MIAMI -- On Monday, right-hander Chris Young took a significant step toward returning to the Padres' rotation.
Young threw about 35 pitches in the bullpen before San Diego's 10-1 loss to the Florida Marlins and was tentatively cleared to pitch on Thursday for Triple-A Portland against Salt Lake City.
Once San Diego makes sure on Tuesday that Young has had no relapse, he'll be on his way to Utah.
Padres manager Bud Black is unclear whether Young, out with a right shoulder strain, will need one or two starts before he can return to the starting rotation. Young believes that since he has been out only slightly more than two weeks, his arm strength is still strong enough to return after one Minor League appearance.
"The arm feels good -- that's the best thing," Young said. "We'll see on Thursday, but I'm thinking I could be ready to return after that."
Young was put on the disabled list on April 7, a day after he earned the victory against the D-backs in his season debut.
On Monday, Black stood in the batter's box as Young threw all of his pitches.
"He looked real good," Black said.