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Mets reliever Frank Francisco takes step forward

Frank Francisco throws a pitch against the Washington

Frank Francisco throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals. (June 7, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For the first time all spring, Mets reliever Frank Francisco faced hitters, throwing 25 pitches in a batting practice session on Saturday afternoon. The righthander is still feeling soreness in his right elbow but estimated that it may only be a few more weeks until he's ready to pitch.

"It's not ready yet," said Francisco, who underwent elbow surgery in the offseason. "I don't feel that free yet. But it it was good, better than what I thought."

However, Francisco was encouraged by the fact that he threw all of his pitches and was pleased with the velocity on his fastball. He was originally scheduled to throw just 15 pitches but insisted on a few more.

"I was trying to focus on adjustments and get into a rhythm," Francisco said.

The former closer will begin the season on the disabled list. He is expected to pitch in a minor league game in the coming days.

New York Sports