Diamond disappointed in sharpness Saturday

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond said he's been pleased with the progress he's been making in his rehab from having a bone chip removed from his elbow in December, but admitted that Saturday wasn't his best day.

Diamond threw from flat ground on Saturday and said the ball wasn't quite coming out as sharp as it did on Friday. Diamond, though, said he was able to work on strengthening exercises after throwing and is hoping for better results on Sunday when he begins throwing from 150 feet.

Diamond added that if everything continues to progress, he hopes to be throwing off a mound by middle or late next week.

"It's still my goal to be ready for Opening Day," Diamond said. "But today wasn't the best day for the ball coming out -- yesterday was better -- so I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and be patient with it."

Diamond said his arm strength is at about 80 percent and that he won't be able to really crank it up off a mound until about mid-March. So he'll be cutting it close to Opening Day, as the club opens the season on April 1 against the Tigers at Target Field.

So for now, Diamond will continue with his throwing program, which calls for him to throw almost every day in spring moving forward.

"I'll have occasional off-days, but we're trying to increase the volume," Diamond said. "We have to have some off-days just to balance it out, but by about two weeks I'll be throwing every day."