Notes: Pitching decisions made

Notes: Moves made as club breaks camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Breaking camp on Thursday, bound for Las Vegas and two final tuneups against the Cubs, the Padres released veteran right-hander Andy Ashby and firmed up their rotation, moving Woody Williams and Chan Ho Park to the bullpen to open the season.

Jake Peavy starts Monday's PETCO Park opener against the Giants, followed in order by Shawn Estes, Chris Young and Dewon Brazelton.

Acquired from Tampa Bay for Sean Burroughs, the 6-foot-4 Brazelton, 25, made it as a long-shot candidate with a sizzling spring.

"I'm very excited, very proud," said Brazelton, who will debut as a Padre in the April 7 series opener against Colorado. "I'm full of emotion. I don't know whether I should cry or smile. I had a lot to overcome. I can't say it was impossible, but it was not easy.

"I'm very confident in my ability. I was the Opening Day starter for Tampa last year, and they didn't hand it to me. I earned that. This team had established people who are good pitchers -- Williams, Chan Ho, Chris Young. I had things stacked against me, and I feel this is an outstanding accomplishment."

The club plans to go to five starters two weeks into the season, meaning a spot will reopen for Williams or Park.

"Obviously, they want to start," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I think they understand what our thinking is now. We're going to need another starter in 11 games. We need somebody ready for that. We'll help solidify our bullpen with guys with experience pitching with games on the lline.

"This is very temporary."

Certainly Park and Williams hope their stay in the bullpen doesn't last long.

"I'm disappointed," said Park, who pitched brilliantly for Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic both in relief and as a starter, but he was left with only two Cactus League starts, giving up eight earned runs on 18 hits in 7 2/3 innings for a 9.39 ERA.

"I pitched in [the Classic] for my country; it was more energy, tense games. I came back here a little tired, and it's different. I have to get used to a new catcher, new teammates. I felt OK, [with] good confidence in my shoulder.

"The decision was made to put me in the bullpen. That's not a job I'm looking for; hopefully, it's not for long. I want to come back to being a starting pitcher."

Park is 106-80 with a 4.33 ERA in 299 career games, 253 as a starter.

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Williams, with 275 starts in 366 appearances, is 112-96 lifetime with a 4.12 ERA.

Williams has given up 16 earned runs and 31 hits in 22 spring innings, with a 6.55 ERA. He has pitched only once as a reliever since 1996.

The Padres used 11 starting pitchers last season. With the unpredictable nature of the craft, it's possible both Park and Williams will be back in the rotation before too long.

Estes, who debuts with San Diego on Tuesday night against his old Giants teammates, went four innings on Thursday in his final tuneup, striking out seven and walking one while allowing an earned run on five hits in an 8-2 win over the Mariners.

Soul-searching time: Ashby, always a vibrant, good-natured presence in the clubhouse, hurled himself into his comeback attempt with the Padres. Appearing in seven games, the 38-year-old right-hander gave up 22 hits and 10 earned runs in 11 innings, walking two and striking out five. He was throwing hard, getting upwards of 90 mph on the radar gun, but the results weren't what he needed to nail down a starting or middle relief spot.

"I think he's doing some soul searching now, [about] what he wants to do," Bochy said. "I told him, `You've worked so hard to get to this point, I'd like to see you get an opportunity to show what you can do.'

"I've known Ash a long time. He's one of my favorite players, such a good teammate. It's hard to look at him when the numbers are that dramatic. Ashby hasn't pitched in a long time, so there's going to be some rust there. When you get your stuff back, sometimes it takes some time to get your location.

"I think there's some interest in Ashby. I hope he finds a place where he can pitch."

A 17-game winner with the pennant-winning '98 Padres, Ashby has forged a 98-110 career record and 4.12 ERA in 309 games with the Phillies, Padres, Braves and Dodgers. He underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in October 2003 and rotator cuff surgery in June 2005, appearing in two games (two scoreless innings) for the '04 Padres.

Klesko to DL: Bochy confirmed that Ryan Klesko's ailing shoulder will force him to the disabled list to open the season, a move that probably won't happen until Sunday. Adrian Gonzalez will open at first base.

Barfield's fitting finale: New second baseman Josh Barfield's remarkable Arizona spring ended with a perfect 4-for-4 game, lifting his average to .436. He had his club-high 11th double, driving in a run that gave him a team-best 18. He also made a spectacular defensive play going over the middle, prompting Bochy to say that his defense was Barfield's most surprising development.

Sikorski to Portland: Clearing waivers, right-handed reliever Brian Sikorski signed a Minor League contract and will start the season at Triple-A Portland. After flourishing in Japan for five seasons, he signed with the Padres with a $200,000 guarantee. In seven spring appearances, he was 1-0 with a 5.87 ERA, walking eight and striking out six in 7 2/3 innings.

Coming up: Williams (1-1, 6.55 ERA) makes his sixth spring start on Friday night in Las Vegas, facing Cubs lefty Sean Marshall. Chris Young (0-1, 11.40 ERA ) also makes his sixth start in the spring finale on Saturday, hoping to go into the season with positive momentum as he engages Greg Maddux.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.