9/24/2013 1:55 A.M. ET
Rivera has good rapport with Padres' starters
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Rene Rivera had the chance to catch many of the Padres' pitchers in Spring Training, so he wasn't completely in the dark in terms of handling the staff when he was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on July 7.
But at times, it sure felt like it.
"In the beginning, it was a little tough, because I didn't know how a lot of these guys like to throw, what they threw," Rivera said. "But I studied a lot and watched how the starters and the relievers prepared and what they threw … just how they went about their business."
Rivera joined the team after Yasmani Grandal was lost for the season with a severe knee injury in July. Rivera entered Monday's 4-1 win over the D-backs with a .222 average in 22 games, although his value to the team goes far beyond anything he does offensively.
"I'm tough on catchers," manager Bud Black said. "But watching Rene's work, he's done a nice job. We knew his arm was outstanding, the blocking, the way he receives. Calling a game, executing the game plan, working with [pitching coach Darren Balsley], he's done a nice job."
Rivera has caught each of Andrew Cashner's last four starts and has developed a strong relationship with many other pitchers on the staff.
"He's very animated behind the plate," said right-hander Tyson Ross. "If you miss, he's like 'Let's go.' We're lucky to have some good catchers here. You don't miss a beat with any of them."
Rivera signed a Minor League contract with the team before the season and would like to return again next season.
"I would love to come back here next year. They have treated me great here and gave me the chance to get back to the big leagues," Rivera said.
Cedeno leaves after getting plunked in head
SAN DIEGO -- Ronny Cedeno left Monday's 4-1 win over the D-backs after being struck in the helmet by a Heath Bell fastball.
Cedeno was hit in the side of the helmet by an 89 mph, 3-1 pitch in the seventh inning by the former Padres All-Star closer.
Reymond Fuentes pinch-ran for Cedeno. Then Alexi Amarista moved from center field to shortstop, with Fuentes moving to center field, in the top of the eighth.
Cedeno was attended to by the training staff but never fell to the ground.
"He's a little woosey," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's got a little bit of a headache. It hit him pretty square. We'll monitor him overnight."
Cedeno has been a pleasant surprise since taking over at shortstop for the Padres' lone All-Star, Everth Cabrera, who was suspended last month for the final 50 games of the regular season for violating baseball's drug policy.
Cedeno is hitting .242 with three home runs and 21 RBIs this season, including .275 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 37 games entering Monday.
Bell was apologetic after the game.
"I feel bad. I tried to apologize, and I actually texted their head trainer over there and told him I didn't mean to and ask him how he was. He said he was OK, just a little fuzzy," Bell said. "I was trying to throw a sinker down the middle and the ball just got away. I mean I never want to hit someone in the head like that, even if I was really [mad] at him. Ronnie didn't do anything. It was just an accident, but that's why we wear helmets."
Usually durable Venable may not return this year
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Will Venable, who has played more games than any other Padres player in 2013, was out of the starting lineup on Monday with an "abdominal situation," manager Bud Black said.
"It's where the hip flexor meets the abdomen, he's a little sore," Black said. "We are going to keep an eye on him for the next 24, 48 hours."
The Padres have just six games left in the season after Monday. Black said he wasn't sure if or when Venable would appear in the lineup again.
The lefty-hitting Venable would have likely been in the starting lineup against the D-backs, especially since Brandon McCarthy, a right-hander, was on the mound for Arizona. Instead, Chris Denorfia started in right field.
Venable has appeared in 146 games this season and leads the team in hits (125), triples (seven), home runs (22) and is tied for the team lead (with Jedd Gyorko ) in RBIs (53).
"It's something he's been dealing with for a couple of weeks," Black said of the injury.
Marquis not ready to call it quits
SAN DIEGO -- Jason Marquis turned 35 last month and did so while on the disabled list following Tommy John surgery on July 30. Marquis, who has played with eight teams over 14 big league seasons, was asked Monday if he still has miles on his right arm.
"I do," he said. "I still want to play. I'm excited. This is a new challenge."
Marquis, who was 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 20 starts for the Padres this season, returned to San Diego this week to continue his rehabilitation work with the training staff.
After 1,921 Major League innings, Marquis isn't ready to call it a career just yet.
"I went over it with my wife and decided that I'm only 35 and I feel great," Marquis said. "I got it fixed and now we're planning some rehab and I'll work as hard as I normally do."
Marquis made his last appearance with the Padres on July 19, when he allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Cardinals. He started fast this season, winning nine games by June 15. But he was winless in his last six starts.
Marquis signed a one-year deal in December for $3 million. He's unsure of where he'll land or when he will be able to pitch again, though he's certain he will return.
"I got my full range of motion already," he said. "This week I start weight-bearing movements, doing all my shoulder and elbow stuff. I feel in midseason form without being able to throw."