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Diekman eager to throw off mound

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman is with the team again, he is throwing almost daily before each game and he should be throwing off the mound in the next couple of weeks.

Diekman is not fully recovered from three operations to address his almost lifelong issues with ulcerative colitis. But the chances of Diekman having an impact in the Rangers' bullpen in the second half of the season continue to grow.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman is with the team again, he is throwing almost daily before each game and he should be throwing off the mound in the next couple of weeks.

Diekman is not fully recovered from three operations to address his almost lifelong issues with ulcerative colitis. But the chances of Diekman having an impact in the Rangers' bullpen in the second half of the season continue to grow.

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"Good. ... I feel good," Diekman said. "My arm feels alive. I can't really go full out until July 19, so [on July 20], I want to throw a bullpen [session]. I went out to 110 feet today and feel really good."

Diekman underwent his third and final surgery on June 9 at the Mayo Clinic. Doctors removed his affected large intestines and created a bypass using the small intestines. The procedure is to help relieve a condition that Diekman has been dealing with since he was 10 years old.

"I feel a lot better," Diekman said. "We add like a food a day, one different food each day to see how it settles and if it screws up my system or not. I tried peanut butter yesterday and that went great. Today we tried ground turkey."

Diekman remains a strong spokesman for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation to raise awareness for a condition that affects 1.6 million people. His "Gut It Out" T-shirts help raise money for the foundation.

"I feel good," Diekman said. "I'm just happy it's all over. The whole motor in my belly ... that's the hardest part, getting used to what I can and can not eat."

Being able to throw again would seem to be an uplifting experience for Diekman, but it only makes him eager for the real thing again.

"No, I want to pitch," Diekman said. "Just throwing, I can't really full-out throw. I can't really torque my torso that much, but it is fun to actually be around and throw a baseball again. I feel like when I start throwing off a mound, then I'll be good."

Rangers beat

• Strength and conditioning coach Jose Vazquez has been selected to the American League staff for the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday in Miami.

• Right-handed pitcher A.J. Griffin, on the disabled list with a strained left intercostal muscle, is expected to throw batting practice on Friday for the first time. He has had three bullpen sessions off the mound.

• Third baseman Adrian Beltre had a double among his three hits on Tuesday. It was his 600th career double. He is the 17th player in Major League history to reach that milestone.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Jake Diekman