07/05/12 10:29 PM ET
Home runs aside, Grandal focused on defense
By Corey Brock and Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
But there's a defensive component to his job as well, one that he has worked to improve since all those early morning workouts in Spring Training, and then in his first three months of the season in Tucson, as he acted as a sponge, soaking in as much as he could from his manager -- and former catcher -- Terry Kennedy.
Kennedy spent 14 seasons in the Major Leagues (1978-91) with four different teams. He was a four-time All-Star who twice led the league in caught stealing (1981, 1987).
"Just to have a guy who knows what he's doing is a big confidence boost," Grandal said on Thursday. "He knows what you need to work on: setting up, pitch selection, recognizing how to block a ball, how to set-up for a pitch in different type of counts."
Grandal was in the starting lineup Thursday for the first of four games against the Reds at Petco Park.
Wieland latest injury setback for Padres starters
SAN DIEGO -- Two days after pitcher Andrew Cashner left a start with a strained lat muscle, the Padres said that another starting pitcher, Joe Wieland, has had a setback in his recovery from a strained right elbow.
The Padres -- who currently have seven starting pitchers on the disabled list -- just can't seem to catch even the smallest of breaks when it comes to the health of their starters.
"It's frustrating," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Once you think you have things back on track and things look to be going in the right direction as far as guys rehabbing, getting Cash back, Joe was progressing, [then] to have a couple setbacks like we did ... it's frustrating."
Wieland had his throwing program halted recently when he complained of pain in his elbow. Wieland, who landed on the disabled list on May 7, had progressed to the point where he was throwing off of a mound. Now, he's been shut down indefinitely.
Cashner left his start on Tuesday in Arizona after two scoreless innings. He was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. He'll have an MRI on Friday, though the team feels confident that his injury is nothing more than a lat strain and doesn't have anything to do with his shoulder.
Cashner joined Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley, Cory Luebke, Wieland, Eric Stults and Anthony Bass on the disabled list. All seven have made starts this season for the Padres.
"It's frustrating, because you want guys to pitch, and so do they," Black said. "Players want to play. It's frustrating in so many ways. At the same time, you're in this game a long time [and] you realize these things happen.
"We just hope that this is one of those years where the extraordinary amount of injuries ... it just can't happen again. It can't happen again next year."
Padres recall Mikolas to bolster bullpen
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres recalled reliever Miles Mikolas from Triple-A Tucson on Thursday to bolster a bullpen that has worked a combined 17 innings in the last six days.
Reliever Nick Vincent, who made four appearances since his big league debut on June 26, was optioned to Tucson. Vincent had pitched in each of the last two games.
"We felt as though, with our bullpen the way they've been used the past couple days, we needed a fresh arm," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Miles hasn't pitched the last couple days, so he's fresh. Nick had pitched two days in a row. Miles was throwing the ball well in Tuscon, so we made that call."
Vincent threw 4 2/3 innings with the Padres, yielding four runs on six hits.
Mikolas currently owns the longest active scoreless streak of any Padres hurler -- 9 1/3 innings -- dating back to his May 18 outing against the Angels.
The righty made his Major League debut on May 5 against Miami, and made 13 appearances before being sent back to Tucson on June 5. In that span, the 23-year-old threw 13 2/3 innings, yielding just five earned runs and striking out 12.
"It feels great to be back," Mikolas said. "It took me a week or two to figure things out the first time. It's the same game, slow it down, breathe. Already knowing that and being comfortable up here to a degree will help a lot."
Mikolas assumes a spot in a San Diego bullpen that has recorded the third-most strikeouts (266) of any in the Majors this season. That relief corps has been particularly strong of late -- an integral part of the Padres current five-game winning streak.
"Performance-wise, I have to go out there, throw strikes, and get outs," Mikolas said. "It is kind of exciting. Maybe I can help keep up this little streak they've got going."
Micah Owings was at Petco Park on Thursday, but it wasn't to seek medical treatment on his strained right forearm. It was to hit.
Owings, on the disabled list since April 26, isn't cleared to pitch after having a setback in his rehab. But he's fine to hit, and will soon rejoin Triple-A Tucson to play some first base, left field and serve as the designated hitter. There's no timetable as to when Owings might be able to pitch again.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.