PEORIA, Ariz. -- Outfielder Chris Denorfia, who has yet to play in a game because of a lower back injury, said he hopes to appear in Minor League games when they begin on Thursday in order to get enough at-bats to catch up to the rest of his teammates.
"I'm close," Denorfia said.
Denorfia said Tuesday that he hopes to be cleared to participate in full baseball activities by the time Minor League games begin. His hope it that he would be able to get upwards of six or more at-bats, leading off each inning to help make up for lost time.
"If I had my choice, I would be playing today," Denorfia said. "But we're just being really cautious. I don't foresee it being a problem starting the season."
Two hours earlier, during his daily gathering with reporters, Padres manager Bud Black expressed some apprehension as to when Denorfia could play in a game.
"There's a little bit of concern since it's really not progressing to the point where we know when he's going to get into games," Black said.
To this point, Denorfia has done everything but what he called "strenuous baseball activities." He hopes that clearance comes before Thursday.
"Now it's a matter of getting at-bats and getting into game shape," he said.