Barton won't be able to throw for at least a week, and his chances at an Opening Day roster spot are slimming by the day. Manager Bob Melvin is not ready to say as much, but at the same time is being realistic about the situation.
"Certainly he's going to have to be able to throw and play first base, and certainly that's going to be a little longer to come," Melvin said. "I don't want to rule anything out at this point, but you can count the days."
After experiencing some soreness in his shoulder while attempting to throw last week, Barton underwent an arthrogram MRI -- it delivers a series of images using a dye injection -- that also included a cortisone shot to help calm down the shoulder. The team's medical staff, in also consulting with Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Barton's surgery, then decided a cortisone shot in his biceps tendon would hopefully deliver the last bit of relief needed to get him on the field.
"The doctor felt like it was as good as it looked and this will take care of it so we can get him in some games at [designated hitter]," Melvin said. "We'll see when the throwing comes along, but we certainly don't feel like this is a setback. It's actually probably the last thing to move forward at a better pace."
"I sure hope so," said Barton. "I feel like I've had enough setbacks. It's frustrating not being able to go out there."
Barton was out to 120 feet in his throwing program before soreness forced him back to 90 feet. Now, he'll have to start the whole process all over again.
Meanwhile, Brandon Allen and Kila Ka'aihue appear to be the favorites to land the everyday first-base job, with Chris Carter still considered a candidate. Allen put together a seven-RBI day on Sunday and collected another on Monday against the Cubs in Mesa, while Ka'aihue started at first in Phoenix for a matchup with the visiting Angels, going 0-for-4.