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Francona not rushing pitchers coming off injuries

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Many of Cleveland's pitchers took the mound for the first round of live batting practice Friday, facing hitters for the first time this spring. The same kind of workout will take place Saturday for the Indians.

Vinnie Pestano is waiting a few more days to take that step in his throwing program. On Friday, he worked through a normal bullpen session with pitching coach Mickey Callaway and bullpen coach Kevin Cash looking on.

"He hadn't thrown a ton of bullpens before he got here," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Cashy and Mickey were raving about his bullpen, so that's good. Everybody is on their own timeframe. You don't need to rush guys. We've got plenty of arms in camp that we can look at early and bring guys along as it's appropriate."

Cleveland is taking a similar approach with right-handers Danny Salazar, Shaun Marcum and Bryan Price. Salazar has had his innings gradually increased since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2010. Marcum is returning from a unique right shoulder surgery (to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome) and Price is regaining his footing after suffering a minor hamstring injury last week.

Pestano took a slower approach to his offseason after his turbulent 2013 campaign.

Last season, Pestano turned in a 4.08 ERA in 37 games for the Indians, falling short of the kind of year he turned in in the previous two tours. The right-hander dealt with an elbow injury early in the year, spent time on the disabled list for the first time in his career and also faced a demotion to the Minor Leagues in July.

"It was a real late start this year for mental and physical purposes," Pestano said.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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