SAN FRANCISCO -- Just after 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, San Diego relief pitcher Tim Stauffer arrived in the visiting clubhouse at AT&T Park nearly looking none the worse for wear a day after having an emergency appendectomy. Stauffer exchanged handshakes with coaches and teammates before the Padres' game with the Giants, the second game of a three-game series. He was released from the hospital at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Stauffer sounded grateful his surgery went well Tuesday morning, though a bit perturbed that the ordeal put a crimp in what has been a blissful start of the season for himself and the Padres.
"It's pretty upsetting to have it happen, especially during the season," Stauffer said. "You have four months in the offseason. But there's nothing you can do about it." Stauffer had dinner with his wife and her family on Monday night in San Francisco and, about a half hour later, started feeling some stomach discomfort. "I was pretty much awake all night. There was constant pain, but I didn't think it was food poisoning. I looked up some of the symptoms online and I called [trainer Todd Hutcheson]," Stauffer said. Stauffer relied on a WebMD.com application on his iPhone for what amounted to a crude self-diagnosis that led him to call Hutcheson. Stauffer was eventually admitted to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he had surgery at 9:30 a.m. "I caught it in the early stages," he said. Stauffer was told by his doctor to "walk quite a bit" on Wednesday. There's no hard and fast timeline as to when he'll return. Hutcheson said on Tuesday that four weeks was a good guess. "[The doctor] said I'll know how it feels. There's no set time, it varies from person to person," Stauffer said. "He said he's seen guys come back in three weeks. I'm anticipating the lower side of the timeline." Stauffer is 2-1 with a 0.39 ERA in 10 games this season, serving mostly as a long reliever. He opened the season with 17 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and helped to save the rest of the bullpen with a handful of long outings. "He's been a huge part of our early-season success," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said on Tuesday. "For me, he's been about as valuable as anyone on the staff."