Ross takes step forward in recovery

Ross takes step forward in recovery

SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-hander Tyson Ross threw his first bullpen session Saturday since landing on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation following his Opening Day start.

"It was good," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He went out and threw 165-foot long toss, then went out there and threw 17 pitches off the mound. He looked comfortable, looked good.

"Just another step in the right direction."

While the bullpen session shows the progress Ross is making, his return to the starting rotation still remains a long ways off. Green said his next bullpen session was "probably a few days away," and the 29-year-old will have to throw several more, as well as a live batting practice, before being sent on a Minor League rehab assignment.

"It says something that he's getting closer to being ready to go pitch," Green said. "He's still got a ways to go. It's not like after one bullpen session he's off on a rehab assignment right away. He's got to be built up."

Green said Ross would travel with the team on the upcoming road trip to Baltimore and Cincinnati in order to have more time to work with Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley.

Playing it safe with Solarte

Yangervis Solarte was out of the Padres' starting lineup on Saturday vs. the Nationals after Green felt the infielder still wasn't 100 percent recovered from a left thumb contusion.

"You know, from my observation, he's compensating for it a little bit," Green said. "I think he's fine to play, and he wants to be out there and wants to play. He doesn't look like himself to me in the box right now, so I think it's in the best interest for us and for him to bring him off the bench today."

With Solarte out of the lineup, rookie infielder Ryan Schimpf moved to second base. He's expected to get more innings at the keystone even when Solarte gets back in the lineup. Schimpf played third base -- the position he's played most in the Minors -- in each of his first three games.

"I always had it in my mind that I'd unwind that, flip those guys back and get Solarte back to where he's been comfortable [at third]," Green said. "Solarte's played fine at second base. He's more natural at third base, and I think this is probably our better lineup.

"I was just trying to get Schimpf in on the path of least resistance for his first couple starts."

Cashner slow to recover

Right-hander Andrew Cashner (sprained neck) played catch Thursday, but is still a few days away from throwing a bullpen session. Green said he didn't expect to have Cashner back on June 26, when he's eligible to come off the DL.

"Where he is right now I have the expectation that it's going to take a little bit longer than that," Green said. "But to put a date on it, I'm not sure."

With Cashner's return date unknown, the Padres will go with Rule 5 Draft pick Luis Perdomo when Cashner's turn in the rotation comes up on Tuesday against the Orioles.

Perdomo is coming off his best start of the season, throwing six innings against the Marlins and allowed three earned runs.

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.