Ross could throw live BP this week

Ross could throw live BP this week

PHOENIX -- Tyson Ross will throw an extended bullpen session Wednesday, and -- if all goes well -- the injured Padres right-hander will take another step forward in his recovery from a shoulder injury. He's slated to throw live batting practice at some point in the next week.

Ross, who hasn't pitched since Opening Day, has thrown several bullpen sessions already. But Wednesday's figures to be the most strenuous, as the Padres continue to build his arm for a rehab assignment after the All-Star break.

"Hopefully sometime shortly after [Wednesday], he'll throw a live BP and get out and start facing live hitters," said Padres manager Andy Green. "... It might be, just based on the timing of it, back in Arizona, because it could be during the All-Star break. It could potentially be Saturday or Sunday in L.A."

The Padres have been very cautious with their approach to Ross' rehab from shoulder inflammation. But thus far, he hasn't experienced any setbacks in his recovery.

Ross' live batting practice session would be his first time facing hitters since April 4, when he allowed seven earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. Ross was placed on the disabled list later that week.

Hedges wins PCL honor

El Paso catcher Austin Hedges was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for the second week in a row, making him the first player to take home the honor consecutively since John Bowker did so in 2009.

Hedges launched five home runs last week -- including a pair of multi-homer games and a walk-off blast Sunday.

By all accounts, Hedges is big league ready -- there simply isn't opportunity for him right now with the Padres, as Derek Norris continues to get the bulk of the playing time.

"He's making a case that he belongs here in the big leagues," Green said. "I think we know that; we're aware of that. We're glad he keeps reminding us of that. We hope he continues to remind us of that the rest of the time, until he's here with us. Sometimes an opportunity doesn't present itself, and at some point in the near future, it's going to be time for him."

Green reiterated that Hedges won't be called up unless he can fill a starting role. The Padres want him to develop with everyday playing time. Norris remains one of the Padres' top trade candidates.

For now, however, Hedges will remain with El Paso, where he's hitting .407 in 32 games this season with 14 home runs. Hedges missed about a month earlier this season after undergoing surgery to remove his hamate bone from his left hand. Still, he sits seventh in the PCL in home runs, after going deep 10 times in his past 11 games, entering play Monday.

Hedges' recent performance led Green to quip about Hedges' surgery.

"If this is the response," Green quipped, "mandatory removal of all hamates in the offseason. I think it's a good idea."

Dominguez brings the heat

Jose Dominguez didn't mess around in his Padres debut Sunday afternoon. The Padres right-hander threw seven pitches in the ninth -- all fastballs 95 mph or harder. Six of the seven hit 97.

The Padres view Dominguez as a legitimate relief threat, if he can find a way to lower his walk rate. He allowed 25 free passes in 35 1/3 innings for Triple-A El Paso.

"It's always been command with him," Green said. "We basically sat yesterday middle of the plate, asked Derek Norris to sit down the middle and let him rip 99 mph fastballs off. Good luck hitting it. That's what he did yesterday, and he was very successful."

Dominguez says he's improved upon his arsenal during his time with El Paso. He's made his second weapon -- a slider -- a bit tighter, and he's implemented his changeup.

Dominguez, who had his contract selected on Friday, said he's trying not to make too much of this big league opportunity.

"It's something as simple as working hard, coming in and doing your job every day," Dominguez said through an interpreter. "Ultimately it's the team's decision when to call you up. As long as you can help the team in the big leagues, then they'll call you up."

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.