DENVER -- As someone who has spent nearly his entire 10-year professional career in the Minor Leagues, Padres catcher Kyle Phillips has never been afforded the luxury of having a quiet offseason where could detach himself from work.
"I've never been the type of person to sit around and do nothing. I've always been goal-oriented and success driven," Phillips said. "And you have got to make money to afford nice things and to live."
This is why Phillips has spent the past six offseasons working as a salesman at Marvin K. Brown Cadillac Auto Center in Mission Valley. Consider it an offseason occupation that's really more than just a job to Phillips.
"He's really good at it," said Dave Grundstrom, chairman and CEO of Marvin K. Brown. "He's a really good people person. His passion is baseball, but he loves cars. He's competitive. He likes things that will challenge him.
"We'll give him sales goals and he'll meet them and even exceed them."
Phillips, who will typically work seven days a week in the offseason, in upwards of 12 hours a day, has parlayed an interest in cars into a job that helps pay the bills when the baseball season ends.
How did Phillips, a San Diego native, end up selling cars?
"I've always had an interest in cars, not necessarily fixing cars, but like exotics, old cars, different things," Phillips said. "I turned 18 and I signed and played that first year. When I came home I got this wild hair to buy some cars and see if I could make any money on them.
"I was doing pretty well with that and a friend of mine said, 'why don't you go sell cars?' I was like, 'No, those guys are liars, they steal. I'm never going to be that guy.'
After about a month passed, Phillips reconsidered the suggestion, and drove to Marvin K. Brown for an interview with Grundstrom.
"I did pretty well for the couple of months I was there and he [Grundstrom] said, 'If you want to come back, feel free.' I've been there since," Phillips said.
Phillips has sold cars to teammate Aaron Harang and other athletes, like Brewers pitcher Sergio Mitre, who Phillips saw last week when the team was in Milwaukee.
Just as Phillips -- who was recalled from Double-A San Antonio on May 6 when catcher Nick Hundley went on the disabled list -- takes his job as a salesman every bit as seriously as he does baseball.
"I try to sell a car every other day ... so 15 cars every 30 days is pretty good, especially since you're [selling] cars where $35,000 MSRP is pretty much the minimum," Phillips said. "My sales pitch is just to be honest with them. I have nothing to lose. I just try to give them as much information as I can."
He's certainly got a good fan base back in the office rooting for him.
"We're so proud of him that he's stuck with it. Everyone here is so excited," Grundstrom said. "Everyone here keeps track of his stats. It's been a lot of fun."
Hudson to begin rehab stint on Sunday
DENVER -- Orlando Hudson spent part of Friday running sprints in the outfield at Coors Field, testing the strained right hamstring that landed him on the 15-day disabled list on May 4.
"I ran like crazy today," Hudson said. "I had a good run. I feel good, I feel real good."
Hudson's hamstring has responded so well to treatment and baseball activities that he is set to fly from Denver to Tucson on Saturday to join the Padres' Triple-A team for what figures to be game action on Sunday and Monday.
"The last five days have been marked improvement," San Diego manager Bud Black said before the start of the three-game series at Coors Field against the Rockies. "He's doing fine."
Black said Hudson, who suffered the strain running the bases on May 3, will join the team in Phoenix, possibly on Tuesday. The Padres will face the D-backs on Monday and Tuesday before returning home Wednesday.
Black said there's a chance that Hudson will also have a rehabilitation stint next week with Class A Lake Elsinore.
The Padres have used Eric Patterson and Alberto Gonzalez at second base since Hudson -- who was hitting .245 at the time of the injury -- has been out of the lineup. Gonzalez got the start on Friday against the Rockies.
Padres to honor Sweet 16 SDSU team
DENVER -- The Padres will pay homage to the San Diego State University basketball team on May 19 at PETCO Park before a game against the Brewers.
The Aztecs, who are coming off a season where they won a school-record 34 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, will be honored prior to the game.
SDSU team captain D.J. Gay is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, possibly to former SDSU pitcher and current Padres manager, Bud Black.
Steve Fisher, the coach of the Aztecs, will be in attendance with several players from a team that won its first NCAA Tournament game in March. SDSU finished sixth in the final Associated Press poll.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.