LOS ANGELES -- Padres manager Bud Black said outfielder Kyle Blanks' availability for the opener of a two-game road series with the Dodgers Wednesday night could be determined in-game. Blanks had an MRI on his right elbow earlier Wednesday that he said showed a strain in a tendon. Black said he had not been told the results when he spoke to the media before the game. The elbow discomfort flared up for Blanks during a pregame long toss on Tuesday in San Diego, and he wasn't entirely surprised. At points in his career, he's felt tightness when throwing, although it hasn't happened recently.
But there were two things that separated this instance from others. For one, Blanks didn't think he was particularly overexerting himself. "I really honestly didn't feel like I was putting that much effort into it," Blanks said. "I definitely wasn't throwing 100 percent, I was just getting some air on it and throwing long." Two, whenever Blanks felt the tightness before, it never carried over to his at-bats. It did Tuesday, when Blanks stepped into the batting cage and felt tightness at full extension, making him a late scratch before a 7-6 loss to the Giants in 13 innings. "I was just throwing and the last couple throws I went to kind of straighten out my arm, felt a little tight, which I've had happen in the past," Blanks said. "Then I went to start hitting in the first round of BP I felt the same thing, which I have never had." Blanks, struggling with a .157 average, said he "would never want to take a break for this reason," but said some time off to heal could also help clear his head. "It could be a time to get an empty head going," Blanks said. "Take it for what it is, another experience to take away from the game and just learn from it." Called up to replace the injured Scott Hairston, Chris Denorfia is 3-for-6 in his first two games with the Padres and could see more playing time if Blanks is out. "What we saw out of spring from Deno is a guy that we feel comfortable with," Black said. "He can steal a base, play defense, things that we're looking for in players. He has a little power and a little experience, which we like."