MIAMI -- San Diego's weekend series at Marlins Park served as a homecoming for a pair of Padres.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal and first baseman Yonder Alonso, who were both in the starting lineup Friday, grew up in Miami and attended the University of Miami, where they played baseball together.
"It's crazy. The world takes a lot of turns and spins," Alonso said. "You never know what you're going to be a part of. It's definitely a lot of fun and very special to both of us."
The duo was excited to be back home and playing in front of friends and family. Alonso anticipates about 100 friends and family members to fill Marlins Park during the three-game series, while Grandal joked that he had so many ticket requests that he "might be playing for free this weekend."
For Alonso, it's his second homecoming in the big leagues, having played against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium last year with the Reds. It's the first trip home for Grandal, who made his big league debut after the Padres recalled him from Triple-A Tucson on June 1.
Alonso and Grandal both said playing at Marlins Park, which was built on the site of the old Orange Bowl where the Hurricanes' football team used to play, holds a certain level significance.
"This means a lot to me," Alonso said. "I grew up here coming to the games and stuff, so it's definitely a lot of fun. ... It's a new stadium with not too much history in it, but in these grounds, there's a lot of history that was made by my old school. It's definitely special."
On top of playing against a team they grew up watching, on the grounds of the old Orange Bowl in front of family and friends, the former college teammates are relishing the opportunity to share this experience with each other as Major Leaguers.
"That makes it even better because all the fans, all the true Hurricane fans, they're all going to be here," Grandal said. "That's the good thing about Miami. The true fans are going to follow you no matter what. ... It's a feeling you can't really explain, especially with Yonder here."
Rehabbing Stauffer set for third bullpen session
MIAMI -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer will throw his third bullpen session of the week Saturday at the Padres' Spring Training facility in Arizona.
Stauffer, who has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a right elbow strain, threw two bullpen sessions while the Padres were in San Francisco, and said he experienced "no issues whatsoever" after the second session, which included fastballs and changeups.
Padres manager Bud Black said Stauffer's Saturday session will also add breaking balls into the mix.
"From there, we'll evaluate his bullpens," Black said. "If he continues to progress at this rate, he's getting closer to a rehab game."
That rehab game, if things go as planned, will likely be by the end of next week. First, Stauffer needs to get through a couple of more bullpen sessions. After that, Black said the righty will throw an inning of rehab in Arizona before the team maps out a full rehab schedule for Stauffer.
While Stauffer is nearing a rehab outing, rookie pitcher Anthony Bass recently began a throwing program. Bass has been on the DL since June 24 with inflammation in his right shoulder.
"As long as he's throwing well, we're going to continue to ramp him up," Black said.
Black added that righty Andrew Cashner, who has been sidelined since July 4 with a strained right lat, is "still a ways away" from beginning a throwing program. The Padres currently have no timetable for Cashner's return.
Maybin returns to lineup against former team
MIAMI -- Cameron Maybin returned to the Padres' lineup Friday for the first time in 10 days.
Maybin, who hadn't started since July 17 against the Astros due to a sore right wrist, was back in center field and batting seventh for the series opener against his former team, the Marlins.
"Cam's back, he's ready to go," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's excited to be back in there. He wants to play, and I think always coming back to one of your old teams is always a lift for players, so I think it's good for Cam to be back in the lineup tonight. He's ready, wrist is good."
Maybin has been dealing with the soreness for the last two months, but he said Friday that the wrist has been feeling better the last few days and that he hopes that it won't be an issue for the remainder of the season.
Before missing the last eight games, playing only sparingly in a limited role off the bench, Maybin was in a bit of a groove at the plate thanks to a new approach that scales back on the leg kick of his front leg. In the three games before July 18, Maybin was 7-for-12 with two doubles, two RBIs and a pair of three-hit games.
"He was feeling more comfortable, and now he's got to get that feeling back after missing some time," Black said. "But he was swinging the bat well. I hope this mini-layoff hasn't affected that. He was in a good place before. Hopefully he'll be able to pick up where he left off."
While the Padres finally got Maybin back in the lineup, Black said Alexi Amarista was available to play Friday "in all capacities" after jamming his left thumb Monday against the Giants.
"We'll see how the game plays out to see if he'll be used or not, but he's ready to go," Black said.
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.