Ross' rehab hits snag; Padres hope it's minor

Ross' rehab hits snag; Padres hope it's minor

ATLANTA -- Tyson Ross' recovery has hit another snag, but the Padres are hopeful it's only a minor hiccup and that the recovering right-hander will pitch again this season.

Ross experienced "a measure of soreness" in his right shoulder following his first rehab outing last Thursday, according to manager Andy Green. The club opted to forego his most recent bullpen, and Ross threw off flat ground on Wednesday instead.

The plan is for Ross to throw another bullpen session over the next few days before the club decides when his next rehab start may occur. (That could prove tricky, with the Padres' Minor League affiliates set to wrap up their seasons shortly.)

"We don't want him pitching with any kind of soreness at all," Green said. "So we backed him off a little bit. ... We still have the expectation he's going to be back with us. This isn't a major setback by any stretch. It's just kind of slowed his progress."

Ross hasn't pitched for the Padres since Opening Day, when he allowed seven earned runs in a loss to the Dodgers. He was placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation later that week.

In July, his recovery hit a setback when he twisted his left ankle in his hotel room. Ross was briefly shut down following that injury.

This time, he has continued his throwing program -- but he hasn't gotten back on a mound since allowing four runs over 2/3 of an inning for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.

So, will we see Ross back on a big league mound this season?

"I still think we will," Green said. "This isn't anything like before. He's still throwing. Before, he was shut down completely. It's just: Until he feels perfect, in our mind, we're not going to stick him back on the mound."

Buchter rejoins Padres

Ryan Buchter rejoined the Padres in Atlanta on Wednesday, and the lefty reliever will be officially recalled when rosters expand Thursday.

The Padres sent Buchter to Triple-A El Paso two weeks ago, with the primary goal of giving his beleaguered arm a break. Buchter, who owns a 3.00 ERA in 54 innings, had seen a dip in his velocity and spin rate over his last few appearances.

That was partially the result of Buchter's inability to long toss before games because of an increased workload.

"I was kind of in saving-bullets mode," Buchter said. "I didn't really want to jeopardize myself during the game at night by trying to stretch it out during the daytime. ... When I don't long toss, my arm kind of locks up, and I start cutting the ball a lot. I think it actually hurts my backspin or spin-rate by not being able to long toss."

Buchter has been arguably the Padres' most effective reliever this season, but he struggled in his two most recent outings. That's when the Padres sent him to Triple-A, where he made only one appearance in 11 days.

Now, the Padres hope Buchter -- who reportedly hit 95 mph with El Paso -- can parlay his brief Minor League stint into a strong big league finish.

"Run through the finish line," Green said he told Buchter upon his return to the Padres. "The offseason's a little over a month away. The job is to finish with conviction -- the same way you came into camp to earn a job. Put your exclamation point on a great season."

Amarista next?

Buchter isn't the only player set to return when rosters expand.

Alexi Amarista, who is recovering from a left hamstring strain, is slated to re-join the team Friday in Los Angeles. He is currently rehabbing with Lake Elsinore.

Green hinted that San Diego could recall another reliever this week -- perhaps left-hander Buddy Baumann. But for the most part, the Padres are sticking to their plan of giving their top prospects the experience of competing in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

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.