Jeff Suppan unofficially began his 20th professional baseball season after he threw his first bullpen session on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Suppan, a second-round pick in the 1993 draft by the Boston Red Sox, accepted an invitation to big league camp with the San Diego Padres when they signed him to a minor-league contract. He will compete with Dustin Moseley, Micah Owings and Anthony Bass for the fifth spot in the Padres' starting rotation.
Suppan, 37, was 11-8 with a 4.78 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) for the Kansas City Royals' Triple-A Omaha affiliate last season. But 2011 also marked the first season he hadn't appeared on a major league roster since 1994. Even though he has a World Series ring and a post-baseball career as a restaurateur planned, Suppan said he's having too much fun to retire.
Suppan is 138-143 in his career with a 4.69 ERA. He has pitched for six teams and won a World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006.
''I'm not ...