5/6/2014 7:45 P.M. ET
Grandal takes step toward regaining durability
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- He thought it was going to happen in Milwaukee and then, later on the Padres' recently completed road trip, in Washington.
At some point, Padres' catcher Yasmani Grandal was going to put his surgically repaired right knee to the ultimate test -- catching on consecutive days.
It finally happened Tuesday, as Grandal -- who caught all 12 innings of the Padres' 6-5 win over the Royals -- was back behind the plate.
Better still for the Padres, it was Grandal's fourth consecutive start in the field.
"I feel good … I'm very excited," Grandal said before the game. "… Me and [manager Bud Black] talked about it in Milwaukee when I caught 12 innings [April 22] and we talked about it in Washington. It's all good."
This might be the last time Grandal has to answer questions about his durability as the team was closely watching his usage in the first month or so of the regular season, being careful not to tax him and the knee he had surgery on last August.
Grandal caught nine innings Saturday against the D-backs and played eight innings at first base the next day. Then Monday, he caught 184 pitches from eight different pitchers against the Royals.
"There's no soreness, but it's more like fatigue," Grandal said.
As for starting in four consecutive days, Grandal didn't see what all the hype was about.
"I want to be in the game all the time," he said.
Grandal struck one of the biggest blows of the night when he hit a three-run home run that tied the game against Royals' pitcher Yordano Ventura in the sixth inning.
Maybin out of lineup with stomach ailment
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Cameron Maybin, who left Monday's game with gastrointestinal issues, was not in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Royals.
Manager Bud Black said that Maybin could be available to play at some point in the second game of the three-game series but that his gastrointestinal bouts left him "weakened."
"It's hanging on … hopefully it will leave him," Black said.
Maybin started the game in center field and went 1-for-2 with a double before leaving in the seventh inning as he was playing defense.
Black said Maybin was sick to his stomach in the hallway area that leads from the home dugout to the clubhouse and again out in center field.
Maybin has performed well offensively in a small sample-size since returning from the disabled list on April 27. His double Monday was his ninth hit in 25 at-bats since coming back from the ruptured left biceps tendon injury he incurred March 2 while making a diving catch in a Spring Training game.
Will Venable, who had a two-run single in the bottom of the 12th inning in Monday's 6-5 victory, got the start in center field Tuesday.
Johnson optimistic about another comeback
SAN DIEGO -- Sitting in the Padres' dugout before Monday's game against the Royals, Josh Johnson just looked like he was itching to play, to pitch again.
Of course, that won't happen this season, as Johnson is just over two weeks removed from his second Tommy John surgery. He had the first in 2007 and the second on April 24 by Dr. James Andrews.
Still wearing a heavy brace to protect the elbow, Johnson talked with MLB.com about his elbow and the future for the first time.
Johnson was asked what's next for him.
"Hopefully, I can come back," he said. "I've done it before. So why not do it again?"
Johnson, 30, is still disappointed he won't throw a single pitch for the Padres in 2014, especially after he signed a one-year deal worth $8 million in November. The Padres hold a $4 million option for 2015 since he made seven or fewer starts.
The future is the great unknown for Johnson right now.
"I don't know what will happen, but you've got to be positive about it," Johnson said. "I've been trying to stay in a good mood and have done well with that so far. But as far as coming back, I'm ready to put in the extra work like the last time and put myself in a position where I can pitch without problems."
Johnson appeared to be in just that place early in Spring Training, as he continued to build his stamina and arm strength through his first three starts. He threw 79 pitches March 18 against the Mariners and then woke up the next day with soreness in the back of the elbow -- not in the ligament area.
"It [Spring Training] couldn't have gone any better. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I hit every step, was recovering great between starts, my elbow felt great, my body felt great," Johnson said.
"That's what you look for in Spring Training, just to feel good. I thought I would feel a pop, or heard one. But I never did, that threw me for a loop."
Johnson was diagnosed with a right forearm strain. But eventually, he had pain in the ligament area and at that point, the team decided that he should see Dr. Andrews, who performed Johnson's first Tommy John surgery when he was with the Marlins.
Once he got to see Dr. Andrews, Johnson had a pretty good idea what he was in for.
"I pretty much thought it was going to go in that direction," Johnson said of surgery.
Johnson has remained here with the team and has sat in on bullpen sessions with pitching coach Darren Balsley to observe and offer words of encouragement or advice if asked. It's allowed him to remain with the team and, mentally at least, still attached to the game.
"The only thing I can really do now is try to help these guys out," he said.