The Padres improve to 6-4 on the year after a 5-2 home stand in which they took three of four from the defending World Series Champion Giants and two of three from the Diamondbacks.
News and notes with Padres manager Bud Black:
Gyorko Returns – After sitting the last three games, second baseman Jedd Gyorko returned to the lineup Wednesday night against the Diamondbacks. It was more of the same. Gyorko went 0-3 at the plate with one strikeout. He was hitting just .143 with three hits and one RBI in 21 at-bats prior to Wednesday’s game. While Gyorko sat, utility man Yangervis Solarte filled in and got off to a fast start batting .364 with eight hits and four RBIs in 22 at-bats…
Said Black: “I think more than anything I wanted to get (Gyorko) a couple of days to work exclusively with an intent with (hitting coaches Mark Kotsay and Alonzo Powell) with the things we’ve been talking about. Using the whole field, getting on top of the ball. Doing some things technically that we need him to do to be the hitter that he can be. Sometimes you have to take the air out of the balloon a little bit. A lot of times I’ve found that when they come back, they’re better off for it.”
Kennedy throws bullpen – Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy threw his first bullpen Wednesday since straining his left hamstring in the third inning of the Padres home opener last Thursday against the Giants. Kennedy will throw another bullpen session this Friday and could start next Monday for one of the Padres minor league affiliates. If everything goes smoothly, Kennedy could make an additional minor league start to build stamina. The right-hander hasn’t thrown more than three innings since March 30th….
Said Black: “He went six innings in Goodyear, the last week of Spring Training and then the tune up against the Mexico City Red Devils, three innings, close to 50 (pitches). Then he faced nine guys with the Giants so he’s got to build pitch count when he starts and then we’ll evaluate that game to see where he is, see how the hamstring is, all those things.”
The Padres will look for Kennedy to throw between 75 and 90 pitches in his rehab start.
Pads still big on Despaigne – Long relief man (sixth starter?) Odrisamer Despaigne continues to impress the Padres after setting a team record with 4.2 innings of perfect relief for the aforementioned Kennedy in the home opener. The crafty righty allowed just two hits in seven innings of one-run ball against Arizona on Tuesday…
Said Black: “He’s going to be a big part of what we do this year. We like Despaigne a lot. He’s very valuable. He can pitch in relief. He can pitch as a starting pitcher. Good on the team. He’s a pro. He’s a very good major league pitcher.
–Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)