dodgers, Royals and Reds.

"Right now, we will go day by day and see how he gets through it and how he feels," Price said. "If he gets through this OK, we'll reassess and decides if he needs another live BP or if we want to get him into a game."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.