Lewis, Soria ready to take next steps

Lewis, Soria ready to take next steps

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers brought three pitchers in from Arizona to participate in the home-opener ceremonies. Colby Lewis, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz spent the day with the Rangers and will return to Arizona this weekend.

Lewis and Soria are about to take the next big steps in their recovery from major arm surgery. Both have been throwing bullpen sessions for the past month, now they are expected to graduate to batting practice.

"Of course it's a big step," Soria said. "I've finished my bullpens, and I'm ready for the next step. So far everything has been outstanding."

Soria, signed as a free agent in the offseason after six years with the Royals, underwent Tommy John surgery on April 3, 2012. He could be ready to return to the bullpen in four to six weeks if all continues to progress with his throwing.

Lewis underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on July 27. He is coming back as a starter rather than a reliever, so he will probably need more time to build up innings than Soria. The Rangers are still hoping he could be an option for the rotation before June 1.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.