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04/21/10 11:46 PM ET

Young making progress with shoulder injury

Padres right-hander scheduled to pitch simulated game Friday

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Chris Young, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder, threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session before Wednesday's game against the Giants.

"My arm feels good," Young said. "My command was better than I expected for not being on the mound the last two weeks. I didn't hold back anything."

Young had played catch on the side, but hadn't been on a mound since his first and lone start of the season on April 6 in Arizona, when he tossed six shutout innings.

The next day, Young complained of tightness in the shoulder. He was later placed on the disabled list, retroactive to April 7.

Young is scheduled to pitch a simulated game before Friday's game in Cincinnati, where manager Bud Black estimated he'll throw in upwards of 50 pitches.

"He's passing those tests," Black said.

Young sounded eager to get back in a game and went as far as to say that, "I don't think it will be that much longer."

Young said his fastball command was good and his "slider was sharp" on Wednesday. He said the simulated game will be a better test for him because he'll get up and down three or so times, meaning he'll rest between facing live hitters before resuming.

Padres to recall lefty Thatcher

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are expected to recall left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher from Triple-A Portland on Thursday.

The Padres, in the corresponding roster move, are expected to option left-hander Cesar Ramos to Portland.

Thatcher, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder since April 5 (retroactive to March 26), appeared in six games on a rehabilitation assignment with Portland.

Thatcher had a 3.60 ERA for Portland and retired the only batter he faced in a game on Wednesday on a strikeout.

Thatcher first experienced soreness in his shoulder in Spring Training. He would have made the 25-man Opening Day roster had he not been hurt.

Thatcher, 29, is coming off what qualifies as a breakout year for him. After starting last season with Triple-A Portland, on the heels of a disastrous 2008, he posted a 2.80 ERA in 52 games, holding left-handers to a .182 batting average.

Better still, Thatcher had a 1.65 ERA in 36 appearances following the All-Star break.

Ramos had a 3.86 ERA in six games with the Padres, allowing one hit in 2 1/3 innings.

Salazar makes first start of season

SAN DIEGO -- Oscar Salazar got his first start of the season in Wednesday's series finale against the Giants at PETCO Park.

Salazar, who got the start in left field, played 19 games in the outfield for San Diego last season after he was obtained in a July trade with the Baltimore Orioles.

Salazar, who is hitless in seven at-bats this season, can also play the infield. Matt Stairs is now the only position player on the roster not to start a game this season.

Considering Stairs' best skill is pinch-hitting, he might not get a start in the field in 2010.

"You have to keep everybody involved," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We thought this would be a good day for Oscar."

Headley aggressive on basepaths

SAN DIEGO -- Don't think that the three stolen bases Chase Headley stole in Tuesday's victory over the Giants didn't go unnoticed -- by the Giants and certainly by the fantasy baseball community.

Headley, who stole 10 bases last season, said on Wednesday that, "I'm not a guy who is going to steal 30 bags a season," and that the steals were a result of something the team saw with the delivery of left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.

"We thought we could run," Headley said. "Once you see someone for a while, you get comfortable with it. That's what happened."

That doesn't mean Headley, who now has five stolen bases, won't continue to run or look for opportunities to run.

"He's aggressive on the bases ... and we think he's a heady baserunner," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Yesterday, he got some good jumps. He's got a good head for the game.

"You have to play with an aggressive manner."

Entering play Wednesday, the Padres led the Major Leagues in stolen bases with 11.

Hairston Jr.'s throw helps preserve victory

SAN DIEGO -- A strong throw home by right fielder Jerry Hairston Jr. in the Padres' 1-0 victory over the Giants on Tuesday might have saved the game.

With one out in the ninth inning, closer Heath Bell walked Pablo Sandoval. Aubrey Huff then lined a single into center field, which allowed pinch-runner Andres Torres to go to third base.

But Bell got Juan Uribe to hit a fly ball to right field, where Hairston caught it and fired the ball home with Torres holding at third base.

Bell then struck out John Bowker to end the game.

"Jerry did a good job getting behind the ball," manager Bud Black said. "He's got a strong arm and his versatility allows him to move around the diamond and feel comfortable."

It was only the second time in right field this season for Hairston, who will get most of his playing time in the infield, at shortstop, second base and third base.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.