CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Two Phillies pitchers trying to recover from shoulder issues took a step forward Wednesday.
Right-handers Mike Adams and Jonathan Pettibone threw live batting practice sessions at Bright House Field. Adams is recovering from shoulder surgery last summer. Pettibone is behind schedule after experiencing inflammation in his shoulder last February, a recurring issue that put him on the disabled list last season.
"This was one of many hurdles," Adams said. "My strength is increasing. The true test will be to see how I feel [Thursday]. But overall, I'm happy. I felt good."
Adams could see game action sometime next week, depending how he feels following his next bullpen session.
Pettibone, who could see game action before the end of the week, could boost the perilously thin starting pitching depth. Jeff Manship and David Buchanan appear to be the top candidates to be the team's fifth starter while Cole Hamels recovers from a shoulder issue.
"I felt good, no pain," Pettibone said.
The Phillies don't need a fifth starter until April 14, 13 games into the season.
Pettibone thinks he could be ready by mid-April.
"I think it could be perfect," he said. "I'm behind, but I don't feel like I'm a month out of it."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.