Around the Cactus League

Updated: February 18, 2007, 11:51 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Los Angeles Angels: With Bartolo Colon's status uncertain, the Angels are taking a cautious approach with their pitchers this spring -- especially Jered Weaver.

The right-hander, who went 11-2 as a rookie last season, has tendinitis in his biceps and will be limited early in spring training. He is not expected to throw off a mound for a while -- perhaps about two weeks.

But Weaver downplayed any talk about the injury Saturday. He had an MRI a few weeks ago.

"Everything came out negative," Weaver said. "It's just a matter of working it out."

Elsewhere in the Cactus League:

Oakland Athletics: Rich Harden is completely healthy and now the undisputed ace of Oakland's pitching staff -- and if those two things aren't enough to make a guy happy, the warm, breezy morning in the desert for the Athletics' first official workout certainly did the trick.

"He has the bounce in his arm we haven't seen for a while," general manager Billy Beane joked after watching Harden's closely watched, 30-pitch session off the mound Saturday. "He looked normal Rich, which is good. He said he felt good. We had communication with him during the winter and he was telling us he feels good. To see him on the mound makes you feel more comfortable."

Harden showed up in Arizona at the team's Papago Park complex in early January to get to work and has been throwing bullpens the last couple of weeks. His changeup felt strong Saturday, and that was the pitch he threw when he hurt his elbow last year.

"I'm trying not to do too much too early and build up arm strength," he said. "My command felt good this early. More importantly, my body felt good."

Chicago Cubs: Right-hander Kerry Wood threw 10 pitches from the mound Saturday.

Wood is suffering from a bruised chest, the result of a hot tub accident at home on Monday.

San Francisco Giants: The club made Tim Lincecum the 10th overall pick in last year's draft out of Washington and hasn't ruled him out as a possibility to make the Opening Day roster. He has already told his former college teammates that he has high hopes of making the squad.

Lincecum, touted as the team's top prospect in 2007 and being treated as a starter for now, had an impressive first day Friday in a brief throwing session off the mound.

"Impressive, boy," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's a great, loose arm. He came out firing today. This kid has a special talent."

He has a unique, contorted delivery -- learned from his father -- that would cause most people to throw their back out but allows him to be a power pitcher despite his size: 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. San Francisco's coaches aren't going to mess with it.

San Diego Padres: Padres left fielder Terrmel Sledge reported to camp on Saturday, four days early and 15 pounds lighter.

Sledge, who said he's down from 210 pounds last season to 195, is slotted to take over in left field after Dave Roberts signed an $18 million, three-year deal with San Francisco. There also has been talk that Sledge would take over the leadoff spot, but he said he hasn't talked to club officials about it.

Padres manager Bud Black said he wasn't surprised that the main competitors for left field -- Sledge, Jack Cust and Paul McAnulty -- were already in camp.

"Some guys sense a challenge," Black said. "The guy wants to get acclimated, wants to get going and do whatever he can to be ready."

Seattle Mariners: An offseason of better eating and more focused training with daily sprints and weight lifting in his native Venezuela, has resulted in Felix Hernandez, Seattle's puffy puzzler of 2006 looking more like a molded, 6-foot-3 running back. His face shows cheekbones. He legs show definition. He's down to 226 pounds, according to trainer Rick Griffin.

"I lost a lot of pounds," Hernandez said. "I'm more confident."

Early workouts suggest Hernandez is throwing like it's 2005. That was when, after just 14 starts at Triple-A, he had a 2.67 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 12 late-season starts for Seattle. He became the first teenager to strike out 10 or more in a game since Dwight Gooden in 1984.

Saturday morning, during Hernandez's second pitching session of the spring, his fastballs overpowered catcher Rene Rivera. One seemingly went through Rivera's glove, past his ear, before banging off a chain-link fence. Another glanced off Rivera's mitt and whacked him in the face mask.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.