04/27/12 10:41 PM ET
Cashner relishing regular work with Padres
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Of course, Cashner was limited to seven appearances last season when he was with the Cubs because of a strained rotator cuff.
The point is the Padres have had no qualms about giving the hard-throwing right-hander plenty of work early in the season, as he went into Friday in a 10-way tie for the second-most appearances (11) in all of the Major Leagues.
Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers entered the night with 12 appearances.
"It's been great," Cashner said. "For me, it's finding consistency in my delivery. I didn't pitch a lot last year so it's getting back out there and getting consistent every night. I'm always working on something out there."
"It's been a lot of fun for me," Cashner added. "They have a lot of confidence in me and I like showing up every night with the thought that I might pitch."
Cashner, who is the Padres' primary eighth-inning specialist, has allowed a run in two of his 11 outings so far. He's allowed five hits with eight walks and nine strikeouts in those 10 2/3 innings.
"The whole thing with the starter is the routine," said Cashner, who opened the 2011 season as the fifth starter in the Cubs' rotation. "When you have a bad outing [as a reliever], you're going to be right back out there. You don't have to sit around and wait five days."
There's some thought that the Padres envision Cashner as a rotation candidate for 2013, though some in the organization think he misses enough bats and has the right makeup to be a closer someday. For now, the team just wants him to do what he's been doing.
"The key for him this year is to gain confidence in his arm," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He has less than 80 innings in the big leagues. He's still growing as a pitcher. We're still not sure what he's going to become. But the more success he has against any Major League hitters ... the better he's going to be."
Alonso having double fun at Petco Park
SAN FRANCISCO -- First baseman Yonder Alonso went into Friday's game coming off a stretch where he had two doubles in each of his last two games, Wednesday and Thursday against the Nationals.
It marked the 13th time a Padres player has hit two or more doubles in consecutive games and the fourth time a Padre has done so in successive home games.
The last player to do so was Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in 1998. Not only that, Alonso, who is in his first season with the Padres, became the first player to accomplish the feat at Petco Park, which opened in 2004.
Is Alonso's line-to-line approach to hitting the perfect fit for Petco Park?
"I don't think about the field. But I think it's a field where I can hit a lot of doubles," he said. "But if you look at it, at a smaller ballpark, I might be able to hit more home runs. But if it's going to be a doubles-type field ... then bring it on."
Alonso, who leads the team with seven doubles, hit 24 doubles in 358 at-bats in Triple-A last season in the Reds' farm system. He hit five more in 98 at-bats with the Reds. The previous season, Alonso hit a combined 38 doubles in 536 at-bats.
Alonso had 17 home runs last season, two more than he did in 2010. He doesn't have a home run yet in 2012, though he's come close a few times.
"I hit more home runs, which was a good sign that I was getting stronger," Alonso said. "I think it's going to be a process where I get stronger and maybe some of those doubles turn into home runs. But now ... doubles are the thing for me."
Guzman latest to hit second for Padres
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres used their sixth different No. 2 hitter Friday when Jesus Guzman got the start in left field against the Giants at AT&T Park.
So far, Chris Denorfia, Mark Kotsay, Cameron Maybin, Andy Parrino and Will Venable have hit there as those five players have combined for a .203/.306/.671 slash line with two home runs and six RBIs.
So why Guzman, who has only one previous at-bat hitting second in his Major League career and that came last season?
"He's a good hit-and-run guy who makes good contact," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And he can hit behind the runner. Maybe it's a situation where he could get an extra at-bat."
Guzman missed the first two games of the Padres' recently completed series against the Nationals after having two teeth extracted Monday. Guzman, who entered Friday's game hitting .216, had a hit in a pinch-hitting appearance in Thursday's victory over Washington.
Quentin 'ramping up' baseball activities
SAN FRANCISCO -- Outfielder Carlos Quentin, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee March 19, is with the team for the weekend to continue to push his knee through a series of baseball activities.
"Each and every day, he's ramping up his exertion level with baseball activities," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Quentin shagged balls in the outfield during pregame, hit during batting practice and did some baserunning.
"He's rapidly approaching a [Minor League] rehab assignment," Black said.