8/10/2013 7:45 P.M. ET
Padres strive to pick up slack from unavailable players
By Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Entering Saturday, the Padres had played three games with the suspended Everth Cabrera and the injured Carlos Quentin both unavailable. And with two of the team's offensive catalysts missing from the lineup, it hasn't been a surprise that San Diego has struggled, combining for just six runs, 20 hits and a .091 average (2-for-22) with runners in scoring position in three straight losses.
Before Saturday's contest against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, Padres manager Bud Black acknowledged that his team needed to find a way to produce without Cabrera or Quentin, but he couldn't point to any specific players who needed to step up in their absence.
"There's a concept that I think we employ as the Padres that it's all of us. It's a collective group that has to do it," Black said. "We don't have that carrier. It's got to come from all of us."
Collectively, San Diego must replace two players who had combined for 76 RBIs and 96 runs scored through Monday, when Cabrera was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Quentin isn't expected to miss nearly that much time, but Black could not provide a timetable for his return on Saturday.
After Will Venable hit his career-high 14th home run of the season on Friday, Black did say the 30-year-old outfielder, who entered Saturday batting .377 with four homers and six RBIs in his last 19 games, is a player who could become even more important for the Padres. However, Black said situational hitting and solid defense are bigger keys than any one player.
"I think the players know that those two guys are a big part of our team, there's no doubt about it," Black said. "I think we can't have some guys trying to do too much, especially guys in the middle of our order."
Decker to see more time in third big league stint
CINCINNATI -- Outfielder Jaff Decker received his third promotion to the Majors after Carlos Quentin was put on the disabled list on Friday, but this stint with the Padres figures to be different than the previous two.
Called up to replace the injured Cameron Maybin on June 12, Decker went up and back down without making an appearance. He was recalled for the second time about a week later and made two pinch-hit appearances, going 0-for-1 and reaching on an error and a walk.
Two hours before Saturday's game against the Reds, Decker had yet to arrive in Cincinnati. Once he did, though, manager Bud Black said the 23-year-old left-hander had a bigger role waiting for him with Quentin's status and eventual return from a strained right knee up in the air.
"You can expect Deck to get some starts," Black said. "You might see Deck in there tomorrow ... if he gets here."
Decker did eventually make it to Great American Ball Park before Saturday's contest, and Black said he was available to play.
In 100 games with Tucson this season, Decker batted .293 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Although his experience in the Majors is limited, Decker did get a bigger taste of Major League pitching in Spring Training, when he batted .175 with a homer and five RBIs while striking out 11 times in 40 at-bats.
Outfield prospect Renfroe gets first promotion
CINCINNATI -- A little more than two months after being selected by the Padres with the 13th overall pick of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Hunter Renfroe received his first promotion. The 21-year-old played his final game for Class A Short Season Eugene on Friday night before reporting to Class A Fort Wayne.
Renfroe's promotion was one of four Minor League moves made by the Padres, as the club shuffled around the farm system's outfielders. Renfroe will replace Corey Adamson, who was transferred to Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Meanwhile, Lee Orr went from Lake Elsinore to Double-A San Antonio, where he'll take the place of Reymond Fuentes, who moved up to Triple-A Tucson.
In 25 games with Eugene, Renfroe batted .308 (32-for-104) with four home runs and 18 RBIs. He also collected nine doubles and took five walks while striking out 26 times.
After leading Mississippi State to the College World Series, Renfroe signed with the Padres for $2,678,000 in early July. With the potential to be a five-tool right fielder, Renfroe ranks No. 6 on the Padres' list of top prospects, according to MLB.com.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.