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04/11/12 6:34 PM ET

Injured Stauffer plays catch for second time

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer, who went on the 15-day disabled list on Opening Day with a strained right elbow, played catch for the second time in as many days on Wednesday.

Stauffer played catch in the outfield two hours before the Padres faced the D-backs in the second game of a three-game series at Petco Park.

Manager Bud Black said last weekend that it might be a week before Stauffer picks up a ball again. But Stauffer felt fine Tuesday to the point where he could play catch to test the elbow.

"The inflammation is down," Stauffer said. "I'm expecting it to feel fine. It's nothing too exciting ... but that's better than not feeling good."

Stauffer, who until late in Spring Training was on schedule to be the Opening Day starter, is still at least three weeks away from pitching in the big leagues, Black said.

That might be a conservative figure as Black said Stauffer still needs to progress to the point where he can throw 90 feet from flat ground and then bullpen sessions before he's sent out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment of undetermined length.

But, for now, playing catch is fine with Stauffer.

"That's about the extent I know," he said.

Padres confident Bass will excel as starter

SAN DIEGO -- Anthony Bass' resume in the Major Leagues is pretty varied. He's appeared in 29 games going back to last season. He's started three of them, finished seven of them and pitched in just about every role imaginable.

But there's truly only one role Bass wants -- to start games. He'll get that chance on Thursday when the Padres face the D-backs at Petco Park, as the 24-year-old right-hander steps into the starting rotation for injured pitcher Dustin Moseley.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to start," Bass said Wednesday. "I want to run with it and show the organization what I can do."

The organization already has a pretty good idea. In those 29 appearances in the big leagues, Bass has a 1.72 ERA with 43 hits allowed in 52 1/3 innings. He's made two appearances in the bullpen this season and, after Moseley suffered a shoulder injury in his last start, was the natural pick for the rotation.

"I suspect that he can go 70 to 90 pitches," said Padres manager Bud Black. "His history as an amateur and a Minor League pitcher is of a starter. There's no mental anxiety for him to be starting a game."

After Thursday, Bass' next start on Tuesday will come in a familiar place -- Coors Field in Denver. That is where Bass made his Major League debut for the Padres on June 13 in a spot start. Bass allowed one earned run in five innings that day for his first Major League victory.

Pitcher Wieland expected to join Padres soon

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have yet to make an official announcement that pitcher Joe Wieland will join the team from Triple-A Tucson for a start Saturday against the Dodgers.

That announcement is expected Thursday or possibly Friday, with Wieland possibly meeting the team in Los Angeles for the start of a three-game series on Friday afternoon.

"It's not out of reason to think Joe will make that start," manager Bud Black said, smiling.

Wieland, considered one of the Padres top prospects, was pulled from his start Tuesday while pitching for Tucson and was told by manager Terry Kennedy that he was heading to the big leagues.

Wieland's start comes on the day the Padres will need their fifth starter for the first time this season.

In two starts with Tucson, the 22-year-old was 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. He had two walks and 11 strikeouts in that stretch.

"You like the arm and like the delivery," Black said of Wieland. "In the spring, we saw a guy who has four pitches. I liked his composure and he looked like a well-rounded player. He showed poise on the mound and is a clear thinker."

Wieland and pitcher Robbie Erlin were obtained from the Rangers in the July 31 trade last year that saw the Padres trade reliever Mike Adams to Texas.

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.