Garland expects to see game action this week

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran right-hander Jon Garland threw live batting practice Monday and said he'll likely get into his first Cactus League game later this week as he progresses from shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the past 18 months.

Garland, 33, signed with the Mariners as a non-roster invitee after sitting out all last season. But the former American League All-Star has won 132 big league games and was a workhorse for the White Sox, Angels, D-backs and Padres from 2002-10 before undergoing rotator cuff surgery in '11.

Garland could contend for a rotation spot if he proves healthy, but has some hurdles to clear first.

"I'm not real happy with my mechanics. I guess it's kind of to be expected, but it's not," Garland said prior to Monday's session. "It's like riding a bike, you think you should be able to get right back up there and do it."

Garland said the good news is his shoulder has felt strong in his initial work. Now he just needs to iron out his motion and release point.

"I'm just a little aggressive," he said. "We'll figure it out. We'll be all right. I'm flying open, missing up and away, not using the backside or driving as well. But if I get those things calmed down, I'll be fine.

"The arm has felt good, so we'll go from there. That's the most important thing for anybody in here. Regardless of whether it's me coming back or somebody who is 20 years old, in Spring Training, you've got to feel good. That's the most important thing is getting out of here healthy."

Manager Eric Wedge said Garland threw well in his Monday session and was on target to start later this week.

"He looked a lot more comfortable today," Wedge said. "He was letting loose, reaching out with better extension and better life on his pitches. So it was a better day for Jon."