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Roenicke encouraged by Marcum's progress

MILWAUKEE -- Although the process has taken much longer than he anticipated, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said on Sunday that he's finally encouraged by the progress of injured starting pitcher Shaun Marcum.

On the disabled list with right elbow tightness since June 23 -- retroactive to June 15 -- Marcum has been limited to playing catch while he tries to work his way back. Roenicke said the 30-year-old right-hander had a planned day off Saturday, but was expected to throw again on Sunday.

"If everything goes right, he's still a few days away from getting on the mound," Roenicke said. "Then once he gets on the mound, we've got to have whatever -- two, three sessions there -- and then we go to a simulated game or live BP or something like that."

The Brewers have taken a cautious approach with Marcum, in part because he missed all of the 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. When Marcum was first scratched from his scheduled start against the Blue Jays on June 19, Roenicke expected him to miss one or two starts. Almost a month later, Roenicke now doesn't think he'll return to the rotation before August.

"For a while there I was concerned because I didn't know what was happening," Roenicke said. "Now when he goes out and plays catch, he's encouraged by it. He's increasing velocity, the irritation that was in there is not there so much, and so all those things are definitely going in the direction he's got to get before we even get him on the mound for bullpens."

MILWAUKEE -- Although the process has taken much longer than he anticipated, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said on Sunday that he's finally encouraged by the progress of injured starting pitcher Shaun Marcum.

On the disabled list with right elbow tightness since June 23 -- retroactive to June 15 -- Marcum has been limited to playing catch while he tries to work his way back. Roenicke said the 30-year-old right-hander had a planned day off Saturday, but was expected to throw again on Sunday.

"If everything goes right, he's still a few days away from getting on the mound," Roenicke said. "Then once he gets on the mound, we've got to have whatever -- two, three sessions there -- and then we go to a simulated game or live BP or something like that."

The Brewers have taken a cautious approach with Marcum, in part because he missed all of the 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. When Marcum was first scratched from his scheduled start against the Blue Jays on June 19, Roenicke expected him to miss one or two starts. Almost a month later, Roenicke now doesn't think he'll return to the rotation before August.

"For a while there I was concerned because I didn't know what was happening," Roenicke said. "Now when he goes out and plays catch, he's encouraged by it. He's increasing velocity, the irritation that was in there is not there so much, and so all those things are definitely going in the direction he's got to get before we even get him on the mound for bullpens."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.