Padres add outfield depth with Cunningham

Padres add outfield depth with Cunningham

PHOENIX -- The Padres announced Monday afternoon a roster move that, in the words of manager Bud Black, increases the club's flexibility and maneuverability for the stretch run.

San Diego recalled outfielder Aaron Cunningham, and, to pave the way for his return to the Major League roster, optioned right-handed reliever Luis Perdomo to Triple-A Portland.

Cunningham, 24, gives San Diego increased outfield depth, what with Tony Gwynn (right hand fracture) and utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. (right elbow sprain) traveling with the club but shelved on the 15-day disabled list. Additionally, outfielder Chris Denorfia (sore back) was scratched from Sunday's lineup, but said on Monday he was healthy enough to play. He was slated to man center field and bat seventh against D-backs starter Joe Saunders.

Cunningham not only offers insurance for all three teammates, he also totes a hot bat. He was hitting .324 over his last 10 games at Portland entering his third separate stint in the Majors this season. In 30 games with the Padres, he batted .312 (24-for-77) with 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

"You always want to be here as long as you can," Cunningham said from the visiting clubhouse at Chase Field. "But it's good to get your at-bats, a daily routine, playing every day and hopefully do the same up here."

Cunningham would have joined the club anyway on Thursday, when MLB rosters can be expanded from 25 to 40.

Perdomo, 26, is now among those likely to be a part of a handful Sept. 1 callups.

In two stints with the Padres this season, Perdomo pitched in just one game. He allowed one run in one inning in Sunday's 5-0 loss to the Phillies before learning of his demotion, which returns San Diego to a 12-man pitching staff.

"Right now there's a few guys that we think have outperformed him," Black explained. "He's a guy that we'll consider coming back up."