This could be a big day for Jose Contreras.
Earlier this week, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the 40-year-old reliever was scheduled to pitch back-to-back days Thursday and Friday, marking the first time since his September elbow surgery that he has pitched on consecutive days.
That's an important step for any reliever because of the unpredictably of when you might be needed to pitch. A bullpen guy who cannot pitch back-to-back days is generally considered a liability.
"Go back to back," Amaro said Wednesday when asked what Contreras needed to do to prove he was ready to come off the disabled list. "He's gone really well. Right now, he's just going through that normal spring-training progression. He doesn't have any pain and he hasn't had any symptoms. Now, it's just a matter of him getting to the point where he's sharp and ready to go back to back and to be comfortable doing that without any issues. Once that happens, we'll make a decision on activating him."