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03/29/09 4:25 PM ET

Floyd still nursing sore right shoulder

Padres manager Black expects him to be ready by Opening Day

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Cliff Floyd, who is expected to be a late-inning bat off the bench for Padres manager Bud Black, is still nursing an aggravated right shoulder.

Floyd suffered the injury swinging in a game Wednesday against Cleveland. He departed the game after his second at-bat and hasn't played since.

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Floyd has been examined by a team doctor though no further tests have been ordered to date. Still, Black said he expects Floyd to be ready for Opening Day on April 6.

"He's getting better, improving. The next 24 to 48 hours will be important. But I think he's still in good shape [to be on the 25-man roster]," Black said.

Floyd is hitting .320 this spring in 25 at-bats with a home run and five RBIs. This is the second time this month Floyd has been sidelined with soreness in his shoulder.

Floyd isn't expected to play in the field for the Padres, but he'll be used as a pinch-hitter and designated hitter in road games during Interleague Play.

Floyd is a career .171 pinch-hitter with five homers and 23 RBIs in 140 at-bats. In his busiest season as a pinch-hitter, Floyd went 3-for-22 with the 2007 Cubs. From 2003-06, he went hitless in 15 pinch at-bats.

"I haven't done it a lot, and I haven't been good at it," Floyd said recently. "That's the big challenge for me, to find a way to prepare for that role."

He has consulted with a couple of retired players who excelled in that capacity.

"I've talked to John Vander Wal [536 lifetime pinch at-bats, producing 126 hits, 17 homers and 95 RBIs] and a little with Lenny Harris [record 212 pinch-hits] about how you prepare yourself. But to each his own," Floyd said.

"You have to figure out what's good for you. It's not an easy task -- but the team is counting on you, and you want to come through."

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