8/14/2014 9:17 P.M. ET
Peterson working on versatility, consistency
By Alex Halsted / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Utility infielder Jace Peterson joined the Padres in St. Louis on Thursday for his fourth stint with the Major League club this season.
The move came on the heels of Yonder Alonso going on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. Although manager Bud Black said that Peterson, 24, could get a start during the weekend series against the Cardinals, the plan is for the rookie -- who is capable of handling second, third and shortstop -- to play all over.
"It's getting easier [playing everywhere]," Peterson said. "Before this year I've always played short, but coming up here and breaking in at other positions and then going back and playing them, it's definitely getting easier."
The former first-round selection hit just .100 in his first three stints with the Padres and .266 this season at Triple-A, but in seven games before Thursday's promotion, he hit .304.
"Before I got called up, I was feeling good," he said. "I was starting to hit the ball good, seeing the ball good, starting to get where I wanted to be."
The Padres have worked with Peterson to get him more consistent at the plate.
"It's about his load, it's about his trigger a little bit with his hands," Black said. "I think in the lower Minors, you get away with [it], but against better pitching and when you get to the Major Leagues, [where there's] very excellent pitching, he has to make some changes."
Alonso, who exited Tuesday's game with an injured right wrist/forearm, will meet with team doctors and a hand specialist in San Diego in the coming days, which Black said should provide a better understanding of his prognosis.
"Right now he's on the DL, so that's not a good thing. He's been battling this wrist and forearm problem for a while," Black said. "Whether this is something related, I think so, but there is a specific injury to the tendon muscle right where the forearm comes down to the wrist."
Cashner's recovery takes another step
ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Andrew Cashner took another step toward rejoining the rotation on Wednesday, as he continued to build his pitch count with a rehab start at Triple-A El Paso.
Cashner, who last pitched for San Diego on June 18 before being sidelined with soreness in his right shoulder, threw 2 2/3 innings (63 pitches), surrendering two home runs.
"Cash felt good," manager Bud Black said. "Got his pitch count to 63 pitches and felt good. Didn't really command the fastball all that great, but his stuff was fine, which is the main thing, and he built his pitch count."
Cashner returned to the hill with a rehab start on Aug. 8, throwing 24 pitches at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. Wednesday's outing keeps him in line to make another rehab start at Triple-A on Monday before likely returning to the Padres' rotation next week.
Before hitting the DL, Cashner posted a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts, allowing two runs or fewer eight times.
Utility infielder Jace Peterson, who joined the Padres in St. Louis on Thursday, played behind Cashner on Wednesday.
"[He] really wasn't necessarily trying to overpower anybody like he can, he was just kind of feeling it out, and I think he threw the ball well," Peterson said. "The ball jumped when he wanted it to, and he put it where he wanted to."
Solarte planning to return soon
ST. LOUIS -- Yangervis Solarte's second Major League start at shortstop, on Wednesday, came to an abrupt end, but there is hope that he won't be out long.
Solarte exited in the seventh inning with a mild strain of his left oblique. On Thursday he said that the injury is more in his lower back and that he plans to return to the lineup quickly.
"It feels like it's tight," Solarte said. "Today feels better, better than yesterday."
Solarte had told manager Bud Black that he could play on Thursday against the Cardinals, but after consulting with trainers, it was determined that the best course of action was rest. Black hoped to avoid using Solarte even as a pinch-hitter.
"Our fingers are crossed that ... the strain is just mild," Black said. "The next day or two will be very significant to see the progress, and we're hoping that he's going to come out of this OK."
Solarte, who has hit .282 with three home runs in 20 games with the Padres since being acquired in the trade that sent Chase Headley to the Yankees, has dealt with oblique injuries previously, although the team is confident that this particular one is not connected.
"He's had a true oblique [injury] before, and he's indicated that this isn't what he felt in his previous injury," Black said. "This is mild; he's pretty encouraged by it. I like the fact that he's out here for batting practice, he's going to move around. He's not inside -- that's a good sign."
• Black fulfilled the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Thursday after being challenged by Chargers general manager Tom Telesco. Black, in turn, challenged Angels manager Mike Scioscia, Rays manager Joe Maddon and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
• Reliever Joaquin Benoit was available out of the bullpen on Thursday. If used -- which would be the fourth time in six games -- he will likely be unavailable on Friday.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.