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Janssen still hoping to be ready by Opening Day

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Casey Janssen threw another bullpen session on Saturday morning, and continues to make slow but steady progress from a right shoulder injury.

It marked the third time Janssen had thrown off a mound since suffering a setback earlier this spring. He is still only throwing fastballs, but is expected to start using some breaking balls in the near future.

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Janssen will continue throwing every third day, and will eventually transition to live batting practice. There's no immediate timetable for his debut in the Grapefruit League season.

"It has been very good," Janssen said of his ability to recover after his bullpen sessions. "You're almost kind of wondering why it's feeling so good. But you don't want to look too much into it, because you want to look forward and you don't want to think about anything else. But, so far, so good -- and I'm pretty comfortable with where I'm at."

Janssen remains optimistic about being ready for Opening Day, but his status for that game versus Cleveland on April 2 still remains very much in doubt. He'll need to advance through live batting practice, a Minor League game and, presumably, at least a few outings in Spring Training.

There's slightly more than three weeks remaining to fit all of that into the schedule. It's possible, but he'll need to begin picking up the intensity relatively soon in order to accomplish those goals.

It's a fine balance between getting ready for the season and not doing too much, too soon.

"My goal is Opening Day, no doubt about it," said Janssen, who had 22 saves in 25 opportunities last season. "I think there's something to be said about breaking with the team and being one of the 25 that they take north. Having said that, I understand that the first 10 days, two weeks, whatever it is, isn't going to make or break the season, hopefully.

"I have to be fair to myself and the team, that I'm going out there giving 100 percent. April 2nd is still, no doubt in my mind, realistic. But it's not the end all date anymore."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }