"Chan Ho has been a big part of our team. He worked hard to get back in shape, and he's a very popular guy in the clubhouse. The players like him a great deal. From a chemistry standpoint, Chan Ho not being on the club could have been a letdown for some of the guys."Another popular veteran, Rudy Seanez, was included on the roster for his vast experience. Seanez was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in eight games with the Padres following his release by the Red Sox. Staying ready: Sweeney, who was 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in 37 appearances, expressed disappointment, but said he was supportive of management's decision. "These guys have been around, pitching for many years, getting the job done," Sweeney said. "We have a great pitching staff. I believe I speak for Adkins, Cassidy, [Mike] Thompson, guys who have all done the job, when I say we're behind this team 100 percent, and we'll be staying ready and prepared in case we're called on in the next series." Sweeney, Adkins, Cassidy and Thompson will be among 35 players going to St. Louis. Adkins was 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 55 appearances. Cassidy was 6-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 42 appearances. Thompson, the invaluable emergency starter, was 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 19 games, 16 as a starter. Also left off was Scott Williamson, who was 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in 11 appearances before going on the DL with elbow and shoulder issues. Pitch to Pujols? Obviously, the Padres will be handling Albert Pujols with great care during the series, trying to avoid a repeat of the three-run homer he hit against Cla Meredith to beat them in St. Louis last Wednesday night. "If there's a situation where you have to pitch to him, you just have to execute your pitches," catcher Mike Piazza said. "We got beat by him last week. That said, anyone can make an out." "How do you pitch to him? Say your prayers and hope he hits it to someone." Added Clay Hensley, who will be coming out of the bullpen in this series: "I don't like the idea of putting a guy on. I think we should pitch to him -- depending on the game situation, of course." Bellhorn over Sledge: As for the decision not to activate Sledge, who hit .229 and was 5-for-13 with two RBIs as a pinch-hitter, and to include Mark Bellhorn, Towers said the veteran's experience and versatility factored into the decision. "Belly can play all four infield positions if needed and has postseason experience," Towers said. "We're very left-handed [offensively], and having another switch-hitter makes it more difficult for a manager in how he manages his bullpen late in a game." Bellhorn, who has appeared sparingly over the past month, hit .190 in 253 at-bats and was 7-for-38 as a pinch-hitter with one RBI.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less