07/17/12 8:50 PM ET
Increased discomfort leads Owings to opt for surgery
Reliever's plans to become position player who pitches put on hold
By Corey Brock and Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
Owings, on the disabled list since April 26 with a strained right forearm, made the decision because the pain he has been experiencing in his elbow hasn't subsided -- and, in fact, has increased.
"It's just continued to nag me," Owings said by phone on Tuesday. "I tried everything -- rest, rehab, rest, cortisone [shots] ... but it hasn't gotten any better. It feels like it has gotten worse."
Owings will have surgery by noted orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. San Diego manager Bud Black said the surgery will likely entail removing loose bodies in the elbow and possibly shaving some bone spurs.
Ten days ago, Owings was preparing for a stint with Triple-A Tucson -- but not as a pitcher. Instead he was going to play some first base and left field and appear as a designated hitter, opting to give being a position player a whirl.
Owings took batting practice and went through drills at Petco Park and had moved on to Peoria, Ariz., home of the Padres' Spring Training facility, to get a few at-bats and innings in the field before moving on to Tucson.
But the increased pain in the elbow made it difficult to swing or throw.
"I didn't get past 90 feet without feeling it," he said of throwing.
Owings said that his plan of becoming a position player who pitches -- instead of the other way around -- has not changed, though he'll have to wait until next season to put it in place.
"That is still the plan," he said.
Owings signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Padres over the winter. The 29-year-old was 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA in six appearances before going on the DL.
He is a career .283 hitter in 219 plate appearances over six Major League seasons, with nine home runs and 35 RBIs.
Wieland also decides to have elbow surgery
SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Joe Wieland has decided to have surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Wieland, who consulted with the Padres' medical staff on Monday, said that the plan is for him to have surgery on July 31. The surgery will be performed by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum.
Wieland, who has been on the disabled list since May 7 with a strained elbow, said Friday that he was making inroads to returning to the mound during the first week of the month when he felt a pop in his elbow after throwing a curveball at the team's Spring Training facility in Peoria, Ariz.
"It was one pitch. It popped and I felt it. It was around the 26th or 27th pitch of my second bullpen [session]," Wieland said. "It was like nothing I have felt before. Everything was great up until that point."
Wieland, who is one of seven starting pitchers on the disabled list, was 0-4 with a 4.55 ERA in five starts before the injury. He was initially placed on the 15-day DL and was later moved to the 60-day DL.
"With Joe, I think medically he went through with the right process to get to this point," manager Bud Black said. "But when the intensity picked up, the pain occurred."
Street delivers shutout month for Padres
SAN DIEGO -- Padres closer Huston Street has pitched very well over the past month. So well, in fact, that upon hearing the exact extent of that recent success, his manager Bud Black cringed, stared, and knocked his fist on the top of the wooden bench of the Padres dugout.
The stat that generated that appeal to the baseball gods is, indeed, worthy of knocking on wood: Street has not allowed a run in exactly a month, good for the longest scoreless streak (10 1/3 innings) of any San Diego reliever this year.
The last time a team tallied a run against the All-Star was June 17 when the A's pushed one home. Since that outing, Street has allowed just two hits in 32 at-bats and has walked three. He has struck out 15 men in those 10 1/3 innings, and run his save record to a perfect 14-for-14.
"I've kind of made it a point this year not to necessarily get too excited about what I've done," Street said. "It's OK for people to talk about what you're doing well and what you've done, but for me ... being good in a season is being good the whole season, so I feel there's a lot left for me to do."
If his concern for Street's streak is any indication, Black also hopes his closer can keep up the good work he's seen all year from the 28-year-old.
But for all the superstition around this streak, Black also knows that good work is the norm, rather than a fluke exception, for the career-long closer.
"The thing with Street is he's been there before. He's got the knowledge and the wherewithal to work his way through an inning to get a save," Black said. "Whether it's a three-run save, whether it's with guys on base, whether it's a one-run game to get three outs -- he did it in college, he did it in Oakland, he did it in Colorado, and he's doing it here."
And while his recent streak of scoreless innings may be the eye-catching statistic of the moment, neither that, nor his impressive strikeout totals are what matter to Street.
"In a save situation, what matters most to me is the save," he said. "You got guys on base and you got a three-run lead, get outs. You give up some runs, you have to have an unselfish approach as a closer. In other situations, you have to be stingy, but all that comes from making one pitch at a time."
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.