SAN DIEGO -- Sometimes the slightest alteration can make a huge difference. That's certainly the case with Padres starting pitcher Dustin Moseley.
Moseley recently changed his grip on his changeup because he wasn't getting the results with it.
"My middle finger was really dominating the ball, so changeups were coming out of my hand at 84 [mph], 85 sometimes," Moseley said. "With that kind of pitch, that's something you want small contact or a swing-and-miss pitch if it's put in a good location. I just wanted to take some speed off of it, and so I just moved it over into my ring finger and pinkie a little bit more."
Moseley first tested the new grip in the Padres' 3-1 loss to the Cardinals on Monday. The right-hander went seven innings and allowed one run on five hits.
The lone run Moseley surrendered was a homer by All-Star first baseman Albert Pujols.
"He used [his changeup] a lot," Padres catcher Rob Johnson said after Monday's game. "It was very effective for him tonight. He got a lot of ground balls, early swings on it. He did a tremendous job of keeping them off balance."
Moseley said he was pleased with the early results, but that the work can't stop there.
"The ones in the previous starts were just getting hammered, and yesterday I was getting some bad swings and some swing-throughs and some popups," Moseley said. "Last night was good. I'm going to keep working on it."
Hundley getting closer to return from DL
SAN DIEGO -- Nick Hundley took some batting practice when the Padres were in Arizona May 16-17, but it didn't go the way he had hoped.
Hundley, the Padres' Opening Day catcher, has been out of the lineup since being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique on May 6. In Arizona, batting practice was the next step, but since then it's become an elongated step.
"In Arizona, swung in the cage just to test it -- tee one day, soft toss the next and then the third day I went live -- and it was good until the live and then it just wasn't ready, so nothing setback-wise, I just didn't pass that test."
In the six days since that test, Hundley was worked with the Padres' training staff to strengthen his body to swing.
"We're in the stages right now of probably making sure I don't feel anything, doing med-ball throws, stuff in the weight room in a controlled environment with the training staff, and that's getting close," Hundley said. "It's getting real close. Did some stuff today where I felt it a little bit. Once I'm to the point where I can swing, it's going to happen really fast."
But it's getting to that point that has been the difficult bump for Hundley to overcome. Padres manager Bud Black said Hundley will be working with the medical staff in the next two days and the following off-day to continue to test his intercostal muscle.
Hundley will travel with the Padres on their next road trip beginning Friday.
"It looks to be by Friday whether he'll put a bat in his hand and swing," Black said. "But we're leaning towards that on the optimistic scale."
Hundley thinks his hard work will be paying off soon, which, in the end, is all he really wants. But before he does come back, Hundley, Black and the medical staff want to be sure he's ready.
"We're doing everything to simulate the motion of throwing, simulate the motion of swinging, doing all that stuff," Hundley said. "I'm excited about getting back. I'm disappointed it's taking this long, but this is something you can't afford to get wrong."
Veteran infielder Cintron calls it a career
SAN DIEGO -- Infielder Alex Cintron, who was playing for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in Tucson, announced late Monday that he was retiring.
Cintron, who signed a Minor League contract with the Padres on May 3, had two hits in Tucson's game on Monday against Iowa, raising his average to .350 in 60 at-bats.
But Cintron, a career .275 hitter over parts of nine seasons for four Major League teams, decided to retire for health reasons, his agent, Burton Rocks, said by email on Tuesday. Rocks said, "[Past] surgeries have affected him physically."
Cintron, 32, was playing for Laguna of the Mexican League and was hitting .364 in five games before signing with the Padres earlier this month.
With Tucson, Cintron had 21 hits in 17 games with four doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBIs. He was not on the 40-man roster.
Mark Thompson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.