Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel is recovering from a tender elbow, but not from some of his other problems. Ankiel threw against hitters Monday for the first time since hurting his elbow earlier this spring. But nearly one-third of his pitches bounced before they hit home plate, as he threw two simulated innings against some of his teammates. The Cardinals say they’ll be patient with Ankiel, because he’s still only 22 years old, and has plenty of times to work the kinks out of his delivery. But that patience will likely not include a spot in the starting rotation when the season begins, even though coaches say they were encouraged by Ankiel’s “stuff,” and the fact that he didn’t feel any pain after pitching.
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