Aaron Boone told reporters last week that Corey Kluber could throw a bullpen session later this week, and the injured righty appears to be on track for that progression.
Speaking with reporters again on Wednesday, Boone said Kluber will throw a bullpen on Friday in a big step toward a return from his shoulder injury, which he suffered back in May.
Kluber was one of the Yankees’ best pitchers before his injury, throwing a no-hitter and pitching to a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts. He left his start early on May 25 with what was later diagnosed as a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder.
There is still no timetable for Kluber’s return, but if all goes well on Friday, it would be an encouraging step forward.
There was more encouraging news on the pitching front, as top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt threw a simulated game in Tampa on Wednesday and could be on his way toward a rehab assignment. Schmidt hasn’t pitched yet this season after suffering an elbow strain during spring training.
“Everything went well,” Boone said. “Two ups, I think it was 33-35 pitches or something, but I heard that it all went well.”
Schmidt was initially expected to be down for just a few weeks, but the Yankees have been cautious in building him back up. He has been facing live hitters for weeks, and still could be out until September.
“I don’t know if he’s going to a rehab start next or if he starts in camp down there, I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I know today was a good day,” Boone said.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1