Spangenberg, Solarte, Amarista 'not close' to returning

Spangenberg, Solarte, Amarista 'not close' to returning

LOS ANGELES -- The Padres could field practically an entire infield of injured players right now. They'd only need a first baseman.

Cory Spangenberg (left-quad strain), Yangervis Solarte (right-hamstring strain) and Alexi Amarista (right-hamstring) are progressing slower than expected and still are "not close" to returning, according to Padres skipper Andy Green.

All three are running on the Padres' Alter-G treadmill (which essentially keeps most of the physical burden off the runner, while still allowing for a workout). But only Amarista is running on land -- and he hasn't progressed past jogging.

Spangenberg and Solarte -- Opening Day starters who figured to play pivotal roles in the Padres' lineup -- haven't yet begun jogging.

"When you're a manager and you've got your two and your five-hole hitter ... on the shelf, they can never come quite quick enough," Green said. "We're waiting for those guys and hoping they get back sooner rather than later."

Morrow not quite ready for return

Padres right-hander Brandon Morrow, who is recovering from August shoulder surgery, was hit hard in his most recent start at Double-A San Antonio, as he allowed six runs (five earned) on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"It wasn't ideal results, but he's a guy that's getting his innings in right now," Green said. "He's a guy that we've always had earmarked with the expectation that, at some point in time, he'll be with us. We're just not at that point right now."

Green said Morrow will likely get a couple of starts at Triple-A El Paso before returning to the Padres. Morrow, who went 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA last season, was arguably the club's best pitcher before he went down with a shoulder injury in early May.

Relievers progressing

Left-hander Matt Thornton will throw a bullpen session on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, as he continues to recover from left Achilles tendinitis.

Meanwhile, right-hander Jon Edwards played catch at a distance of 120 feet, without feeling any pain in his right elbow. He'll throw a flat-ground session next before he begins to work in the bullpen.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.