Riske getting down to business

SARASOTA, Fla. - One of Alfredo Simon's representatives sent out a text last night alerting reporters that there could be a positive development today in the reliever's case. Simon remains jailed in the Dominican Republic, and he was denied bail again yesterday.

It's the never-ending story.

Justin Duchscherer noted yesterday that his curveball was much better during his live BP session. One reason: Duchscherer is breaking in a new glove and he's had some trouble gripping the ball.

Things you don't consider.

David Riske estimates that he's thrown about 15 bullpen sessions, including a handful here in Sarasota. He took a month off after the 2010 season and got right back on the mound.

It's exactly what I would expect from my dark horse pick.

Riske, released by the Brewers in August, has impressed manager Buck Showalter early in camp. He figured to be ahead of the other pitchers because he's been throwing for much longer.

"I knew coming in that I've got to show people that I'm healthy and ready to go, so I started everything really early," he said. "I have my own pitching lesson business (in Las Vegas) in the offseason, so I was able to continue to throw the whole time and kept my arm in really good shape. I even faced hitters, high school hitters, back home.

"I knew what I was coming into, being on a minor league deal. I've got to be ready to go in spring training. Usually, I use spring training to get ready for the season, but I wanted to be ready to go right when I got to camp."

Riske is 19 months removed from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.

"I was back pitching in the big leagues at 12 months and it just didn't feel the same last year," he said. "Right when I hit that 17-month mark, I started feeling really, really good again. That was the big thing that helped me focus more, because I didn't know if it was coming back and it came back. I was really excited."

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