04/13/12 11:06 PM ET
Black shuffles lineup for opener in LA
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
In Friday's opener against the Dodgers, Black mixed up his lineup, inserting Jeremy Hermida in the starting lineup for his first start of the season in right field.
Catcher John Baker got a start against former Padres pitcher Aaron Harang, a move that gave Nick Hundley -- hitless after his first 24 plate appearances -- a day off.
Of course, it helped that Hermida, a left-handed hitter, had a .467 career average -- with a double and two home runs -- in 15 at-bats against Harang.
"Jeremy is swinging the bat well, he swung the bat well in spring and has off the bench," Black said of Hermida, who was 2-for-4 overall entering Friday. "We felt it was a good time to get Jeremy in there."
Baker made his second start of the season. Hundley figures to start Saturday and Sunday when the Dodgers use two left-handed pitchers, Ted Lilly and Clayton Kershaw.
Will Venable, who usually starts in right field, moved over to left field on Friday. Jesus Guzman, who's hitting .172 in his first 29 at-bats, got the night off.
Brach focusing on making quality pitches
LOS ANGELES -- In the Minor Leagues, it was all too easy for Padres reliever Brad Brach to keep track of his success.
All he had to do was count his number of saves -- 112 of them, to be exact.
In his current role with the Padres, Brach's focus is squarely on making quality pitches and getting outs.
Brach, who turned 26 on Thursday, hasn't allowed a run in his last two outings, permitting just one hit in 1 2/3 innings against the Dodgers and D-backs. That followed a rough outing on Opening Day when Brach allowed a two-run home run to Matt Kemp.
Brach has handed out three walks in those last two outings, though he thinks he's found a fix to that working with pitching coach Darren Balsley.
"I think I'm right there. I think I have been trying to be too fine, instead of just letting it go and trying to throw everything to the black," Brach said. "[Balsley] tells me that I'm a strike thrower, so that will take care of itself.
"We made a change the other day that I think is going to help me and will keep me in line a little more, being able to throw it straighter instead of cutting it."
Brach admits to making a mistake not uncommon with young pitchers -- occasionally getting caught up in trying to be too fine with his pitches.
"I'm trying to make the perfect pitch instead of a good pitch," Brach said.
Padres to clear spot on roster for Wieland
LOS ANGELES -- The Padres will need to make a roster move by Saturday when they officially add right-hander Joe Wieland to the 25-man roster.
Wieland isn't on the 40-man roster, but the Padres have one open spot. Finding a place on the 25-man roster will take more work, though.
Don't be so fast in thinking that relievers Brad Brach or Josh Spence are the logical choices to create space.
There's a chance the Padres could opt to send a position player to the Minor Leagues, thus keeping a 13-man pitching staff for the time being.
With Anthony Bass now in the starting rotation -- Bass pitched Thursday -- Micah Owings is the only true long man in the bullpen, though other relievers are capable of pitching up to two innings.
Carrying an extra pitcher would give the team protection in case Friday's starter Clayton Richard had a short outing.
The team will likely announce the roster move following Friday's game or before Saturday's game.