CHICAGO -- All seasons are different, and Anthony Bass' role on the pitching staff has rarely remained consistent, but there's no question the Padres right-hander has never seen an April like this one.
Bass has appeared in one-third of the Padres' 24 games this season, logging 18 innings in that span. Entering Monday night's series opener against the Cubs, he was leading the Majors in innings pitched for a reliever. And regardless of what regimen he's used to, Bass knows it's been a full workload.
"Obviously I've thrown a lot," Bass said. "But I kinda like that. I've started and relieved. Most of my time in the Minors, I've started. It's nothing new to me to kind of do something like that. But I think the team watches over how much I've thrown. Especially having two long guys in the bullpen now definitely helps, so my workload doesn't get to be too much."
Bass, in his third season with the Padres, has never gone a full year as solely a starter or reliever. He didn't pitch in the Majors in April during his debut season (2011). He did throw 27 1/3 innings in March and April last year, but four of those games were starts. Of his 27 appearances in 2011, 24 were out of the 'pen. Of his 24 appearances last year, nine were in relief.
This year, he has allowed six earned runs in 18 innings (3.00 ERA) entering Monday's series opener against the Cubs, and is averaging six strikeouts per nine innings. He's surrendered just one home run.
"They're not here to overuse me by any means, but definitely if a game's out of hand or they need me for multiple innings, I'm ready," Bass said. "Just taking things slow in Spring Training I think really helped me at the start of this season, staying healthy and continuing throughout the season."
Injured Ross to start at Triple-A Tuesday
CHICAGO -- As expected, Padres right-hander Tyson Ross will head to Triple-A Tucson on Tuesday to begin a rehab program for an impingement in his left shoulder.
The plan, according to Padres manager Bud Black, is for Ross to pitch in middle relief on Tuesday. Ross landed on the disabled list after partially dislocating his shoulder taking a swing against Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw on April 17.
"Hopefully he'll be able to go a couple innings, maybe three," Black said. "Get his pitch count where we need it to be, 45-55, wherever that may be. We'll let the game dictate it. But he's not gonna pitch one-third of an inning, and he's not gonna pitch five. It'll be somewhere in between."
The hope is that Ross won't need much time to rehab, since he's been able to keep his right arm in shape during his stint on the DL. But his main obstacles before a return will be in fielding his position and swinging a bat again.
"We want to make sure that he's healthy, and by that I mean be able to defend himself with his glove," Black said. "I think the hitting side of a starting pitcher in the National League is a little ways away. We've got to make sure that if and when he comes back in the Major Leagues, and he starts, we've got to make sure he's healthy and fit to swing the bat. I think those questions will be answered in at least 2-3 weeks. It's too early to make any prediction on when he's coming back, when he's gonna start."
• Black said the two main pieces of the back end of the San Diego bullpen -- closer Huston Street and setup man Luke Gregerson -- were not available on Monday night.
Both pitchers had thrown three straight days. Street has two saves in three scoreless innings, while Gregerson has two scoreless holds in that same span.
• When asked for his thought's about NBA player Jason Collins revealing to Sports Illustrated on Monday that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay active athlete in American team sports, Black said, "I think that's Jason's business, and I'm good with that."
Black said he thought Major League Baseball would accept a gay player.
"I think players are conditioned to get along with all different types of men," he said.