Black encouraged by Cashner's bullpen session

Black encouraged by Cashner's bullpen session

SAN DIEGO -- Andrew Cashner threw his second bullpen session this week on Wednesday at Petco Park, and the right-hander could be ready for a rehab assignment next week.

"He feels good -- he turned a number of pitches loose at the end," Black said. "I expect by sometime next week when we're on this road trip he might be pitching somewhere in our Minor League system."

Black said Cashner mostly threw fastballs and changeups but also mixed in some sliders, which had previously been blamed for the elbow soreness that sent Cashner to the DL in May. He returned for three starts in June and was sidelined again because of his right shoulder, which has bothered him intermittently throughout his professional career.

When Cashner has been available this season, he's flashed the potential to be an ace for San Diego, recording a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts with 59 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings.

Black also said that Ian Kennedy, who missed his last start as a precaution to avoid worsening a minor oblique strain, also threw on the side Wednesday and will likely start at home Saturday against the Braves, barring any setbacks.

Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.