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Prospect Matthews to throw extended spring game

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ARLINGTON -- Kevin Matthews, the 33rd overall pick in the 20011 First-Year Player Draft, is scheduled to pitch in an extended spring training game this week. It will be a significant step for the left-hander.

Matthews has been dealing with an impingement in his left shoulder since the beginning of Spring Training and has been about three weeks behind the other Minor League pitchers. The Rangers are building Matthews back up in the hopes of getting him back to Class A Hickory.

The 20-year-old was 3-4 with a 4.38 ERA in 15 starts and four relief appearances for Hickory last season. He is one of several key pitchers who are still in extended spring training in Arizona.

Left-hander Martin Perez, who has been sidelined for a month because of a broken left arm, threw long toss on Tuesday and could throw in the bullpen on Thursday. He is probably a month away from being back to full strength and endurance.

Colby Lewis and Joakim Soria, who are in the final stages of recovery from elbow surgery, both continue to throw live batting practice. Lewis had a 26-pitch session on Tuesday, and Soria threw 28 pitches.

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.

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