SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-hander Chris Young is scheduled to make a third minor league rehab start on Saturday night, this time for the Class-A Lake Elsinore Storm in the opening game of the California League Southern Division finals.
After that, if his right shoulder feels OK, there's a chance the 6-foot-10 Young could pitch in the big leagues for the first time since April 6.
"I want to pitch in a big league game. That's my goal and that's what I'm working for," Young said Tuesday before the NL West-leading Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Young made just one start this season and has been on the disabled list since April 12 with a strained right shoulder.
The Padres considered having him pitch in another simulated game, but Young said he gets more out of rehab starts.
"It's just hard to simulate adrenaline and intensity," Young said. "When you're used to pitching in a competitive, big league environment, it's hard to trick yourself into that intensity no matter how hard you try.
"There's certain emotions and feelings that you just can't simulate. I think a real game, you get more out of it. It's just realistic rest in between innings, umpires, just any sort of weird things that can be thrown at you. In a simulated game, everything's controlled. So it is definitely preferable to be in a live, real environment."
Young threw 3 1/3 hitless innings for Triple-A Portland against Las Vegas on Sunday. Five days earlier, he allowed one run and two hits in three innings for Portland at Reno.
Young said the goal for Saturday night is five innings and 75 pitches.
"I don't know what the options would be at that point," he said. "I want to get through Saturday night and then we'll take a look at it. If I get to five innings and 75 pitches and healthwise feel good, I think I'll probably have the itch to be back in the big leagues."
Young hard arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder in August 2009. He's had a serious injury each season since 2008, when he was hit in the face by an Albert Pujols line drive.
As per tradition, Young will dip into his wallet once again to provide a postgame spread for the minor leaguers.
"I'm already about $1,200 deep in spreads so this will add to it," Young said. "But if it means getting back to the big leagues, it'll be well worth it."