Cashner's strained neck 'feeling a lot better'

Green still comfortable with placement of righty on 15-day DL

Cashner's strained neck 'feeling a lot better'

DENVER -- The Padres got good news on starting pitcher Andrew Cashner a day after placing him on the disabled list with a neck strain.

Cashner left Friday's start after throwing just six pitches. He described the problem coming on suddenly, shooting "a shock down my neck," and said it was "pretty painful to pitch" to the first batter he faced, even though it resulted in a strikeout of leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon.

"He actually feels a lot better today, which is a good sign," manager Andy Green said before Sunday's rubber match with the Rockies. "He felt better range of motion, neck movement. He hasn't had an MRI, and hopefully things progress to where he might not even need one. You could tell by the way he walked into the clubhouse today. Much better disposition, body language is better, he's feeling a lot better."

Despite a starting rotation that only has two of the five original starters from the Opening Day roster, Green had no second thoughts about putting Cashner on the DL quickly, even given what could be a quick recovery.

"I still think it was wise to give him the rest and put him on the DL so he doesn't feel like he needs to rush it," Green said. "It still is a neck strain, and we're trying to find out what it is long-term."

Solarte leaves the game

In other injury news, switch-hitting third baseman Yangervis Solarte was out of the lineup Sunday after leaving Saturday's game in the fourth inning with a left thumb contusion he sustained in his first at-bat of the game. Green had expressed hope that Solarte would be ready to face left-handed starters Monday and Wednesday at home against Miami, but when the Rockies adjusted their rotation to give southpaw Tyler Anderson his Major League debut, Solante remained on the bench.

"He feels pretty good, but he's not going to be out there today in the lineup," Green said. "Just try to give him a day to rest. These things are usually 48 to 72 hours, from my experience. Nothing we're worried about long-term, but sometimes it's good just to take a step back for a little bit and make sure it resolves and then get him back out there every day."

Green said Solarte is available if needed for Sunday's series finale.

"In the right situation, he's available," Green said. "I don't know how wise it is to run him out there against a closer today that's right-handed throwing 100 miles an hour with a blown-up hand. We find the right situation -- obviously they're starting a lefty and we chose not to start him. It has to be the ideal situation to get him out there. But he's obviously available for defense, too. He's fine on defense."

The likelihood of an ideal moment coming could be connected to the challenge the Padres have faced with series finales. They entered Sunday with a 1-19 record in finales and a futile 0-9 record on Sundays.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.