The San Diego Padres projected Opening Day starter last year and their 2011 Opening Day starter does not even have a guaranteed roster spot on the 2013 team. After once again dealing with arm troubles last year, Tim Stauffer underwent surgery. He is expected to be ready sometime shortly after the season begins. With that in mind, the Padres re-signed him to a minor league deal.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, the Padres signed Stauffer in addition to the minor league contract we covered yesterday for Freddy Garcia. The deal will not likely include an invite to Major League camp this spring because it's not clear whether Stauffer will be ready for camp. He is said to be not too far behind in his normal offseason workout program, but the team will not know his status until he is throwing off a mound.
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Stauffer is throwing from 75 feet and feels as if he is close to being ready. He understands rehab can be a lengthy process though.
"In my mind, I'm close to being ready," Stauffer said.
Stauffer underwent flexor tendon surgery on his right elbow last August. He only appeared in one game last season after spending the majority of the first part of the year on the DL. After that game, he was promptly placed back on the DL and ultimately underwent surgery.
In his career, Stauffer has a record of 23-31 with a 3.94 ERA. He was the Padres' default choice over the past two seasons as Opening Day starter because of a lack of true dominating starting pitching. Of course, he was unable to start the 2012 season, but he did open the 2011 season. In that year, Stauffer put together a decent season. He posted a 3.73 ERA in 31 starts.
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