SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer took a positive step forward in his rehabilitation on Saturday, when he threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session hours before the Padres faced the Phillies at Petco Park.
Stauffer threw all of his pitches without incident, said pitching coach Darren Balsley, who gave manager Bud Black the 'thumbs up' sign when Black inquired about the bullpen session.
"It felt good ... cutting it loose," said Stauffer, who went on the disabled list with a strained right elbow on April 5.
"It was a little more game-like intensity. It felt good from the first one to the last. It's a good sign, so I'll take it."
Stauffer will now move to a simulated game on Tuesday at Petco Park before a game against the Nationals. Stauffer will likely throw 40 or so pitches, Black said, and "get up and down" three times to simulate the breaks that would occur between innings.
There's a good chance that if Stauffer comes out of the simulated game feeling fine that he will head out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.
Stauffer is ready to get back on the mound in a big league game.
"It [injury] was unfortunate, the timing obviously," he said. "But it's a lot more fair to the team going out there healthy than trying to pitch with subpar stuff and risk a worse injury. It's the peace of mind more than anything that you can cut it loose."