Texas' Joakim Soria eyes June return

DALLAS -- Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria has targeted late May or early June for a return to the big leagues following the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

Soria, appearing at a fan event sponsored by ESPN Deportes 1540 AM in Dallas on Thursday, said he's throwing out to 120 feet and feels good. He does not know when he might get on a mound.

Soria, a two-time All-Star with 160 career saves with the Kansas City Royals, had surgery last April and the usual recovery time is 12 to 18 months.

"I'd like to start when the season begins in April, but that's not realistic," Soria said. "I'm still looking at late May, but it's probably more like the first few days of June. It depends how it goes with the bullpens. I'm doing everything possible to get ready as soon as I can. My goal is to be with the team and help them."

Soria said he's throwing for eight minutes from 120 feet after throwing for 10 minutes to build up to that distance. Next week, he plans on increasing to 10 minutes from 120 feet.

"That's a lot of throws," Soria said. "It's helping build strength in my arm."

The Rangers are hoping the 28-year-old Soria, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract with a club option for a third year during the winter meetings, can be a boost to the bullpen at some point this season, helping set up games for closer Joe Nathan.