Reliever Thatcher returns to Padres bullpen

Reliever Thatcher returns to Padres bullpen

CINCINNATI -- Considering he threw all of two innings in Spring Training, left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher said his time with Triple-A Portland earlier this month was more or less something of a second Spring Training.

But watching the Padres' hot start -- they took a 9-6 record and a six-game winning streak into Friday's game against the Reds -- from afar wasn't much fun.

"I feel like I'm ready to go out there and get guys out," Thatcher said Friday. "It's not a lot of fun being away. It looks like they [Padres] had a good first few weeks. I'm looking forward to helping the ballclub."

Thatcher was officially reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. The Padres sent left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos to Triple-A Portland, where he'll go back into the starting rotation.

However, as manager Bud Black said, there's some in the organization who feel Ramos is better suited to be a reliever in the future.

Thatcher started the season on the DL with a strained left shoulder. While making six relief appearances during a rehab assignment in Triple-A, he had a 3.60 ERA in five innings and showed he could pitch on consecutive days.

Ramos gave up one run in 2 1/3 innings spanning six games this season.

"My arm feels good, there's no pain at all," Thatcher said. "I threw pretty well down there. My first time out, I wasn't real sharp but now I feel like I'm ready."