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07/25/12 4:00 PM ET

Black ranks Padres' bench one of his best with team

SAN FRANCISCO -- There have been a handful of times in his first five seasons as manager of the Padres when Bud Black probably felt handcuffed because the team lacked viable options on the bench.

This isn't one of those seasons, as the Padres have comprised a bench filled with a little of everything, including a versatile infielder (Alexi Amarista), a veteran left-handed bat (Mark Kotsay), a righty with some pop (Jesus Guzman) and a righty-lefty outfield combination (Chris Denorfia, Will Venable) to give the regulars a break to start based on matchups.

"It's big. I think you've seen it. It's really nice. Each game is unique, you never know how a game's going to play out and you never know what you're going to need," Black said. "There is comfort in knowing Amarista can go a couple different places, the Venable-Denorfia combo, Guzman even.

"It's as versatile as probably a lot of Major League benches, regardless of who's playing or on the bench. And they're confident. It's a nice blend of a speed component, defense, everything."

Black rated this assortment of bench players up there with his first team, the 2007 team that included Russell Branyan, Geoff Blum and Jose Cruz, among others.

"The '07 bench was pretty good, too. It sort of changed halfway through, but that was a good bench," Black said. "Maybe not as speed-oriented ... this [2012] is a very good bench."

Volquez knocks in rare RBI vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Padres traded for pitcher Edinson Volquez for his arm and not his bat, though Tuesday he knocked in what was the tying run with a single in the second inning against the Giants.

After stopping at first base, Volquez raised his arms in the air briefly to celebrate what ranks as the rarest of feats.

"It's about time. I don't know how I did it," Volquez said. "I think I closed my eyes and swung."

That hit produced his first RBI since April 27 of 2008 when he was pitching for the Reds -- against the Giants and, oddly enough, also at AT&T Park.

Since 2008, Volquez has the fewest RBIs (two) of any pitcher who has at least 150 at-bats -- and that includes the run he knocked in Tuesday.

The Giants went on to win 3-2 when Brandon Crawford knocked in the winning run in the ninth inning.

Stauffer tosses in 'pen as recovery continues

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer threw between 30-35 pitches in a bullpen session at AT&T Park before Wednesday's game against the Giants, testing his right elbow with fastballs and changeups.

Stauffer has been on the disabled list twice this season with a strained right elbow. His second stint started on May 15.

It was the second time this week Stauffer has thrown off a mound. He'll now head to the Padres' Spring Training facility in Arizona where he'll throw two more bullpen sessions before appearing in games for the Padres' Arizona League affiliate sometime next week.

"No issues whatsoever," Stauffer said of his elbow. "I was able to throw and not worry about how it felt. Now it's just a matter of building up arm strength."

Stauffer, who has appeared in one game this season, is anxious to get back out on the mound in an actual game again.

"Being on the DL isn't a whole lot of fun," Stauffer said. "But now that I'm getting closer ... I'm anxious to get back and compete."

San Diego manager Bud Black said it would likely be another two and half to three weeks before Stauffer is ready to rejoin the Padres. It has yet to be determined, Black said, when Stauffer does join the team if it will be as a starter or reliever.

"He's in a good place mentally and physically," Black said.

Short hops

• It appears outfielder Cameron Maybin will be in the lineup Friday when the Padres open a three-game series in Miami against the Marlins. Maybin tested his sore right wrist by taking batting practice before Wednesday's game and was available to pinch-hit.

• Infielder/outfielder Alexi Amarista, who jammed his left thumb sliding into second base Monday, won't play Wednesday and might not be ready to go for the start of the series in Miami starting Friday. "He's still sore but getting better," Padres manager Bud Black said. Black said Amarista's thumb bothers him the most when he tries to squeeze his glove shut.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.