4/25/2014 12:40 A.M. ET
Shaky spring a distant memory for sharp Torres
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- With two scoreless innings Wednesday against the Brewers, Padres left-handed reliever Alex Torres lowered his ERA to a scant 1.00 over nine innings this season.
If he's just now finally starting to settle in after a somewhat chaotic spring, that makes perfect sense to his manager, Bud Black.
"I do think there was something to him getting a late start coming in from Venezuela, coming to a new team, trying to get acclimated to new teammates," Black said. "Then he got off to a start that was not ideal."
Visa issues in his native Venezuela waylaid Torres' arrival in Arizona for Spring Training. He finally got to Peoria on Feb. 25, 12 days after the rest of the pitchers and catchers reported to camp. The lefty struggled in early games, posting a 7.88 ERA with seven walks in eight innings.
The regular season has certainly brought Torres more success, as he's allowed one run in 10 outings. The lefty has given up six hits and six walks in nine innings, while striking out six. He's walked just one in his last three outings.
On Wednesday, Torres needed 28 pitches -- including 17 strikes -- to get six outs against the Brewers. He didn't allow a hit or a walk.
"I hope he's in 65, 70 games, and the results are like that," Black said.
Headley strains calf, placed on disabled list
WASHINGTON -- Padres third baseman Chase Headley was officially placed on the disabled list Friday after he suffered a strained right calf in Thursday's 4-3 victory in 12 innings over the Nationals.
Headley suffered the injury as he came out of the box awkwardly during a second-inning at-bat, a flyout to center field.
"As I came out of the box, it just sort of grabbed at me a little," Headley said. "It's just a freak thing."
Headley missed time in Spring Training when he strained the other calf during an infield drill. The Padres were cautious with him then because they could be. But he'll need a DL stint this time, even if this doesn't feel nearly as bad as the other calf did.
"My guess is it's not as severe as that was," Headley said. "I expect it to be two or three weeks. I guess the silver lining is it will help the rest of my body heal."
Headley has been battling a sore left knee, the one he had surgery on in October, as well as a mild biceps strain.
Headley was replaced in the field by Alexi Amarista, who will likely get the majority of playing time at third base. The Padres added Minor League infielder Jace Peterson to the roster. Peterson has been playing for Double-A San Antonio, and he saw some playing time at third base during Spring Training. He was hitting .311 for San Antonio with one home run and seven RBIs.
Headley entered the game hitting .188 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Two seasons ago, he led the National League in RBIs (115) and finished fifth in the NL MVP Award vote after hitting 31 home runs.
Headley was asked after the game if he felt snake bitten, if not for his poor start offensively this season but for the preponderance of injuries that he's incurred thus far.
"In my career, I've only been on the disabled list twice, and those were for broken fingers," he said. "There's no feeling sorry for yourself."
Padres prospect Jankowski suffers broken wrist
WASHINGTON -- Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski, the team's No. 17 prospect according to MLB.com, will miss significant time after suffering a broken bone in his left wrist on Wednesday.
Jankowski, the 44th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, suffered the injury making a nice grab of a fly ball before running headlong into the center-field fence in a game in Frisco.
Jankowski was hitting .254 in his first 67 at-bats with San Antonio of the Texas League. He was placed on the seven-day disabled list, though he could miss in upwards of eight weeks.
Last season, Jankowski hit .286 with a .356 on-base percentage playing for Class A Lake Elsinore of the California League. He had 71 stolen bases for the Storm.
In parts of three professional seasons, Jankowski is hitting .282 with a .341 on-base percentage and 94 steals in 117 attempts in 199 games.
Black weighs in on Yankees' pine-tar incident
WASHINGTON -- Padres manager Bud Black hadn't heard the news Thursday that Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games for possessing pine tar on his neck in a game Wednesday night against the Red Sox.
But Black knows enough about pitchers using pine tar, as he was the pitching coach for the Angels back in 2005, when reliever Brendan Donnelly was hit with a 10-game suspension -- which was later reduced to eight games -- for having pine tar on his glove.
Black, who is a former pitcher himself, said the concept of pitchers using pine tar or similar substances to gain a better grip on the ball is not unique. Having it on your neck, however, is.
"There are pitchers, more than you would think, that use some sort of substance to gain tact on your fingers, because at times it is needed, based on weather conditions, the personal preference of the pitcher based on his ability to handle the baseball," Black said.
"That's always been a common knowledge among baseball people that rosin and maybe some minimal amount of pine tar doesn't really affect the outcome of a game. You will see catchers with pine tar on their shin guards and they'll tap it, so when they throw the ball, they feel good about griping a baseball."
• After going 0-for-19 in catchers' caught stealing this season, the Padres got three during their three-game series against the Brewers earlier this week -- all from catcher Rene Rivera. For the season, Padres catchers are 3-for-23 throwing out attempted basestealers, with Yasmani Grandal and Nick Hundley yet to throw one out.