06/19/11 2:20 PM ET
Rizzo excited to return to Boston
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
He has experienced success, reaching base three times in his Major League debut on June 9 against the Nationals. Two days later, Rizzo hit his first big league home run.
He has also experienced humility. Heading into Sunday's series finale against the Twins, Rizzo had one hit in his last 20 at-bats over a six-game stretch.
On Monday, Rizzo will land in the spotlight, one that figures to be much brighter than the one he walked into when he first arrived in San Diego 10 days ago.
On Monday, Rizzo and the Padres will visit Fenway Park for the first of three games with the Red Sox, the organization that drafted Rizzo in 2007 and the one that also traded him away in December as part of the deal that helped the Red Sox land Adrian Gonzalez.
"It will be cool going back there with everything they [Red Sox] helped me with," Rizzo said before Sunday's game. "They helped me coming up so much. I'm definitely looking forward to playing there."
Rizzo and good friend, pitcher Casey Kelly, were half of the package of players that the Padres received from the Red Sox for Gonzalez, who will get the chance to play against his former team, one he played for from 2006-10.
Rizzo said his return to Boston will represent something of a homecoming, even though he never played a game for the Red Sox.
This has more to do with the support he received during his first year of professional ball in 2008, when he was diagnosed with limited stage classical Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"The doctors I had in Boston were great and were so assuring that I was going to beat it. I knew that I would," said Rizzo, who after six months of chemotherapy in 2008 was able to resume his playing career in 2009.
It wasn't just the doctors in Boston who had faith in Rizzo. He received encouragement and support from the Red Sox organization and the devoted fan base known as Red Sox Nation.
"They helped me through the hardest times in my life," Rizzo said. "I was part of that organization for four years. I know of people over there [that] still follow me and are wishing me luck."
Rizzo, who got his first start off on Sunday against the Twins, has hit .148 in his first 27 Major League at-bats with eight walks and 11 strikeouts.
"It's just going about what you do and trusting yourself," Rizzo said. "Obviously I would like to be doing better and helping the team out. But I'm taking good swings and I'm just missing balls. Maybe I'm trying a little too hard ... but I don't think that's it.
"You've just got to relax."
Hudson activated from disabled list
MINNEAPOLIS -- As expected, the Padres activated second baseman Orlando Hudson from the disabled list before Sunday's game against the Twins at Target Field.
Hudson, who missed 22 games with a strained left groin, arrived in Minneapolis before Saturday's game and was in Sunday's lineup.
To make room, the Padres optioned infielder Logan Forsythe to Triple-A Tucson.
Hudson, who missed 13 games earlier in the season with a strained right hamstring, was 4-for-6 with a home run in three games with Class A Lake Elsinore on a Minor League rehabilitation stint.
"He's ready, he feels good and he's ready to go," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He said his legs felt great."
Hudson went on the disabled list on May 27, retroactive to May 26. The Padres have mostly used reserve infielder Alberto Gonzalez in his place. At the time of his injury, Hudson was hitting .217 in 36 games.
Stauffer the new hard-luck pitcher
MINNEAPOLIS -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer is not only the Padres' new hard-luck pitcher, but he leads the Major Leagues in the lowest average run support per game.
On Saturday, Stauffer surpassed teammate Dustin Moseley for the Major League lead in average run support (2.15 runs per game) after the Padres were shut out for the 12th time this season.
Moseley came into his start on Sunday against Minnesota, is third in the Major Leagues at 2.22 runs per game.
The Padres were shut out by the Twins on Saturday, 1-0. It marked the third time this season San Diego has been shut out in games that Stauffer -- who is 2-5 with a 3.13 ERA -- has started.
So far in 2011, Stauffer has been matched against Chris Carpenter, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez and Daniel Hudson, among others.
But being a hard-luck pitcher? Stauffer doesn't look at it that way.
"That's the beauty of pitching in the big leagues," Stauffer said. "You know you're going to get a good, quality arm every time you go out there. And you're seeing more and more in baseball now that pitching as a whole is pretty good."
On Saturday, Twins pitcher Scott Baker added his name to the list of pitchers who have shut down the Padres offense while Stauffer was on the hill. Baker tossed eight scoreless innings, striking out 10.
Stauffer said he seldom thinks about who is pitching against him, other than the fact that, in National League games at least, he has to hit.
"You're not going into a game thinking any differently because of the pitcher that you're facing," Stauffer said. "You've got to go out there expecting to put up zeroes."