Notes: Getting more of righty pitchers

Notes: Getting more of righty pitchers

PITTSBURGH -- Apparently, it's not only Padres fans who can't get enough of starting pitcher Jake Peavy, but it's actually the Padres themselves.

In a move that will get the National League's ERA leader back on five days rest, manager Bud Black announced Tuesday that Peavy will make his next start on Friday in Washington -- not Saturday as planned.

The corresponding move is moving Justin Germano from Saturday to Friday, a move that was made to split the right-hander and veteran Greg Maddux up in the rotation. Germano and Maddux are both right-handed and have similar deliveries.

Black said there were a lot of factors that went into the decision to get Peavy (7-1, 1.47 ERA) back on five days rest, none more important than the other.

"You look at the schedule and he would have had five or six days with an extra days rest ... at this point, it's primarily to how good he felt coming out of his last start [Sunday]," Black said.

Peavy won his seventh game on Sunday by tossing seven scoreless innings against the Brewers at PETCO Park on five days' rest. He pitched on six days'rest on May 22 against the Cubs because of two off-days in a five-day stretch.

And because Peavy pitched on Sunday in San Diego -- the day before another off-day -- he would have been pitching on six days rest again had he gone Saturday.

The decision to allow Peavy to pitch on Friday means that he will pitch in an upcoming series at PETCO Park against the Dodgers June 5-7.

"It has nothing to do with the Dodgers," Black said. "Every game that is on the schedule is important."

The off-day Monday was already the Padres' fourth of the month. Black said he, for one, doesn't mind the frequency of off-days this month.

"I think it helps the pitching staff catch its breath," he said. "Some teams might be better off grinding it out, day after day. For us, right now. I think it served us well to have a day. We've played a lot of close games. I think it's good for us not only on the physical side but the mental side."

Closer for a night: Imagine the dismay of the 32,130 fans who stuck around for the finish of San Diego's 8-6 victory over Milwaukee on May 25 when, instead of seeing future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman emerge from the bullpen to AC/DC's "Hells Bells" they got Scott Linebrink instead.

"I'm sure a lot of people showed up to see the whole production in the ninth inning and to see a Hall of Famer pitch ... I can see where that would possibly be a letdown,"Linebrink said.

It certainly wasn't a letdown to Linebrink, who earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning when Hoffman came down with a "cranky" right arm.

Linebrink said that while one inning separates his usual set-up, eighth-inning role to what Hoffman regularly goes through, the difference is actually much greater.

"The game is won or lost with you," Linebrink said. "There's just not that safety net that you usually have when you have the greatest closer in the game behind you. You want to get through that inning but you know if something happens, you've still got that person behind you to go out there."

Linebrink wouldn't at all be opposed to pitching in for Hoffman again, though he knows the Major League's career saves leader has proven to be very durable in his career.

"It's nice to do something like that ... it's a nice change of pace," he said. "There's a lot more adrenaline in the ninth, people standing and cheering anxiously awaiting the end of the game. There's plenty of excitement in the eighth inning, too."

Clay's day: When pitcher Clay Hensley make his third rehabilitation appearance for Triple-A Portland on Wednesday, the Padres are expecting to see two things -- sharper command and his ability to work deeper into the game.

"He'll hopefully get to 90 pitches and get six or seven innings," Black said. "His innings have been down. We want to get him stretched out, back to where we all feel comfortable with his pitch count."

In his last appearance for Portland, Hensley allowed four earned runs, eight hits and four walks against Las Vegas on May 25. He threw 86 pitches in that game. The Padres would like to see him become more economical with his pitches.

Hensley has been on the disabled list since May 4 (retroactive to May 3) with a strained right groin. The Padres no longer have concern about the groin but would like to see him get his arm strength back to where it was before the injury.

On deck: The Padres continue their three-game series against the Pirates at 4:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Chris Young, coming off his best start of the season last week when he allowed one run in seven innings with 10 strikeouts, gets the start. Young (5-3, 2.70 ERA) will be opposed by Paul Maholm (2-6, 5.43 ERA).

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