NEW YORK — Padre starter Ed Whitson discovered Thursday that he might be out the rest of the season.
Whitson was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow and has scheduled an appointment Sunday to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., to determine whether surgery is necessary.
Scheduled to start tonight against the Mets, Whitson instead was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Adam Peterson is expected to start tonight, and reliever John Costello likely will be recalled.
"This has been bothering me for quite a while," said Whitson, who spent a month on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis before being activated June 28. "It's just never gotten any better. If anything, it's got worse.
"I've sacrificed my career to this point, but I'm not going to sacrifice it for this. If that spur needs to come out, I'll have an operation and get it out."
Whitson (4-6, 4.71 ERA) probably would have missed tonight's start anyway. He sustained a gash on his right index finger during a fishing trip Tuesday.
First baseman Phil Stephenson, recovering from a broken bone in his right kneecap, got to visit home during his rehabilitation stint in Wichita, Kan., but he didn't want to stick around.
"It had been so long since I've been home in the summer, I'd never even seen my grass green," said Stephenson, who batted .471 in 12 games with the Padres' double-A team. "It was great. But I wanted to make sure the Padres didn't forget about me.
"So I called them three times a day to remind them."
After spending the first half of the season on the disabled list, Stephenson was activated for Thursday's game against the Mets. He and catcher Dann Bilardello joined the Padres in New York, replacing catchers Tom Lampkin and Brian Dorsett, each of whom were optioned Sunday to triple-A Las Vegas.
To make room on their 40-man roster, the Padres designated triple-A infielder Jose Mota for reassignment. If unclaimed by other major league teams, he would be eligible to rejoin the Padres.
Tony Gwynn--he of the .360 average--was the first one on the field Thursday, taking extra batting practice.
Gwynn, despite returning from his exhaustive All-Star excursion in Toronto, wanted to take batting practice, he said, because he missed the Padres' workout in San Diego.
"It was tiring, but it was a great time," Gwynn said. "That was the best All-Star (event) I've been in. I kept telling our owners, 'You're not going to be able to top this one. It's the best.' "
The 1992 All-Star Game is in San Diego. By activating Stephenson, the Padres have only two players on the disabled list--pitchers Atlee Hammaker and Pat Clements--the fewest they have had this season.