Although the Padres were genuinely pleased with starter Greg Harris' performance Saturday--allowing only one single in a simulated game--they were more concerned about reliever Larry Andersen.
Andersen, who has not pitched in a game since April 27 because of a bruised forearm, pitched for 13 minutes off the mound Saturday but stopped after feeling shooting pains in his wrist.
"My stuff was good, probably better than I threw in any games," Andersen said, "but I felt a couple of zingers. It felt like a jolt, almost like a shock. I could only throw five sliders.
"And me without a slider is like you guys (reporters) without a pen."
Would Andersen dare be activated and pitch in a game if he still couldn't throw his slider?
"I'd only do it if they gave me a screen," Andersen said.
Meanwhile, Harris, who is winless with a 10.61 ERA in his last four starts, pitched a rare simulated game. He threw about 40 pitches, and dominated Kurt Stillwell, Tim Teufel and Gary Pettis.
"He's looking and feeling a lot more comfortable," said Mike Roarke, Padre pitching coach. "That's the most important thing. He really hasn't been throwing the ball that bad, it's just that he needs to mix up his pitches a little.
"Once he gets that first one (strong performance) out of the way, he'll probably say, 'Whew, what was so hard about that?' "
The ex-Padre Player of the Week award goes to pitcher Ricky Bones of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Why Bones, who's only 1-1 with a 4.29 ERA?
Without Bones, the Padres never would have been able to acquire third baseman Gary Sheffield from the Brewers. While Bones is struggling in the rotation, Sheffield is tearing up the National League and is responsible as anyone for the Padres' early success.
Judging by the early returns, it may turn out to be the greatest trade in Padre history.
Padre catcher Dann Bilardello was prepared to give an interview on the Padres' cable channel when he had shaving cream shoved in his face.
The pranksters? Relievers Mike Maddux and Randy Myers.
Bilardello, realizing it was shaving cream, said: "Hey, anyone got a razor?"
Bilardello is scheduled to make his first start since April 26 today, and he plans to bring a new friend with him.
He's going to use one of teammate Gary Sheffield's bats.
"I'm going with who's hot," Bilardello said. "If it works for him, it might rub off on me."
While in San Diego, New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden was found wearing a No. 1 on the sleeve of his practice jersey.
"I'm wearing it for Vince (Coleman)," Gooden said. "It's like he's dead. No one in New York has seen him for two years. I didn't want them to forget him."
Coleman, of course, is on the disabled list again.