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04/05/11 6:42 PM ET

Massage therapy providing boost to Neshek

SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Pat Neshek pitched in two of the first three games of the season in St. Louis and said he could have easily appeared in all three.

Neshek, claimed off waivers from the Twins late in Spring Training, has something of a rubber arm, meaning his arm is resilient and that he can pitch just about every day.

"I don't know if I can do it every day," Neshek said, smiling.

One thing Neshek has enjoyed since coming to the Padres is that they employ a massage therapist, Phillip Kerr.

"I think I owe a lot to the trainers. ... They've already helped me a lot," Neshek said. "... Having a massage therapist has helped a lot. The Twins didn't have that. The last few years I had to drive to find my own guy. That got expensive."

Latos close to returning to rotation

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Mat Latos, sidelined with bursitis in his right shoulder, will likely be activated from the 15-day disabled list for a start next week when the Cincinnati Reds come to PETCO Park.

San Diego manager Bud Black indicated that Latos came out of his start Monday against Minor League hitters in a simulation game in Arizona fine and that he's close to rejoining the starting rotation.

The Padres open a three-game series Monday against the Reds.

Latos threw 70 pitches in that game and was encouraged by not only the results but how he felt afterward.

"Yesterday went really well," Latos said. "Everything felt smooth. The ball came out of my hand well. I feel at 100 percent. I don't feel any soreness or tightness."

Latos landed on the disabled list to start the season and is actually eligible to come off it Wednesday. But he'll remain with the team and will throw under the supervision of his pitching coach, Darren Balsley, before the team activates him.

Latos was on target to make his first Opening Day start before suffering soreness in his right shoulder late in Spring Training. He was placed on the disabled list, backdated to March 22.

Now he's ready to rejoin his teammates and try to build off his first full season, when he won 14 games.

"Everything just feels right," Latos said.

Moseley to get another start for Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Dustin Moseley, who made a start Sunday in St. Louis because Mat Latos started the season on the disabled list, will get another chance to pitch in the rotation.

San Diego manager Bud Black confirmed Tuesday that Moseley will pitch Saturday as the Padres face the Dodgers at PETCO Park.

Moseley, whom the Padres like because he can pitch as a starter or in relief, tossed seven innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis, allowing one earned run.

Moseley allowed four hits with one walk and two strikeouts and threw 83 pitches (53 for strikes). He even collected his first Major League hit in the game.

"He has a great head and shoulders on him, he knows how to pitch, he's got an efficient delivery and a good arm stroke," Black said after Sunday's start. "... As the season unfolds, he is a guy who could be valuable for us."

Patterson, Thatcher on the mend

SAN DIEGO -- Padres utility man Eric Patterson, stuck on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is back with the team in San Diego for a few days this week to continue to get treatment.

But he won't be in San Diego long.

Manager Bud Black said Patterson will likely head to Class A Lake Elsinore on Thursday to begin a Minor League rehabilitation stint.

"He'll be there at least a couple of games for sure," Black said.

Patterson, who watched Opening Day from St. Louis on television, is anxious to get back.

"It's feeling better every day," said Patterson, who played three innings Saturday in a Minor League game in Arizona. "I don't have any problems, but we're not going to rush it. I'm not going to help the team by coming back too soon."

Reliever Joe Thatcher, on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder, threw a bullpen session before Tuesday's game against the Giants. He reported no soreness in the shoulder since starting a throwing program recently in Arizona.

There has been no timetable set as to when Thatcher will be ready to go out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

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