MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres - INSIDE PITCH
Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera might be one of the most improved players in the major leagues.
"He's playing with calmness and poise to go with a lot of energy," manager Bun Black said recently. "He now understands the pace of a major league season.
"The coaching staff and myself are impressed with the calm focus. ... There is a rhythm to his game, every game. I'm very proud of him."
On Saturday night, Cabrera put an exclamation point on Black's comments with one of the best games of his career.
The 26-year-old, switch-hitting shortstop came within one hit of the first cycle in Padres history for the third time this season while equaling his career high of four RBIs. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice Sunday in the Padres' 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks.
On Friday and Saturday Cabrera homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Saturday night's homer came off Arizona left-hander Wade Miley. Perhaps the biggest improvement to Cabrera's game is his hitting against left-handed pitching.
He entered the 2013 season batting .218 (58-for-266) with a .266 slugging percentage and a .297 on-base percentage when hitting from the right side. Cabrera is hitting .309 (17-for-55) against left-handed pitching this season with four doubles, one triple, two home runs. He has a .410 on-base percentage against left-handers this season and a .500 slugging percentage.
As if going 3-for-5 Saturday weren't sufficient, Cabrera also stole the 100th base of his major league career after singling in the first. The steal was his major league-leading 19th of the season.
Cabrera is hitting .264 on the season with a career-high four homers, 20 RBIs and 29 runs. He is hitting .356 (16-for-45) over his last 11 games with 10 RBIs.
"I'm not trying to play as fast as I once did," Cabrera said recently while explaining what has so far been a breakout season. "I don't feel I have to prove myself all the time and try to make things happen. It makes a big difference.
"I still play hard, maybe harder than I've ever played, but I am relaxed. The last two months, I feel like I am getting better every game."
MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Padres (Clayton Richard, 0-4, 8.54) at Mariners (Aaron Harang, 1-5, 8.58)
--LHP Clayton Richard will come off the disabled list to start Monday afternoon's game against the Mariners in Seattle. Richard has been sidelined since May 5 with intestinal issues. Richard was 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA in two rehab starts at Triple-A Tucson and came out of a Friday bullpen session with no issues, manager Bud Black said. Richard, who won 14 games in his last two full seasons in 2010 and 2012, is 0-4 with an 8.54 ERA in six major league starts this season.
--LF Carlos Quentin's fifth home run of the season pulled the Padres into a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning of a 6-5 loss to Arizona on Sunday, one of two hits in a weekend series against the team that selected him in the first round of 2003 draft. Quentin started in left field and hit cleanup in all three games at Arizona, going 6-for-11 with three doubles, a homer and five runs.
--RHP Jason Marquis was denied in his attempt become the first Padres pitcher in almost 22 seasons to win six straight starts when he was relieved after giving up four runs in 3 1/3 innings at Arizona on Sunday. However, he wound up with a no-decision when San Diego rallied to tie the score in the fifth. "I didn't execute early, and the ball doesn't do the same stuff (in Arizona as) it does in other places. Movement is a little less, so you have to be a little more careful in the zone," Marquis said. RHP Andy Benes was the last Padre to win six starts in a row, doing so from Aug. 18-Sept. 14, 1991. RHP Andy Hawkins holds the franchise record, winning 10 straight from April 12-May 30, 1985.
--CF Chris Denorfia was 2-for-5 with a double and a run in San Diego's 6-5 loss Arizona on Sunday, but what else is new? He is hitting .345 with eight doubles, eight home runs and 17 RBIs against the D-backs in his career.
--LF Carlos Quentin and OF Mark Kotsay are the prime candidates to serve as the designated hitter when the Padres play a two-game series in Seattle starting Monday. Quentin is 3-for-12 with a homer and two RBIs in three games as a DH this season. Kotsay is 3-for-7 in two starts as the DH.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We made a little run at them. They made a run at us. They got a couple of good key hits. We didn't get the key hits." -- Manager Bud Black, after the Padres' 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks.
MLB Team Report - San Diego Padres - ROSTER REPORT
--LHP Clayton Richard (intestinal virus) went on the 15-day disabled list May 5. He made rehab starts for Triple-A Tucson on May 16 and May 21. He threw a bullpen session at Chase Field on May 24 and is on target to return for a start early the week of May 27.
--OF Cameron Maybin (right wrist impingement) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. In addition to a bone bruise in the wrist, Maybin has inflammation in the cartilage as well as possible ligament damage. He hit in the batting cage for the first time May 16, and he started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson on May 24.
--INF Logan Forsythe (plantar fasciitis in right foot) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 24. He started jogging May 8, and he was hitting in the cage as of mid-May. He was due to begin playing in extended spring training games in late May.
--RHP Joe Wieland (Tommy John surgery in July 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He threw 100 pitches at 75-80 percent on April 26. He's unlikely to return before August.
--LHP Cory Luebke (Tommy John surgery in May 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 20. After taking three weeks off due to soreness in his elbow, he resumed throwing around Opening Day. He threw from 150 feet in late April, but he backed off his throwing program again in early May after feeling soreness in the elbow. He's not expected to resume throwing until early June, pushing back his possible return until after the All-Star break.
--RHP Casey Kelly (torn right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery April 2.
RHP Edinson Volquez
RHP Jason Marquis
LHP Eric Stults
RHP Andrew Cashner
RHP Huston Street (closer)
RHP Luke Gregerson
RHP Anthony Bass
LHP Joe Thatcher
RHP Dale Thayer
RHP Tyson Ross
RHP Tim Stauffer
LHP Tommy Layne
1B Yonder Alonso
2B Jedd Gyorko
SS Everth Cabrera
3B Chase Headley
INF Alexi Amarista
INF/OF Kyle Blanks
LF Carlos Quentin
CF Chris Denorfia
RF Will Venable
OF/1B Jesus Guzman
OF Mark Kotsay