Padres not looking for days off yet
Manager Black says games not overly taxing thus far
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are in a stretch of playing 13 consecutive games and 19 in 20 days, though that doesn't mean Padres manager Bud Black is looking for ways to get his starting position players a day off here and there in the coming weeks.
It might well happen, such as on the upcoming five-game road trip to Arizona and then to Houston, though Black wouldn't commit -- at least publicly -- to a plan to rest players such as infielders Adrian Gonzalez, Tadahito Iguchi, Khalil Greene and Kevin Kouzmanoff, who have started all 15 games this season.
"It's April 16, we're just getting underway. Guys want to play. I love it when guys want to play," Black said.
"We haven't had a stretch of games that have been overly taxing on the guys. I think the infield has played well. Their legs still look good and they tell me they are fine. There's going to be plenty of games for the rest of our team [to play]."
In addition to the infielders, catcher Josh Bard has started 12 of 15 games and figures to get plenty of more starts behind the plate with Michael Barrett on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow.
Right fielder Brian Giles has started 12 games as well, getting a day off in the first week of the season and two over the weekend against the Dodgers when he was bothered by an oblique strain.
Black hinted that rookie Colt Morton, who was recalled from Double-A San Antonio last week to replace Barrett on the roster, could get a start in the near future, especially since the next off-day isn't until April 28.
The same could hold true for any of the Padres infielders, though trying to get Gonzalez (who was hitting .298 entering Wednesday), Greene (.250), Iguchi (.276) or Kouzmanoff (.333) a day off might be met with some resistance.
The natural candidates who could get spot starts would be Tony Clark at first base and Callix Crabbe at second base, or possibly shortstop.
"I do have some thoughts [on impending days off for starters]. But I want them to think they're going to be in there every day," Black said.
"We have played 14 games. I don't know if that's a big enough sample size to draw any conclusion on anything. But in theory, if who you deem are our starting guys are healthy, they play the majority of the time. You know that over the course of a long season with injuries, mini-slumps, matchups we'll get the other guys in."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.