07/07/12 9:25 PM ET
Owings attempting return as position player
By Corey Brock and Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
Beginning Monday, Owings is going to try something different.
"I'll be a position player who can also pitch," Owings said Saturday.
Owings isn't entirely giving up pitching, but still saddled with a strained right forearm that landed him on the disabled list on April 26, he's decided to take a stab at being an everyday position player.
"It's a new adventure, a new challenge," Owings said. "I'm excited."
Owings will join the Padres' Arizona League affiliate on Monday for the first of three games before he heads to Triple-A Tucson where he hopes to play first base, left field and serve as a designated hitter.
"The forearm injury hasn't allowed him to get on the mound, but instead of waiting for it to heal, he wants to see what it's like to be a position player," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's highly motivated to do this."
The 29-year-old Owings, who signed a one-year deal worth $1 million in the offseason, is a career .283 hitter in 219 plate appearances over six Major League seasons. He has nine home runs and 35 RBIs.
Owings was 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA in six appearances for the Padres earlier this season before landing on the disabled list.
There's no timetable as to when or if Owings will resume pitching this season. That will be dictated by how his forearm recovers.
Street eager for festivities as first-time All-Star
SAN DIEGO -- He may be in his eighth season in the Majors, but Huston Street's upcoming trip to the first All-Star Game of his career has the veteran feeling like a rookie again.
"I'm mostly just like ... am I going to be prepared? There's so many festivities, there's so many events ... I just want to make sure I do everything right," Street said. "This is something I've been looking forward to my whole life."
The closer has certainly put together All-Star-caliber seasons many times in his career. The 2005 AL Rookie of the Year, Street has finished a season in the top 10 in saves in both the American and National Leagues (with Oakland and Colorado), and his 191 career saves are the 10th most among active players.
But while his track record might suggest that the 28-year-old was due for an appearance at the Midsummer Classic, Street's family didn't seem to think this year -- a year in which the righty has gone 13 for 13 in save opportunities and struck out 30 batters in 23 innings -- was the year he'd be making the trip.
"One of my little brothers is on vacation -- I told him that was poor planning. Like, you didn't pencil this in?" Street said. "He was like, 'Seven years straight and now I'm finally playing in it, sweet.' But everybody that can make it is going to try to make it."
Padres manager Bud Black was surprised to hear that his closer hadn't been an All-Star yet.
"When I told [Huston] he had made the All-Star team, I guess I should have known he hadn't made one," Black said. "I thought he'd made some, to the point where I think I voted for him a couple times ... I think his career work is indicative of All-Star stuff."
And while it's clear that his everyday manager believes his closer is deserving of the All-Star nod, Street said that NL All-Star manager and future Hall-of-Famer Tony La Russa believed him a worthy candidate might be the most humbling part of the honor.
"Tony is one of the best managers of all-time ... to me that is one of the biggest honors in itself -- to be able to say that I was managed by Tony La Russa," Street said. "Talking to guys that played for him, it's something special. ... The fact that he chose me to be on the team is even more special."
Stults tosses sim game, ready for live action
SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bud Black put himself in a good position to watch pitcher Eric Stults' simulated game on Saturday at Petco Park.
Black, a left-handed pitcher in his playing days, played a little shortstop while hitters took their turn against Stults, who is working his way back from a strained left lat muscle.
Stults, who has been on the disabled list since June 4 with the injury, threw 48 pitches against the likes of Everth Cabrera, Micah Owings and Jesus Guzman.
"It went well. I feel good, no problems. I'll have to talk to Buddy and them some more, but I think the next step is a live game," Stults said afterward. "I felt good, no problems."
Black said that the plan is for Stults to make at least two rehabilitation appearances with Triple-A Tucson starting Thursday, which is the first game of the second half in the Pacific Coast League.
"I think he was a little rusty, which is not unexpected," Black said of Stults. "But his lat felt good. Now it's a matter of him regaining his form and building his arm strength. I think today was a good day for him."
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.