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4/26/2014 12:17 A.M. ET

Peterson records hit in first big league at-bat

WASHINGTON -- The bus that carried the Double-A San Antonio Missions hadn't gotten too far down I-35 late Thursday when manager Rich Dauer sat down next to infielder Jace Peterson.

"He said, 'What would you say if I told you that you were going to the big leagues,'" Peterson recalled.

It's been a blur ever since for Peterson, who was officially added to the 25-man roster on Friday after the team placed third baseman Chase Headley on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

Entering the Padres' 11-1 loss as part of a double-switch in the sixth inning, Peterson had a hit on the first pitch he saw in the seventh inning and finished 1-for-2.

"It was good, the guys in here made it very easy for me. It felt like Spring Training," said Peterson. "I was looking for a fastball to hit, and it happened to be on the first pitch."

Peterson, who was watching "Happy Gilmore" on the team bus at the time of the news, celebrated the news with his teammates. The bus was heading from Frisco, Texas to San Antonio.

"All of my teammates were just as excited as I was," he said.

Peterson is no stranger to manager Bud Black and his staff, not after appearing in 20 games during the spring when Headley was down with a strain of his left calf. Peterson played some third base and also shortstop, hitting .161 in 30 at-bats with one home run and five RBIs.

"That weighed into it quite a bit," Black said. "We liked what we saw and thought he played well at shortstop and third base. Of all the options we had [internally], this seemed the move to make."

Peterson, 23, was the 58th overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of McNeese State, where he also played football. He was hitting .311 with a .386 on-base percentage in 74 at-bats at the time of his promotion.

Peterson said his experience in big league camp this spring, his first, helped in terms of his development and confidence.

"I really felt like I learned a lot being around the guys," he said.

In parts of four Minor League seasons, Peterson has a .283/.376/.400 line. He's topped 39 stolen bases in each of his first three professional seasons.

Headley expected to miss two to three weeks

WASHINGTON -- In February, when Padres third baseman Chase Headley strained his left calf during a drill, he showed up the next day with a limp and leaning on crutches.

On Friday, less than 24 hours after straining his right calf against the Nationals, Headley was walking around almost as though nothing happened.

And despite landing on the 15-day disabled list on Friday, Headley was encouraged that his injury won't keep him from the lineup for more than two or three weeks.

"It's definitely better than it was [the day after] in the spring," Headley said. "It feels quite a bit better than I anticipated it feeling today."

In February, Headley strained his gastrocnemius muscle, which is one of three muscles in the calf. He thinks that this latest injury is in the soleus muscle of the calf.

The Padres replaced Headley on the 25-man roster with infielder Jace Peterson, who was playing for Double-A San Antonio.

Headley wasn't the only Padres player to suffer an injury Thursday, as Seth Smith strained his right groin chasing a Jose Lobaton double down the left-field line in the bottom of the 10th inning.

"When I was running toward the left-field line, I felt it tweak on me," Smith said. "I've had something similar before in Colorado where I think I missed three games."

Smith doesn't think he'll miss more than two or three games with the injury.

"I don't see it being much longer than that," he said.

Padres bolster 'pen by promoting Quackenbush

WASHINGTON -- After seeing their bullpen compile 14 2/3 innings over the past three games -- two extra-inning games will do that -- the Padres added a fresh arm on Friday.

The Padres added reliever Kevin Quackenbush, who was with Triple-A El Paso, to the roster, giving them 13 pitchers moving forward. To make room for Quackenbush on the 25-man roster, the team optioned infielder/outfielder Tommy Medica to El Paso.

"It's still all a little shocking," Quackenbush said.

Padres manager Bud Black didn't waste much time calling on his new reliever in the Padres' 11-1 loss to the Nationals, as Quackenbush came on in relief of Robbie Erlin and pitched 1 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Before the game, the Padres also designated infielder Alex Castellanos -- who was with El Paso -- for assignment. The Padres also moved right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson, who had Tommy John surgery on Thursday, to the 60-day disabled list.

Quackenbush, 25, was an eighth-round pick in 2011. He had a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings with El Paso and a 1.19 ERA in parts of four professional seasons with 233 strikeouts and 124 hits allowed in 174 2/3 innings.

"We like his mindset and how he attacks," Black said of Quackenbush. "He's been a Minor League strike-thrower, and I think his fastball will play in the Major Leagues. We feel that what he has done in the Minor Leagues will translate to Major League success."

Medica hit .143 in 28 at-bats with 15 strikeouts. Black said he might have played more, but the Padres didn't see many left-handed pitchers in the early part of the season, and Seth Smith performed better in left field filling in for an injured Carlos Quentin.

Padres prospect Wisler fans career-high 10

Right-hander Matt Wisler, the Padres' No. 3 prospect and No. 75 overall, struck out a career-high 10 batters in seven scoreless innings Friday. But Double-A San Antonio couldn't scratch out any runs and lost to Midland, 2-0, in 11 innings.

Wisler needed just 94 pitches to go seven innings, matching the longest start of his career. He allowed three hits and walked none.

Wisler has flown through the Minor Leagues since the Padres selected him in the seventh round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. At 21 years old, he was the seventh-youngest player in the Texas League on Opening Day.

His youth has hardly been apparent this season. Through five starts and 25 innings this season, Wisler has a 2.16 ERA and a 30-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Short hops

• The Padres signed 31-year-old infielder/outfielder Brian Bixler to a Minor League contract and assigned him to San Antonio on Friday. Bixler is a career .119 hitter in 323 big league at-bats with the Pirates, Nationals and Astros. He was in Spring Training with the Phillies this year.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.