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Blanton looking 'pretty good' after 'pen session

Righty (shoulder inflammation) moving closer to return from DL
MLB.com @JamalCollier

OAKLAND -- Dusty Baker has noticed a happier Joe Blanton walking around the clubhouse lately, a signal to Baker that Blanton is making progress as he prepares to return from right shoulder inflammation that sent him to the disabled list. Blanton threw his first bullpen session Friday afternoon, and although Baker did not watch, he received a scouting report from his son, Darren.

"In his young wisdom, he said he looked pretty good," Baker said with a smile. "I trust his eye."

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OAKLAND -- Dusty Baker has noticed a happier Joe Blanton walking around the clubhouse lately, a signal to Baker that Blanton is making progress as he prepares to return from right shoulder inflammation that sent him to the disabled list. Blanton threw his first bullpen session Friday afternoon, and although Baker did not watch, he received a scouting report from his son, Darren.

"In his young wisdom, he said he looked pretty good," Baker said with a smile. "I trust his eye."

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Blanton had been attempting to pitch through his shoulder injury for a while, before it eventually landed him on the disabled list on May 17. Perhaps the injury played a role in his disastrous start for Washington this season where he has a 9.49 ERA in 14 games, and has surrendered six homers in 12 1/3 innings.

Heisey update

The Nationals been working to get the swelling out of outfielder Chris Heisey's right biceps, after which he will once again start ramping up baseball activity.

"Yeah because it looked ugly," Baker said of Heisey's biceps. "We're trying to get just the swelling out ... he is human and he needs time."

Team doctors still do not believe Heisey, who was pulled off a Minor League rehab assignment after the pain in his ruptured right biceps continued, will require surgery. However, the Nationals are almost certain to bring his rehab along more slowly this time around to avoid another setback.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Joe Blanton