SAN DIEGO -- It was a small step Tuesday, although Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn said he was encouraged by the way his right hand responded to a brief bunting session before batting practice.
This was the first time Gwynn -- who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 19 with a fractured right hamate bone -- has used a bat since having surgery to repair the fracture the day after he went on the DL.
Gwynn also played catch prior to the start of Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. It was the fourth time he's done so. It's all part of an aggressive rehabilitation plan to potentially get him back in the lineup before the end of the regular season.
San Diego manager Bud Black said Gwynn could be activated from the disabled list even if he's not 100 percent ready to hit. Gwynn, who was having one of the best defensive seasons of any Major League outfielder before the injury, could be used as a defensive replacement.
"I could foresee that if he's able to throw," Black said. "With the rosters expanded, if we want him as a late-inning defensive move."
Gwynn said there's no timeline as to when he'll be able to take batting practice. He's still two and half weeks removed from surgery and was told at the time of the surgery that he could potentially return in four weeks.
Gwynn suffered the injury taking a swing in a game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Aug. 18.
Stauffer could earn another start for Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Has Tim Stauffer put himself in line to make another start for the Padres when they face the Giants on Saturday?
While Padres manager Bud Black said that decision will be made later in the week, Tuesday's pregame workouts could have provided a key clue that the long reliever will indeed get the call to make his second start in a week.
Stauffer took batting practice with the rest of the San Diego starting pitchers currently in the rotation, while Kevin Correia and Wade LeBlanc, the other candidates to start Saturday, according to Black, did not.
Stauffer, generally used as the long reliever this season, allowed one run in four innings in a spot start in place of an ill Mat Latos on Monday. After the game, Black said Stauffer's performance warranted consideration to start again.
"He's been valuable [in long relief], but now we have a situation where we have to decide moving forward what's going to happen with a couple of our guys in our rotation," Black said.
Correia and LeBlanc have struggled in recent weeks, going 1-5 during their past six starts combined with a 12.96 ERA. And with the added arms in the San Diego bullpen because of roster expansion, the Padres have the ability to piece Stauffer together with a handful of relievers to fill out an entire game.
Stauffer said it doesn't matter whether he starts or stays in the bullpen down the stretch -- he's comfortable in either role.
"My arm feels as good as it's ever felt," he said. "Usually, as the year progresses, I actually feel better, and this year's no different. I think being in the bullpen, I was able to save some bullets, so to speak, and I feel just as strong now as I ever have."
Young to make third rehab start for Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Instead of pitching a simulated game at PETCO Park this week, Padres pitcher Chris Young will make a third Minor League rehabilitation start.
Young, on the disabled list since April 12 with a strained right shoulder, will pitch for Class A Lake Elsinore Saturday in Game 1 of the California League Southern Division finals against a team to be determined.
San Diego manager Bud Black said Tuesday that Young will throw in upward of 75 or so pitches in that game. On Monday, Black said he was leaning toward having Young pitch in a simulated game, though his preference was a real game.
"It's a nice situation for him to keep progressing," Black said.
Young tossed 63 pitches in 3 1/3 innings for Triple-A Portland on Sunday, allowing no hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
"It's just concentrating on making pitches and getting hitters out vs. how my shoulder feels," Young said Monday. "It's just the competitive element that you can't simulate.
"It's still an evolution for me -- trying to bring some stuff along, work on command, work on some of my off-speed pitches. It's still a work in progress. I can't expect to be 100 percent in midseason form right now, but I feel like I'm getting there."
Padres recall outfielder Durango
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres took advantage of the expanded rosters on Tuesday when they recalled outfielder Luis Durango from Triple-A Portland.
Durango is hitting .321 in 28 at-bats with the Padres this season. With Portland this season, Durango hit .300 with 35 stolen bases in 106 games. He posted a .378 on-base percentage for the Beavers.
Durango will provide outfield depth but will likely be used mostly as a pinch-runner.
The Padres are carrying 33 players on their active roster.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Gina Mizell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.