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03/20/2013 8:40 PM ET

Darnell patient with injury, but eager to play

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As much as Padres infielder/outfielder James Darnell understands the patient route is the best way to go for his strained left oblique, he's itching to get into a game.

"I would love to be grabbing a bat; lifting weights ... I love all of it," Darnell said on Wednesday. "... But I understand being patient so this doesn't pop up anymore."

Darnell has 10 at-bats this spring, and only one since Feb. 25 as he has been slowed by the nagging oblique injury. That Darnell has had two stops and starts during his recovery, during which he re-aggravated the injury, certainly hasn't helped.

With Chase Headley set to miss a month after fracturing the tip of his left thumb on Sunday, the Padres have been looking at other third basemen, including Cody Ransom, who is in camp on a Minor League contract. Logan Forsythe, sidelined with plantar fasciitis of the right foot, won't play until Friday.

Had Darnell, a third baseman by trade, been healthy, he might have gotten more looks at third base. But that's not how he's looking at it, even after he's had shoulder injuries in each of the last two seasons.

"I don't view it as bad luck. I just want to be effective and help the team win," he said. "In this game, you have to have a short memory and keep plugging away. All the other stuff is in the past."

Darnell didn't appear in a game from Feb. 25 to March 11, when he had one at-bat. It was at that time he re-aggravated his oblique trying to check his swing.

"After I aggravated it the first time, I started getting back into activity, and then I did it again," Darnell said. "Now they're letting it totally heal so I don't have any issues with it. We want to make sure it's really good."

Darnell, who will open the season with Triple-A Tucson once he's healthy, hopes to get into a game in the next week. The Padres break camp next Thursday and go to San Antonio for two exhibition games against the Rangers.

'I want to play the majority of the year, so you can't keep aggravating it ... you have to let it heal," Darnell said.

Quentin optimistic after testing knee in field

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin tested his sore right knee in the field for the first time on Wednesday.

Quentin, who has had soreness in his surgically repaired knee for 10 days, was asked if he'll be ready to be in the Opening Day lineup on April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field.

"I'm trying to be," he said. "That's the goal. I still believe I'll have that opportunity."

Quentin was upbeat and optimistic after playing in his third Minor League game in the last four days. He served as the designated hitter in games Sunday and Monday but played three innings in left field Wednesday, his first action in the field this spring.

"I thought it went really well," Quentin said. "I didn't push it completely, which is coming up soon. But I played without pain, which was great. There's a lot of optimism ... today [the knee] bounced back better than it had after the first two games."

Quentin went 0-for-3 and reached on a walk and an error. He had 12 plate appearances in his first two Minor League games.

Quentin was tested on a ball hit over his head, on which he had to turn, run, stop and change directions. He said he didn't go at it with full intensity, but he is progressing to a point where he'll be able to.

"I'll push it even more," Quentin said, with his right knee wrapped in ice. "I'll push the intensity. But I feel good about it."

Quentin has yet to officially appear in a Cactus League game. He started at designated hitter against the White Sox on March 8 and had two plate appearances, though the game and his statistics were washed away because of rain.

Kunz among Padres' 11 roster cuts

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres released 11 Minor League players on Wednesday, including former Mets first-round Draft pick right-handed pitcher Eddie Kunz.

Kunz, 26, was the 42nd overall selection in the 2007 Draft out of Oregon State. Kunz moved fast, reaching the Major Leagues in 2008, posting a 13.50 ERA in four appearances.

He struggled thereafter and was traded to the Padres in Spring Training 2011 for another first-round pick, first baseman Allan Dykstra, whom San Diego selected with the 34th overall pick in 2008.

Kunz was 6-6 with a 5.77 ERA in 38 games a year ago at stops with Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson.

Other players who were released: outfielder Alexi Colon, right-handed pitchers Ryan Quigley, Will Scott, Chris Wilkes, Adam Schrader, Dan Cropper, James Jones, left-handed pitchers Jeremy Gigliotti and Dustin Pease and infielder Connor Powers.

Worth noting

Pitcher Jason Marquis joined Quentin in a Minor League game Wednesday, as the two played for Class A Lake Elsinore. Marquis, projected to be the No. 3 starter in the rotation, allowed four earned runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 90 pitches and continued to get good results from his newest pitch -- the changeup.

"It's surprised me," Marquis said. "I'm not going to say it's a Trevor Hoffman or Pedro Martinez type of changeup, but I feel it can become a good weapon for me."

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.