Ross lands on DL with shoulder inflammation

Padres, pitcher optimistic he'll be back this month

Ross lands on DL with shoulder inflammation

DENVER -- The Padres placed Opening Day starter Tyson Ross on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, but they're hopeful that the right-hander will be back by the end of the month.

Ross pitched the season opener on April 4 against the Dodgers, meaning the move is retroactive to April 5. The earliest date he could return to the roster would be April 20 against the Pirates.

Ross is confident he'll be back at some point during that homestand.

"I've got some great minds on my side working with me," Ross said. "And through the stuff I've done the last two days, I'm confident that they're going to get me out there, get me right and probably even better than ever."

Ross was originally slated to start Sunday's series finale against the Rockies. James Shields will slot into his place (on normal rest because of Thursday's off-day). Andrew Cashner will pitch Monday in Philadelphia, and Robbie Erlin, who was recalled from El Paso on Friday, gets the ball on Tuesday.

As for Ross, he said he began feeling something strange in his shoulder during his bullpen session Wednesday at Petco Park. He reported it to the training staff, thinking it was something minor.

As far as the Padres are concerned, it is relatively minor, but they'd like to be cautious with their ace.

"We all are very optimistic with Tyson," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I think it's precautionary by nature. The possibility exists where he could try to push through it. It just doesn't make sense right now. We'll just take care of him and make sure he's ready to go as quickly as possible, but putting his health at the top."

Ross was roughed up Monday, allowing eight runs (seven earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. He earned the Opening Day nod based on his performance last season, when he posted a 3.26 ERA and made a name for himself as one of the game's best pitchers at avoiding hard contact.

Lefty reliever Brad Hand, who was claimed off waivers on Saturday, took Ross' spot on the 25-man roster. Ross will take a couple days off from throwing before likely resuming at some point next week.

"I came into the trainer's [room], they diagnosed it as inflammation, and they're being pretty cautious with it," Ross said. "They've got my best interest at heart. I know with our training staff, I'll be out on the field soon enough."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.