When Tim Hudson got the OK to begin throwing from Dr. James Andrews in December, he ran home and played a game of catch with his wife, a softball player. It was the first time he had thrown since having elbow surgery in early August.

"The first few throws were definitely exciting," Hudson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I was like 'All right, I'm going to throw it 10 feet or 50 feet. Where is it going to go?'"

"I'm going to be honest with you, her first few throws had a little more zip on them than mine did," Hudson said. "I was testing the waters at first, I was making sure it didn't pop out of my skin the first couple throws. Then I was able to throw it in there a little better."

Kim Hudson offered her husband a tendon from her wrist for the surgery.

"I said 'You could try mine and maybe this could be a breakthrough thing, and you might throw 110 [mph)],'" Kim Hudson said. "He said 'Or I'd come out throwing like a girl.' He decided against that. He said 'Even if I did throw 110, I don't want people to know I have like a girl arm.'"

Marmol hopes to take over as closer: With Kerry Wood now pitching in Cleveland, Carlos Marmol would like to be the Cubs' closer. But so would Kevin Gregg.

"I'd love to," Marmol told the Chicago Tribune. "I've always said before I want to be a closer one day, and now I think I've got it."

Gregg, who was acquired from Florida in November, had 61 saves over the past two seasons for the Marlins.

"Let 'em compete," manager Lou Piniella said.

Zagurski set for rebound after elbow surgery: Ten months after elbow surgery and nearly a year and a half since he last pitched, Mike Zagurski is ready to get to Spring Training with the Phillies.

"The most important thing for me is I want to pitch," Zagurski, 26, a 12th-round draft pick in 2005 out of the University of Kansas, told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I think anybody would rather be in the big leagues than in the Minor Leagues or rehabbing, but for me, it's been 16 months since I pitched. I'd just as soon get out there, wherever it [might] be, and get some innings under my belt."

Barrera a rising prospect for Royals: Henry Barrera has never pitched above Class-A ball, he's 23 years old, and he's on the Kansas City Royals' 40-man roster as Spring Training gets set to start.

"We saw him down the stretch when Wilmington was going into the playoffs and he was really good," J.J. Picollo, the Royals' assistant general manager for scouting/player development, told MLB.com. "He was one guy that unanimously we felt we had to add to the roster."

Rosa eyes spot in bullpen: The Royals are intrigued by the potential of rookie reliever Carlos Rosa.

"Carlos is a guy that could come in and pitch your eighth inning for you and just blow the side away," pitching coach Bob McClure told MLB.com. "If he could stay healthy, he's a young kid that could really end up being something special."

Olsen happy to land one-year deal with Nats: The Nationals and Scott Olsen agreed to a one-year deal and avoided arbitration.

"Well, obviously I was happy," Olsen told the Washington Post. "I think where we settled at was a very fair number in terms of if you look at where everybody else sort of slotted in. I've never been through the arbitration process before, so it came down to two days before we were gonna go to trial. I don't think a whole lot of people ever do want to go to the hearing, especially player-wise, because the team wins 60 percent of the time."

Sidearm delivery brings results for Fuentes: Brian Fuentes is a hard-throwing lefty, but the Angels' new closer also gives batters fits with his sidearm delivery.

"It's the deceptiveness," Fuentes told the Los Angeles Times. "I've never faced myself. I just know from the few hitters I've talked to that it's harder for guys to pick up [the ball] early. I don't question it. I just go with it."

Ellis hopes for recovery from shoulder surgery: Mark Ellis is hopeful that the extra week of Spring Training due to this year's World Baseball Classic will help following offseason shoulder surgery.

"It's hard to gauge right now, because all I'm doing is playing catch," Ellis told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I don't know how my arm will respond until I'm playing every day, but so far, it's all going well."

Ichiro won't see the mound in Seattle: Ichiro Suzuki created a stir when news broke that he threw 56 pitches during a bullpen session for Team Japan in preparations for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Could Ichiro add to his legacy by becoming an emergency pitcher for the Mariners, too?

"He's not going to pitch," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik emphatically told the Seattle Times.

-- Red Line Editorial