SAN DIEGO -- Injured Padres catcher Nick Hundley was excited when he said it. "I'm going to go out on a rehab assignment on Saturday, so go play and get ready to roll," Hundley said. Of course, that's assuming Hundley makes it through the scheduled events he has set up.
Hundley took batting practice on Wednesday and felt as good as ever. He felt a pinch in his injured right oblique during previous attempts. On Friday, Hundley will work on his throwing. "I feel really good," Hundley said. "I'm excited to get back out onto the field and help these guys out and get ready to compete again." When Hundley went down with his injury, he was leading the team with a .263 batting average, and backups Rob Johnson and Kyle Phillips have struggled to replace that offensive production. Other than that, his gap has been filled nicely, and that doesn't surprise Padres manager Bud Black. He liked what the organization had at catcher since Spring Training. But it won't be long before the Padres have their Opening Day starter back behind the plate. "Nick is doing better," Black said. "He hit on the field [Wednesday]. He's going to go through a number of drills [Friday] on the field. He's going to hit again, he's going to throw bases and work on his defensive work. He's getting closer."