SAN DIEGO -- It has certainly been a whirlwind few weeks for Padres rookie left-hander Tommy Layne, who has been thrust into plenty of high-leverage situations since he joined the club on Aug. 14.
Layne has allowed two runs in his first 15 games and took a 1.74 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings heading into Friday's game against the D-backs. His success has largely been the result of his dominance against left-handed batters (1-for-20) but also his willingness to be a sponge to anything and everything.
Especially when it comes to listening and trusting his catchers.
Layne, who on Tuesday picked up his first Major League victory against the Dodgers when he struck out Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, developed a quick bond with catcher John Baker.
It was Baker who suggested that Layne, who occasionally drops down to a three-quarters delivery facing a left-handed batter, do the same against right-handers.
"The first time I threw to Baker, he had me drop down to a righty. That's something I had never done before," Layne said. "It's something they haven't seen. I've only done it a few times. Baker does a good job of making sure we use it in a safe spot."
Layne, who has allowed three hits in 15 at-bats to right-handers, said that Baker has gotten him to think outside the box in terms of approach, like pitch selection and such.
"Baker has kind of opened my eyes to how he wants to call pitches," Layne said. "It's using pitches in different spots, even my misses. It makes a lot of sense."
Bass eager to get back on mound in any role
SAN DIEGO -- On Tuesday, the Padres reinstated pitcher Anthony Bass from the disabled list, where he spent more than two months with inflammation of the right shoulder.
Bass, who hasn't appeared in a game since he's been active, has returned as a member of the bullpen -- not the starting rotation, where he was earlier in the season, making 14 starts before heading to the DL on June 21.
"We've got to get him back on the horse," said Padres manager Bud Black.
There's a chance Bass could still start a game before the end of the regular season, though he's not too particular. He just wants to pitch -- period.
"As long as I'm here and helping out the team, I don't mind, bullpen, starting, whatever they need, I'll be ready," Bass said on Friday. "The extra time we gave my arm to recover really helped me. I'm so glad we gave the shoulder extra time to heal. Now I feel close to 100 percent."
Bass said it was important to him that he pitched again this season and worked hard toward that end in the rehabilitation process.
"There's a lot of competition coming up through the system and every day you have to prove yourself," he said. "I want the organization to know I'm healthy going into the offseason. Then I'll be good to go for Spring Training."
Bass, who was 2-7 with a 4.70 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) before the injury, has proved to himself that he can succeed at this level. There was the game at AT&T Park against the Giants on April 28 when he retired the first 17 hitters he faced before allowing two runs in the seventh inning.
"I know I can pitch at this level. I had some rough outings before I got hurt. But right now, I'm just happy to be back."
Street throws side session, not ready to test calf
SAN DIEGO -- There's absolutely no issue with the right arm of All-Star closer Huston Street, who threw again on the side before Friday's game against the D-backs.
Street, on the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a strained left calf, still isn't to the point where he can test the calf by running on it.
And until that happens, he'll remain on the disabled list, even as the Padres have just 23 games after Friday.
Street was on a path to returning sooner, though he had a setback running on Aug. 30, the day before he was to pitch in a Minor League game for Class A Lake Elsinore.
San Diego manager Bud Black certainly sympathized with Street, who was the Padres' lone All-Star and has missed a total of 53 games with two DL stints. He missed 29 games earlier in the season with a strained right lat muscle.
"He's a little bummed," Black said earlier this week. "He thought he'd make a quick recovery based on where he was last week. But it's the break to cover a bunt or cover first, that's something that's getting him."
The Padres have been using Luke Gregerson in the closer's role in place of Street, and Gregerson has had three saves since Aug. 27.
Left fielder Carlos Quentin was an early scratch from Friday's lineup with the same irritation in his right knee that kept him from the starting lineup on Monday against the Dodgers. Quentin, who had surgery on that knee in March, gets an occasional day off to allow his knee time to recover from general wear-and-tear.
"His knee is a little sore," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We hope he'll be back in there tomorrow."