8/9/2013 11:50 P.M. ET
Gyorko looks for quality at-bats to break slump
By Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko has had a rough go of it since coming off the disabled list on July 12, batting just .108 (7-for-65) entering Friday's game against the Reds. In Wednesday's loss to the Orioles, though, Gyorko hit a three-run homer that he hopes can propel him forward.
"My at-bats have been getting better," Gyorko said. "I'm having productive at-bats and I'm feeling good, so hopefully it's the start of something and I can get a little hot streak going."
Before hitting the disabled list with a groin injury in June, Gyorko was batting .284 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 60 games. However, after missing 30 games, the 24-year-old rookie had trouble getting back into the swing of things.
"You've been out of the game and you go to the Minors and rehab, but it's just not quite the same," Gyorko said. "The speed of the game is not quite the same down there as it is up here. There's that transition period where you just hope you can be on time and get everything going as fast as you can."
Pitch selection has been the key to delivering more quality at-bats for Gyorko, who said he's been more selective lately than when he first came off the DL.
"You just want to get a hit so bad that you kind of just go up there swinging, and that's not the answer," Gyorko said. "You have to wait for your pitch and put a swing on it."
Quentin heads to disabled list; Decker called up
CINCINNATI -- A few short hours after Padres manager Bud Black indicated a trip to the disabled list was coming for Carlos Quentin, the club made the move official after Friday's 7-2 loss to the Reds. Battling a sore right knee, Quentin was put on the 15-day DL, retroactive to July 31, while outfielder Jaff Decker was promoted as his replacement.
San Diego waited as long as possible before deciding to pull the trigger, but Quentin's knee had yet to respond to treatment during the last week.
"Q just couldn't get over the hump on this one," Black said. "We gave it time. He tried like heck through treatment with the trainers and rest, and we just couldn't get him through this to have him feel better and play, so we're going to take a step back to hopefully take two forward in the next couple weeks."
Quentin hasn't played since he left a July 30 contest against the Reds in San Diego after originally tweaking the knee two days prior against the D-backs. In 82 games this season, the 30-year-old left fielder is batting .275 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs.
Meanwhile, Decker joins the Padres for the second time this season, as he went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored in two pinch-hit appearances on June 20 and 21 against the Dodgers. In 100 games with Triple-A Tucson this season, Decker has batted .293 with nine homers and 38 RBIs.
Suspension gives Cabrera opportunity to teach
CINCINNATI -- While Everth Cabrera serves his 50-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Padres manager Bud Black hopes the 26-year-old shortstop can make something positive out of his situation.
One of 13 players suspended on Monday following MLB's Biogenesis investigation, Cabrera will split his time between San Diego and the team's facility in Arizona, Black said. Cabrera will work on his game and continue to stay in shape, but he'll also be expected to handle some extra responsibilities off the field.
"He's going to interact with our younger players, especially our younger Latin players over there," Black said. "I think hopefully, maybe take on a little bit of a role of educator to some of these younger players just getting into the game. I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but there's also talk of him going down to our Dominican academy at some point."
Cabrera gave a tearful apology on Monday after the suspension was announced and admitted to taking a banned substance early in 2012 as he tried to recover from a shoulder injury. He said he never felt comfortable taking the substance, but he did so on the advice of Juan Nunez, who was a representative of Cabrera's agents at the time.
As a result, Cabrera issued a warning to young Latin players coming to the United States that they should be careful with whom they associate.
"I think that was right on," Black said. "I think that was well said; I think it was said from the heart. And I think in his case, he can be a great example for young Latin players to learn from, and he could be a great sounding board for them as a player that's been over here for a number of years."
In his fifth year since first appearing in the Majors in 2009, Cabrera was batting .283 with four homers and 31 RBIs for the Padres before the suspension. Having played 95 games and getting 381 at-bats, Cabrera likely won't need to play winter ball to stay sharp, according to Black.
"I thought he really had an outstanding year this year in a lot of areas," Black said. "The things that we wanted him to work on, we thought he accomplished. He took them out to the diamond."
San Antonio players snag Padres' Minor League awards
CINCINNATI -- The Padres announced the club's Minor League Players of the Month for July, led by three players from Double-A San Antonio.
Missions first baseman and designated hitter Tommy Medica earned Hitter of the Month honors by batting .301 with nine doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs in July. He returned to the lineup on July 3 for the first time since April after missing time with a left oblique strain.
The Defensive Player of the Month was San Antonio's Cory Spangenberg, who did not record an error in 25 games at second base. Since being promoted to Double-A on June 7, Spangenberg has committed just two errors in 471 innings.
July marked Keyvius Sampson's second consecutive Pitcher of the Month award. The right-hander went 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in six July starts. After going 10-4 with a 2.26 ERA on the season, Sampson was promoted to Triple-A Tucson earlier this week.
Rounding out the honors was Class A Fort Wayne Tin Caps outfielder Mallex Smith, who stole 16 bases in 18 attempts on the way to being named Baserunner of the Month. For the season, he's swiped 50 bases in 61 tries, good enough to be tied for the Midwest League lead in steals.
• Outfielder Kyle Banks has been limited since going on the disabled list July 12 with a left Achilles injury, but manager Bud Black said he'll soon take a major step forward in his recovery.
"He's hitting, he's getting treatment," Blacks said. "We're looking for him to maybe get on the field and run in Colorado on Monday."
• Nick Hundley's grounder to short in the seventh inning of last Friday's win against the Yankees was changed to a single by Major League Baseball after originally being ruled a fielder's choice.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.