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Notes: Germano back where he started

Notes: Germano back where he started

SAN DIEGO -- Pitcher Justin Germano had conflicted feelings when he was told earlier this month that he'd become the winningest pitcher in club history for Triple-A Portland.

"I didn't know if that was a good thing," Germano said, "or if it meant I'd been there too long."

After some deliberation, the 24-year-old right-hander determined that it was probably a little of both, which is really of no consequence now that he's with the Padres.

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Germano was recalled from Portland shortly after winning his 20th career game with the Beavers, as he was needed to fill in for Clay Hensley in the rotation after Hensley went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin.

Germano allowed one run over six innings with two strikeouts and was in position for a victory in his first start on Tuesday before the Braves rallied for a 3-2 victory after he'd left the game.

Germano, who pitches against the Cardinals on Sunday at PETCO Park, said that he's a much different pitcher now than the 21-year-old who made his Major League debut in 2004 with the Padres.

Germano appeared in seven games in 2004, starting five games. He went 1-2 with an 8.86 ERA in two different stints that season.

"I don't think I was fully ready," Germano said. "Part of me was ready. ... I knew had to pitch, but my mental strength wasn't where it needed to be. I would get caught up in who was at the plate and making the perfect pitch."

Germano was traded to the Reds the following season with Minor League pitcher Travis Chick for third baseman Joe Randa. In July, Germano was traded to Philadelphia and figured to be in the hunt for a spot in their bullpen during Spring Training when he was placed on waivers.

Enter the Padres, who picked him up on March 19. Germano said he was shocked when informed it was the Padres -- the team that drafted him on 2000 -- that wanted him back.

"I had been there for five years and they had seen what I was capable of," Germano said. "I figured that they would be the last team that would want me. But I am very happy they wanted me back."

Germano was 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA at Triple-A when he was recalled last week. He said the changes he's made since his Major League debut in 2004 have more to do with his approach than his stuff.

"I'm much more aggressive, I'm lot stronger mentally," he said. "I'm able to focus more now on making my pitches instead of worrying who is in the box, and not being afraid to go right after them."

Looking ahead: The Padres have some decisions to make regarding their starting rotation in the coming weeks, a result of an unusual five-day stretch starting Thursday that includes two off-days and the impending return of Hensley from the disabled list.

Hensley, on the 15-day DL since May 2, likely won't be activated in time for would be his turn in the rotation on May 18 in Seattle.

San Diego manager Bud Black said Hensley will likely begin to throw off a mound early next week and then will make a Minor League rehabilitation start later that week.

If Hensley makes a rehab start May 19 he could rejoin the Padres and assume his spot in the rotation May 23 against the Cubs at PETCO Park.

The two off-days will give Black and opportunity to mix and match his rotation if he sees fit, though he said it's too soon to say for sure what's going to happen.

"We're looking at it now, but it's too early," Black said. "There could be some days where guys get flip-flopped."

No go for Nevin: Don't count on former Padres third baseman Phil Nevin to be back with the Padres -- or any other Major League team, for that matter -- anytime soon.

Nevin's cause was championed by a local radio station last week as a potential bat to add to the Padres' lineup, though he indicated in a statement Friday that he has no interest in returning to professional baseball.

"I am retired from playing baseball," Nevin said. "I have not had any discussions with the Padres or any other club about returning to baseball. I am enjoying my new endeavors as a Little League coach and co-host of the BP Show on XX Sports and am looking to next month when I will be working for ESPN as an analyst on regional college baseball games and the College World Series."

Nevin played with the Padres from 1999-2005 when he was traded to Texas for pitcher Chan Ho Park. Nevin, 36, hit a combined 22 home runs last season for three teams.

Retro Night reaction: Mike Cameron emerged from the home dugout on Friday dressed in the Padres' yellow 1972 jersey and pants and declared to no one in particular that "these things look worse in the daylight."

Cameron was likely kidding, as he even threw on a faux wig and attempted to place his hat over it before mugging for the television cameras. If you ever had an Oscar Gamble baseball card from the 1970s, you might know what we're talking about.

Certainly the yellow jersey and pants combination looked better on some players than it did on others. Black wondered aloud how his customary blue Padres' jacket might look with the yellow tops and bottoms.

The Cardinals also wore "retro" uniforms, though there "bird on bat" uniform tops looked hardly different from their current uniform tops.

Pads and ends: The Padres' Class A affiliate, the Lake Elsinore Storm, will play a game at PETCO Park on June 9 prior to San Diego's Interleague game against Seattle. The Storm will face San Jose at 2:30 p.m. PT with the Padres facing the Mariners later that night at 7:05. The first 5,000 attending the Lake Elsinore game will receive Storm hats. Fans can purchase tickets to one game and gain admission to both. ... Entering his start Friday, Jake Peavy was limiting opposing batters to a .181 batting average, good enough for fourth in the National League. ... Marcus and Brian Giles, Terrmel Sledge and Josh Bard will use pink bats on Mother's Day to raise awareness for breast cancer. The bats will then be auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting Susan B. Komen for the Cure.

On deck: The Padres continue their three-game series against the Cardinals with a 7:05 p.m. game on Saturday at PETCO Park. Chris Young (4-2, 3.29 ERA) will get the start for the Padres. He'll be opposed by Braden Looper (4-2, 2.66 ERA).

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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