HOUSTON -- Right-hander Felipe Paulino reported no ill-effects a day after throwing his second simulated game, and the Astros are still hoping for his return before the end of the season. Paulino threw about 45 pitches in two innings on Thursday, but both he and manager Brad Mills had said they would exercise caution until they saw how Paulino's arm responded on Friday.
"I feel good," Paulino said. "I'm a little sore today, but nothing out of the ordinary for a day after pitching. It's a good step for me. The last two months have been tough."
Mills said the next step for Paulino had yet to be determined, but the Houston manager characterized the latest simulated game as "good progress" in Paulino's recovery from the right shoulder tendinitis that has sidelined him since June 21.
"He wants to get back out there," Mills said. "The important thing here is to get him some confidence, to get back on the mound and throw. That's what he needs to think of before the end of the season."
Paulino had an ERA of 4.40 in 14 starts prior to the injury. Should he return in 2010, Mills has said it would likely be in a relief role.