Cashner thrilled with 30-pitch bullpen session
Padres righty reports 'no pain, no issues,' ready to take next step
SAN DIEGO -- Andrew Cashner's first bullpen session since landing on the disabled list 10 days ago with a sore right elbow produced more than just unbridled positivity Tuesday.
It also left him with a sweat-soaked shirt, one that he slowly peeled off before talking with reporters.
"It's a little toasty out there," Cashner said of his bullpen session, which was conducted in the afternoon and with the Chase Field roof open.
Cashner threw 30 pitches under the watchful eyes of Padres manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley. He threw fastballs and changeups and sounded optimistic afterward.
"It went really good," Cashner said. "No pain, no issues."
The next step, according to Cashner and Black, is for him to throw another bullpen session Friday before the team begins a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.
"He threw for 10 minutes and was pleased, Darren was pleased," Black said. "It looked effortless. It was fairly good intensity. On Friday he'll throw longer, more pitches and ramp up the velocity."
Cashner said he's ready for that next step in his recovery, which could eventually merit either a Minor League rehabilitation stint or a simulated game before he jumps back in the rotation.
"Not playing is not fun," Cashner said. "I was pretty anxious to get here and throw today."
Cashner said he has yet to talk with Black and Balsley about revamping his slider grip, which may have contributed to his elbow soreness. That will come soon, though.
"We're going to talk a little about it … there's some things he can do with it to benefit him," Black said.
Black said Cashner's grip when using a traditional slider and the knuckle-slider he used a lot last season essentially utilized the same grip.
That's all to be determined. For now, Cashner is extremely encouraged about where he's at and where he's heading.
"I'm looking forward to moving forward," he said.
Luebke doing shoulder work as he continues recovery
PHOENIX -- Just over three months removed from his second Tommy John surgery in two years, Cory Luebke said he felt like a real baseball player again this week, dressing with the Padres and shagging fly balls in the outfield at Chase Field before games.
"It's been different being here and not going on the field [for games] every day," said Luebke, who is splitting his rehabilitation between the team's facility in Peoria, Ariz., and in nearby Gilbert.
Luebke had another reason to come to Chase Field -- to commiserate and compared notes with D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, who has also had two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow, the first in July 2012 and June 2013 as he was nearing the finish line in his rehabilitation.
Luebke's first surgery occurred on May 23, 2012, with the second one done Feb. 18 of this year.
"He's a good dude," Luebke said of Hudson. "We've talked about different it was the second time and about the throwing program and how it's different. He's had no setbacks, so that was good to hear."
Luebke is to the point in his rehabilitation where he's doing shoulder work and following much of the same protocol he did the first time around, though there are notable changes.
He's working out in Gilbert with Allen Gruver at the Postural Restorative Institute on his hips and his core more than he ever did before. That's where Hudson did some of his rehabilitation as well.
"There will be some changes," Luebke said when asked if his pitching mechanics will be different when he returns to the mound. "There's two or three things I was doing that didn't help the elbow, with my hips and my lead leg."
Luebke is hoping to pitch sometime in 2015. He said there was a feeling of isolation when the rest of the team broke camp late in March and he was left in Peoria. But he's come to terms -- again -- with his reality.
"This," he said of his rehabilitation, "is my job now."
Buckner, Boyer outrighted to Triple-A
PHOENIX -- Pitchers Billy Buckner and Blaine Boyer, who were designated for assignment on Sunday, have cleared waivers and outrighted to Triple-A El Paso.
Buckner and Boyer have accepted the assignment and will report to El Paso on Wednesday.
San Diego manager Bud Black said Sunday that he he's hopeful both will stay in the organization.
Buckner's stay in San Diego was short -- like one-day short -- as he was added to the roster Saturday and started against the Cubs, allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings in a loss.
Boyer tossed two scoreless innings of relief Thursday against the Cubs. It was his first Major League appearance since 2011 when he was with the Mets.