PITTSBURGH -- Chris Leroux has already spent 69 days on the 60-day disabled list with what had been described as a rare injury for a pitcher. But the right-hander could be nearing a return. Leroux, who strained a right pectoral muscle pitching in Philadelphia in the final preseason game, has been assigned to Indianapolis to continue his rehab with the Triple-A affiliate. In his first rehab outing, on Wednesday with Class A Bradenton, Leroux made a sharp three-inning start, allowing two hits and one run while walking one and striking out two.
With the Indians, Leroux will work out of the bullpen. Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor will look for opportunities to give the righty multiple innings. "He's healthy, ready to go," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of Leroux. "We anticipate building him up, stretching him out, get him in situations where he can throw a volume of pitches." Leroux, the 28-year-old Canadian native who has appeared in the Majors in parts of the last three seasons with the Marlins and the Pirates, is a trained reliever. He has pitched out of the bullpen in each of his 51 Major League games, and 212 of Leroux's 224 Minor League appearances also came in relief.