There was no apparent ligament damage -- a relief for Hill considering he had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in 2004 and subsequently missed the '05 season -- but there also was no obvious reason for Hill's discomfort. Though Hoenecke told Hill the ligament looked "solid," no damage was found, leaving Hill without a definitive return date. He's been on the 15-day disabled list since April 27, the day after his last start.
"It is frustrating," Hill said. "Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it. You're kind of thinking, 'OK, I'm not going through Tommy John again.' At the same time, there's not that one thing where you go, 'Here's a big neon sign.'"
Which means there's no set plan to rehab Hill's arm. He stayed in San Diego last week while the team trekked to Colorado and Los Angeles, working with physical therapists, trying to loosen himself up. Before that, he got a cortisone shot following his April 26 start vs. the Pirates, when he was pulled after two innings.
"We're still kind of stuck on where to go right now in terms of how to attack this," Hill said. "I didn't expect it to all of a sudden be easy."
Hill, of course, isn't the only Padres hurler in DL purgatory. Right-handers Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva are right there with him. But their health situations are at least a bit clearer.
Baek, on the DL since April 5 with a strained right forearm, tossed five innings of three-run ball Sunday for Class A Lake Elsinore, his second rehab start. Padres manager Bud Black said his velocity and pitch action were fine, but he'll need at least 10 more days after his next start, Friday, before returning to the rotation.
Silva's been on the DL since April 14, also with a strained right forearm. He was supposed to start Monday for Triple-A Portland, but the game was rained out. He'll likely pitch Tuesday and throw in the Minors at least two more times before coming back.
David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.