"That's the best-case scenario," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "[Trainer Jamie Reed] said he's doing really well. His strength is good and he feels good. We want to make sure he's ready when he comes back. We want him to be able to throw 90 pitches without pain."
Padilla was placed on the disabled list on June 25 with a record of 3-8 with a 6.69 ERA. He has been bothered by pain and discomfort in the bullpen since the beginning of Spring Training.
Melhuse for Laird:
Adam Melhuse made his sixth start for the Rangers on Sunday since being acquired from the Athletics on June 10. He made just seven starts for the A's in the first two months of the season. Melhuse was hitting .409 (9-for-22) going into Sunday's game while with the Rangers.
"It has been great," Melhuse said. "Like a dream come true. The last three or four years, I was a backup catcher but I didn't consider what I did in Oakland as being a backup catcher. It was like I was an emergency catcher. This has been ideal."
Manager Ron Washington is trying to take some of the load off Laird, who has caught the third most innings by a catcher in the American League. Oakland's Jason Kendall went into Sunday's game with 627 1/3 innings caught, while Jorge Posada had caught 552 innings and Laird had caught 551.
"I just don't want to run Gerald into the ground," Washington said.
Relaford up, Koronka DFA:
The Rangers made roster adjustments on Sunday, with infielder Ian Kinsler sidelined with a sprained left foot and Jerry Hairston day-to-day with a bruised left knee.
Kinsler will undergo an MRI on Monday in Dallas to determine the severity of his injury and if he needs to go on the disabled list.
Infielder Desi Relaford was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma to serve as a backup infielder. Ramon Vazquez started at second and Travis Metcalf started at third base on Sunday.
Reliever Scott Feldman was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma for the fourth time this season.
Pitcher John Koronka was designated for assignment to make room for Relaford on the 40-man roster. Koronka was 6-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma and 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA in two starts with the Rangers earlier this year.
The Rangers have 10 days to trade Koronka or get him through outright waivers. He has fallen behind Mike Wood and John Rheinecker in the Triple-A pecking order.
The Rangers still have to make a roster move on Monday. If Hairston is ready to go on Monday, Relaford could be with the club for just one day. But the Rangers did not want to be caught short this weekend.
Padilla vs. Tejeda:
Robinson Tejeda allowed four earned runs in four innings on Saturday night against the Boston Red Sox. That left him a 6.69 ERA that is tied with Padilla for the highest in the American League.
Padilla has allowed an opposing on-base percentage of .394, the highest in the American League, and Tejeda is second with a .389 percentage. But Tejeda is leading in slugging percentage allowed. Opponents are slugging .512 off him. Padilla is seventh at .475.
He said it:
"It hasn't been fun, missing time. It's definitely been tough. But it definitely could be worse. At least it was a blister and not anything worse. I'd rather have that than an arm injury and miss the entire season." -- Brandon McCarthy, who will come off the disabled list and pitch Monday
Saturday's Minor Stars:
Gold: Catcher Chris Gradoville drove in Kyle Murphy on a sacrifice fly in the 15th inning to lead Class A Spokane to a 7-6 victory over Tri-City. Gradoville went 3-for-6 with three RBIs.
Silver: Triple-A Oklahoma defeated Omaha, 11-3. First baseman Nate Gold led the Red Hawks, going 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Bronze: Left-hander Michael Ballard went seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits leading Class A Bakersfield over Modesto, 7-2. Ballard struck out three and walked one.
Sammy Sosa, going into Sunday's game, had 39 RBIs on the road, most in the Major Leagues. ... Kenny Lofton's four stolen bases on Friday marked the first time in Major League history that a player 40 years or older accomplished that feat. ... Marlon Byrd's .398 batting average in June was the seventh highest in the Major Leagues.
Up next: McCarthy comes off the disabled list on Monday and pitches against the Red Sox in the final game of the four-game series at 6:05 p.m. CT. Left-hander Kason Gabbard, who is filling in for Curt Schilling, will pitch for Boston.