Padilla's spot on the pitching staff is expected to be filled by the recall of right-handed reliever Jon Link. Manager Joe Torre said he did not know who would take Padilla's scheduled start Tuesday night in New York. Triple-A left-hander Scott Elbert is one candidate.
Swingman Jeff Weaver would be a natural choice, but he was placed on the disabled list two days earlier with a mild back strain when Hong-Chih Kuo was ready to be activated. Triple-A right-hander James McDonald is on the disabled list and unavailable.
Josh Towers is pitching well at Albuquerque, Josh Lindblom not so much, but both would require opening a 40-man roster spot.
Padilla underwent an X-ray that did not reveal the cause of his discomfort and is scheduled for an MRI on Monday in New York. Padilla had complained of some tightness during Spring Training, but before the opener in Pittsburgh said it had gone away. Padilla, signed for $5.025 million as a free agent, said he has not had similar problems until this year.
On Saturday, he said there was worse discomfort in a slightly different spot during the fifth and sixth innings of his last start, Thursday night in Cincinnati, and he was unable to throw his between-start bullpen session Saturday.
"I can't even throw right now," Padilla said, declining to speculate on the severity of the injury.
Torre said Link would be brought up at least temporarily, although the club must receive permission for Link to replace an injured pitcher. Otherwise, he has not spent the necessary 10 days in the Minor Leagues after being optioned April 20.
"I thought he had his best stuff the other day, but he said he felt it coming out of the game," Torre said of Padilla, who is 1-1 with a 7.06 ERA after allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings in Cincinnati.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.