Boyer optimistic about fatigued right shoulder

Padres reliever, teammate Benoit unavailable for opener vs. Dodgers

Boyer optimistic about fatigued right shoulder

LOS ANGELES -- Padres right-hander Blaine Boyer said Monday that his tiring right shoulder is "progressing really well," and he hopes to return to the mound soon.

However, neither Boyer nor right-hander Joaquin Benoit -- also dealing with a sore shoulder -- was available for Monday's series opener with the Dodgers, manager Bud Black said.

Benoit hasn't pitched since Aug. 26, while Boyer last pitched Thursday. Black said Benoit continues to play catch. Boyer hasn't yet played catch, but he said he doesn't expect a long-term absence.

"I think we all came to the conclusion that it's just fatigue, fatigue in the back part of my shoulder," Boyer said. "The strength is still there, everything else is fine. It's just a matter of fatigue, as simple as that. The rest has helped. We're doing a lot of treatment."

In his first Major League season since 2011, Boyer has been strong in relief for the Padres, posting a 3.05 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. Boyer walked away from the game after 2011 to spend time with his family.

He said the addition of a curveball to his repertoire and renewed confidence in his slider/cutter have been the biggest components of his comeback.

"I'm fired up just to be back," Boyer said. "I feel like I have much better feel for pitching than I ever have in my career. I have three pitches instead of just one. ... I kind of wish this all came together when I was 24 as opposed to 33. It's proved to me that I have a lot of life left in my arm."

Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.