DENVER -- As expected, the Padres added a fresh arm to their bullpen on Saturday when they promoted right-hander Burch Smith from Triple-A Tucson.
"We were strapped for a little bit of length," said Padres manager Bud Black.
The corresponding move saw the team option right-handed pitcher Brad Boxberger to Tucson, although it wasn't because of anything he did wrong.
In fact, Boxberger pitched well in Friday's 10-9 loss to the Rockies, throwing two scoreless innings. But he threw 32 pitches, and he wouldn't have been available Saturday or most likely Sunday.
"Like I tell these guys, they're still part of us … and extension of our team," Black said. "They will come back to us when we need them."
Enter Smith, the hard-throwing 23-year-old who made his Major League debut with the team in May. Smith was 0-1 with an 18.41 ERA in 7 1/3 innings.
Smith was 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings with Tucson since being optioned there on May 22. He was scheduled to start Saturday, but the Padres needed a fresh arm in the bullpen, so he flew to Denver on Saturday morning.
"When you're in Double-A and all of a sudden in the big leagues, there's a little bit of shock and awe," Black said. "Hopefully, during the time that he was in Tucson, he was able to smooth out mentally and physically."
Smith admitted as much before Saturday's game against the Rockies.
"I was trying not to think so much," Smith said of what he worked on during his time in Tucson. "I was able to talk to the [roving] pitching coordinator and pitching coach, and they said to relax and just trust your stuff. There's no need to reinvent the wheel."
The results were good for Smith, who began the season with Double-A San Antonio before making his Major League debut with the Padres on May 11 against the Rays.
"It's been going well," Smith said. "I was executing better."