Stauffer's rehab enters crucial phase

Stauffer's rehab enters crucial phase

SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer, who has been on the disabled list since Opening Day with a strained right elbow, will throw a bullpen session on Saturday and has a simulated game scheduled for Tuesday.

These both rate as significant steps forward in Stauffer's rehabilitation from the strain that he sustained late in Spring Training.

"We'll be able to gauge where he is," Padres manager Bud Black said.

Black figures that Stauffer will throw between 40 and 50 pitches Tuesday, and if he emerges from that fine, he'll likely head out for a Minor League rehabilitation stint before he's reinstated.

"He feels pretty good," Black said of Stauffer, who was in line to be the Opening Day starter before his elbow issues led to a drop in velocity in late March.

Edinson Volquez instead was named the Opening Day starter, with Stauffer pegged as the No. 5 starter until the Padres placed him on the 15-day disabled list on April 5, retroactive to April 4.