8/26/2013 8:58 P.M. ET
Black: Facing D-backs will be 'unique' for Kennedy
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Pitcher Ian Kennedy doesn't talk with the media the day before he starts, but his manager, Bud Black, had plenty of good things to say about the right-hander on Monday.
Kennedy, who will face his former team, the D-backs, on Tuesday, is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in four starts since he was traded to the Padres on July 31 for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and Minor League reliever Matt Stites.
Kennedy has allowed two or fewer runs in three of his first four starts with the Padres, and he tossed seven scoreless innings in a victory over the Pirates last week at Petco Park.
Black understands that there will be an emotional component Tuesday when Kennedy faces some of his former teammates, many of them good friends from relationships forged over a four-year period.
"It's going to be emotional for him," Black said. "It's a different feel. I've been there. I think that it's a unique feeling."
Black, who saw a lot of Kennedy from the other side, likes what he's seen in a small sample-size from Kennedy, who is two years removed from winning 21 games with the D-backs.
"We're seeing the pitcher we thought we'd get," Black said.
Padres eager to see Fuentes' Majors potential
PHOENIX -- Reymond Fuentes said Monday that he didn't see his promotion to the big leagues coming at all.
"I wasn't really expecting this," he said.
Fuentes, a speedy outfielder, hit .218 with a .301 on-base percentage with Double-A San Antonio last season.
"I wouldn't say 2012 was a lost year, but it was a year of learning," said Fuentes, 22. "I think it opened my eyes."
This season has seen Fuentes -- one of four players the Padres obtained from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade in December of 2010 -- get back on the organization's radar in a big way.
Fuentes was added to the 25-man roster before Monday's game against the D-backs and was in the starting lineup in center field, hitting seventh.
Outfielder Jaff Decker was optioned to Triple-A Tucson after hitting .154 in 13 games with one home run and two RBIs.
Fuentes arrives with some big offensive credentials. He hit a combined .330 with 35 stolen bases and a .413 on-base percentage in 107 games, 93 with San Antonio and, most recently, 14 with Triple-A Tucson.
"This year has been awesome," said the left-handed hitting Fuentes, the cousin of Cardinals' outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Fuentes worked closely with San Antonio hitting coach Jacque Jones on his swing in Spring Training and continued that work into the regular season. Jones, who played 10 seasons in the big leagues, was very impressed with Fuentes.
"It's been just having a plan and using the whole field … opening the field for him and also not wanting to pull everything," Jones said. "We have worked on letting the ball get deeper on him and getting his [right] foot down early, which has given him a better chance to react. He's got the ability to drive the ball to the off-field gap."
Now, he'll get a chance to show what he can do at the Major League level.
"We'll see moving forward … but he'll get his starts," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It got to the point where [general manager Josh Byrnes and assistant general manager A.J. Hinch] felt the time was now to pull the trigger to see what he can do."
Righty Bass returns to Padres with new approach
PHOENIX -- After squeezing 19 innings out of the bullpen the last three games, the Padres opted to add an arm before Monday's game against the D-backs.
Right-hander Anthony Bass was added to the roster and reliever Brad Brach was optioned to Triple-A Tucson.
"Bass gives us that length we need if something happens," said Padres manager Bud Black.
The Padres needed eight innings from their relievers in Sunday's 15-inning victory over the Cubs. Two days earlier, they needed 8 1/3 innings after Edinson Volquez was hit hard early and didn't finish the first inning against the Cubs. Volquez was designated for assignment the following day.
As for Bass, this is his third stint with the Padres this season. Bass, 25, was on the Opening Day roster but was optioned to Tucson after posting a 4.55 ERA in 18 games. He was 4-6 with a 5.45 ERA in 15 starts with Tucson and was 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in his last five starts.
"I've been trying to figure things out mechanically, and I've decided to go with what works for me," Bass said. "I've gone back to what got me here in 2011 -- pitching from the third-base side of the rubber -- and I have added more coil to my delivery.
"But mostly it's been having conviction in my pitches. That's something I was lacking."
Bass had a 1.68 ERA in 48 1/3 innings in 2011 and was 2-8 with a 4.73 ERA in 97 innings last season. He can pitch in long and short relief and could certainly make a spot start, if needed.
The Padres have yet to name a starting pitcher for Wednesday's series finale against the D-backs. That pitcher will take the spot of Volquez.
• The Padres still haven't named a starter for Wednesday's game against the D-backs. That spot formerly belonged to Volquez, who was designated for assignment on Saturday. Left-hander Robbie Erlin, currently with Triple-A Tucson, is a potential option. There's a small chance that Bass, who was recalled from Tucson on Monday, could make that start as well.
• Outfielder Kyle Blanks started his Minor League rehabilitation stint Sunday with Triple-A Tucson, going 0-for-3. He could potentially play in Tucson's final eight games of the season, starting Monday. Black said that Blanks could join Double-A San Antonio or Class A Fort Wayne in the playoffs in order to get more at-bats as he comes back from an injury to his left Achilles that has caused him to miss the last 38 games.