A's Harden 'felt fine' after simulated game

June 16, 2011, 3:15 am
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June 15, 2011


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Paul Gutierrez

OAKLAND - Oft-injured Rich Harden looked comfortable on the mound Wednesday in his first simulated game since going on the disabled list in spring training.The right-hander threw 40-plus pitches over two innings and faced four batters - Ryan Sweeney, Mark Ellis, Landon Powell and Adam Rosales - two times each, giving up a single to Sweeney."He looked good," Powell said. "He looked normal, like Rich Harden. Good fastball. Good change-up."Harden also said he felt fine after striking out three and walking one.The next step for Harden, who's been shelved with a right shoulder strain? Potentially another simulated game or a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento. Harden said Tuesday he hoped to begin a rehab stint stint with the River Cats by Monday. With the A's rotation ravaged by injury - Dallas Braden is lost for the season while Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson are all on the D.L. - it's evident Harden is being stretched out to be a starter."He's been a starter for the most part," of his career, said A's interim manager Bob Melvin. "We've got to get him healthy first.