Hoffman throws 40 pitches

I’m 400 feet away, up in the press box, but if the high-five between Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel was any indication, Hoffman’s first mound session in more than a month went well.

I counted an even 40 pitches over 13 minutes, and Hoffman threw his full assortment. Assuming that went well, he’ll be off Thursday and could either throw another bullpen or perhaps a live batting practice session on Friday in New York. At some point if he continues making progress, Hoffman will be sent out on a MInor League rehabilitation assignment.

The Brewers would love to have him back. Pitching in a non-save situation Tuesday night, fill-in closer Carlos Villanueva surrendered three runs on four hits. To be fair, two of the hits took tough hops near third base, including one that jumped up and hit Bill Hall in the left collarbone. Still, Villanueva allowed a 3-1 Reds lead to grow to 6-1, and manager Ken Macha hedged just a bit when he was asked whether Villanueva’s role was up in the air.

“We’ll have to see how he’s feeling [Wednesday],” Macha said. “Certainly, [Todd] Coffey and [Seth] McClung and [Mark] DiFelice have king of pitched a little better than he has right now. We’ll see how he’s feeling.”

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