Cashner takes first step toward return

Righty working way back but won't be ready for start of season

Cashner takes first step toward return

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Andrew Cashner returned to the mound Friday and threw a 20-pitch bullpen session. It was the first time he has thrown off a mound since the beginning of March and another step toward getting back to the Rangers' rotation sometime in April.

"It went really good; everything went well," Cashner said. "No problems. I'll come in tomorrow and build off that."

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Cashner was sidelined earlier this month due to pain in his right biceps muscle and is still trying to catch up with the rest of the staff. He has not faced live hitters. The Rangers know he won't be ready for the start of the season but have no specifics beyond that.

"It depends on how quickly I can build up," Cashner said. "We've still got a long time, but I've got to go through what everybody else is going through."

Banister on Cashner, Hauschild

Return of Bobby Jones

Longtime player/coach/Minor League manager Bobby Jones arrived Friday as he begins his 51st year in baseball. Jones "retired" last year but is actually serving in a part-time role as special assistant to player development. Jones doesn't mind being retired.

"It's amazing," Jones said. "After all these years, when Spring Training came around, I had no desire to go. Maybe it was time to get out."

Jones has no specific duties other than to help out when asked. He will work with the Rangers 10 days per month during the season, mostly in the Minor Leagues.

"Everybody knows these guys love Bobby Jones," Banister said. "I'm sure he'll pick up a fungo, toss a ball and have some colorful conversations."

Jones throws out first pitch

More Rangers notes

Tony Barnette threw two scoreless innings in a Minor League intrasquad game Friday. He struck out five of the six batters he faced while throwing 27 pitches. The outing was designed for Barnette to throw two innings in a game for the first time this spring.

Tyson Ross threw a 35-pitch bullpen as he continues his recovery from offseason thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. His next step is to face live hitters, which may come before the Rangers break camp March 29.

Martin Perez is scheduled to pitch for Team Venezuela on Saturday against Puerto Rico. It will be his second start for Venezuela. He pitched 3 1/3 innings against Italy on March 11.

Chi Chi Gonzalez pitches for the Rangers on Sunday against the Mariners in Surprise.

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