© 2013 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

03/26/2013 7:51 PM ET

Cashner continues making case for Padres' rotation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Andrew Cashner is making it tough for the Padres to name a fifth starter.

Cashner threw 72 pitches Tuesday, allowing two runs on three hits in four-plus innings against the Giants. He walked two and struck out four in his longest outing of the spring. Cashner faced one hitter to start the fifth inning before leaving.

"I think I threw the ball well in some counts," Cashner said. "I've never been able to throw a breaking ball in Arizona. But I threw some good breaking balls and changeups. I thought today was the best day so far as far as pitch execution."

That's good news as far as the Padres are concerned, especially considering that it was only last month when Cashner -- who had December surgery to repair a lacerated tendon in his right thumb -- was considered something of a long shot to be ready in time for Opening Day.

"I liked the good velocity, I liked that he got his pitch count up to the 70s and that he located his fastball pretty much for the most part," Padres manager Bud Black said.

"We like the fact that he's healthy. We'll continue to explore our pitching options."

Black said while the Padres ultimately envision Cashner as a starter, he's a candidate for a spot in the rotation and the bullpen. Tyson Ross is considered the other candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

The Padres won't need their fifth starter until April 6 in Colorado. The team breaks camp Thursday and heads to San Antonio for two exhibition games against the Rangers before going to New York on April 1 for Opening Day.

What's next for Cashner?

"I threw 72 today so the next time out, it's very reasonable to throw 90," Cashner said.

Foot pain could land Forsythe on disabled list

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Infielder Logan Forsythe is a candidate to start the season on the disabled list after he suffered a setback with the plantar fasciitis in his right foot Tuesday.

Forsythe, appearing in his first game since March 7, left the game against the Giants after three innings after experiencing considerable pain in his right foot.

"It was really painful at the start of the game and with the intensity of the soreness, we had to take him out," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The pain got worse the more he was on it."

Black indicated that Forsythe -- the leading candidate in camp to replace injured third baseman Chase Headley on Opening Day -- wouldn't "play in a couple of days."

The Padres open the season in six days at Citi Field against the Mets.

"It looks like it's headed that way," Black said of Forsythe going on the disabled list.

Forsythe was unavailable for comment after a 4-2 loss to the Giants.

Forsythe, who was 0-for-2, was replaced in the field by Gregorio Petit. Petit and Cody Ransom are the two players who have received the most playing time at third base.

Petit and Ransom are both in camp on Minor League contracts, which means the Padres would have to add one of them to the 40-man roster before Opening Day. That means dropping someone off the 40-man, which isn't always an easy proposition.

San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes said the team is unlikely to go outside the organization to find a third baseman.

Headley, who led the National League in RBIs last season (115), fractured the tip of his left thumb in a game March 17. He's expected to miss most of the first month of the season.

Infielder Jedd Gyorko, who played third base as a Minor Leaguer, is expected to be the team's Opening Day second baseman. The Padres could, conceivably, move Gyorko to third base and allow utility man Alexi Amarista -- who is hitting .328 this spring -- to play second base.

"We have some options with guys in camp," Black said.

Quentin feels good in return to Cactus action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left fielder Carlos Quentin, appearing in his first Cactus League game since March 8, played four innings in the field and said his sore right knee responded well.

"I moved around fine, the pain was minimal and I was able to manage it fine. I think that every day I'm getting stronger. My endurance is getting better," Quentin said.

"I feel more and more like a player who can be counted on every day."

Quentin went 0-for-3 and reached base on an error in the first inning. He hit two deep fly balls and felt good about his swing. So did his manager, Bud Black.

"I thought he swung the bat very well and had some hard contact," Black said. "He was moving around the diamond pretty well, too."

Quentin wasn't tested much in left field, though he gave chase to an extra-base hit that center fielder Will Venable eventually retrieved.

Since March 17, Quentin has played in five Minor League games. He played six innings in left field in a game Saturday, though he wasn't tested much defensively. He did slide into second base trying to break up a double play.

Quentin was in the starting lineup for a Cactus League game March 8 against the White Sox and had two plate appearances -- he was hit by a pitch and lined out to center field. But rain halted play and the game was canceled.

He felt encouraged by playing in a real game Tuesday and is hopeful he can get in another one before the team leaves Arizona after a game Thursday.

"I plan on being out there tomorrow," he said Tuesday. "They [the team] have a clock on me for how long they want me out there."

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.