SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres announced Friday that they will move the special Trevor Hoffman retirement ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 21, from a postgame event to a pregame celebration.

The Padres are encouraging fans to prepare accordingly and plan to arrive early for the event.

"After speaking with a number of fans and hearing their feedback, we made the decision to move Trevor's retirement ceremony from postgame to pregame," said Padres president and chief operating officer Tom Garfinkel in a statement.

"We believe this change will make it easier for fans to plan their day around this historic event."  

Hoffman spent 16 of his 19 Major League seasons with the Padres, and recorded 552 of his Major League-record 601 career saves in that time.

Many of those close to Hoffman and his former teammates will be in attendance to pay tribute to Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader.

The Padres will also retire Hoffman's No. 51 as part of the ceremony. 

Spence knows role, performing it well

SAN DIEGO -- The sample size is small, but only two players in the Major Leagues have thrown more innings than Josh Spence and held batters to a lower batting average.

Those two are Aroldis Chapman of the Reds and Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies.

Spence, the Padres' left-handed reliever, has pitched 17 innings of relief and has only surrendered a solo homer.

"I know what my role is, it's to get lefties," Spence said. "I feel like I've been set up for success. [Padres manager Bud Black] hasn't put me in situations that have been too overwhelming, but at the same time, they've been just chancy enough to ease me in."

But there was nothing chancy about the four batters Spence faced Friday night against the Rockies.

Spence entered the game and retired Colorado's two-through-five hitters: Dexter Fowler, Todd Helton, All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Seth Smith.

"I think the only thing I can say [is] this guy, he knows his game," Black said. "He stays within what he can do. Once he signed with us and got into our system, he's pitched well."

And he's done so with not-so-conventional tools. Spence's fastball barely tops the mid-80s.

"Honestly, the key is just strike one," said Spence, who was the second member of the 2010 Major League First-Year Player Draft class to reach the big leagues.

"I don't want to really put the cart in front of the horse, so to say. I'm just really happy to be here."

Translation: Spence doesn't want to define what makes him successful, because, frankly, it's still very early to know how successful he can be.

But with Spence, you get the sense that he really means what he says. He's just thankful to be where he is right now.

Of course, the Padres are thankful he's where he is as well.

"He can throw a called strike with his breaking ball," Black said. "He can locate his fastball. And ... I think there's some deception there because you see some funky swings from big league hitters."

Worth noting

• San Diego shortstop Jason Bartlett (tight right hamstring) and right fielder Will Venable (back spasms) were out of the lineup again on Saturday. Manager Bud Black said that Bartlett was doing "much better" and that he was playable if needed. Venable, however, was still sore, Black said. "We hope he turns the corner in the next day or two."

• Catcher Nick Hundley could go out on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment sometime next week. Hundley had elbow surgery on July 8.