Notes: Bocachica replaced by Sledge

Notes: Bocachica replaced by Sledge

SAN DIEGO -- Hiram Bocachica was only with the Padres for a month and a half, but he had formed such strong ties to the team that he was moved to tears Wednesday when he was told he was being designated for assignment.

"I made some special friends here. ... They are a great group of guys," Bocachica said as he stuffed his belongings into a box hours before the Padres played the Mets at PETCO Park. "I appreciate the opportunity they gave me. I wish them luck."

The Padres reinstated outfielder Terrmel Sledge from his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Portland and activated him from the 15-day disabled list in the corresponding roster move because it gives them what they feel is a better bat off the bench.

Bocachica hit .238 with a home run and two RBIs in 27 games for the Padres after he was claimed off waivers from the A's on May 31.

Bocachica struck out twice in Wednesday's 7-0 loss to the Mets and mishandled a hit to center field that allowed a run to score, though he wasn't charged with an error.

"I didn't have a good feeling [Wednesday] night after the game," Bocachica said. "I had a terrible game, but I don't think they made this decision based on the game. Someone is always the odd-man out. That's been my case."

The Padres now have 10 days to trade, release or place Bocachica on waivers. In a perfect world, manager Bud Black said, Bocachica would clear waivers and accept a spot with Triple-A Portland.

"We hope he stays in our organization," Black said. "We feel he brings an element to our club that we don't have, and that's great speed. He's an above-average defender and has a above-average arm in the outfield. He has some tools that we're a little shy of."

Sledge, who had been on the disabled list since July 6 (retroactive to June 28), has fully recovered from the sprained right thumb that landed him on the disabled list in the first place. He was 5-for-14 in three games with Portland.

"We felt as though Sledge's bat off the bench is a little more viable now," Black said.

As for Bocachica, he'll go home and wait to see what happens next. The last time this happened, when he was designated for assignment by the A's, he found a new home in San Diego. He hopes he can return to the organization.

"I know this is part of the business. I have to deal with it," he said. "I'll go home, spend time with my family. I think that will help a little bit."

Giles takes a step back: San Diego second baseman Marcus Giles wasn't in the starting lineup Wednesday, and there's a chance he won't be in it Thursday or Friday, either.

Giles told The Associated Press before Wednesday's game that he will sit for three games as he tries to get back on track offensively after hitting just .191 since May 6. He was hitting .328 on May 6 but entered Wednesday with a .237 batting average.

"We're going to look at it each day, but it might be time for Marcus to take a step back to take two forward," Black said. "He has been pressing a little bit over the last number of weeks and I think it's a good time to take a step back and work on a few things that will get him back to how we know he can play."

Black said it's not one specific thing that Giles is doing wrong at the plate that has led to his rough stretch. Sometimes, he said, players just need to step back and get a fresh start.

"I don't think it's one thing when you press," Black said. "It's the total at-bat. In his situation, he's been pressing and his at-bats are Marcus Giles like at-bats."

Geoff Blum started at second base for Giles on Wednesday.

Will pitch for work: It's been a relatively quiet month for Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who, entering Wednesday's game against the Mets, has appeared in two of the team's first 13 games this month and none since July 7.

Black recognizes Hoffman's dry spell -- which, of course, includes four days off during the All-Star break -- but said that Hoffman is a lot like other closers who don't need the frequent work to remain sharp.

"Where Trevor is in his career, and what he's done especially last number of years, I don't think any amount of layoff hurts him," Black said.

Hoffman -- who has converted his last 21 save opportunities since April 28 -- appeared in 10 games in June, 13 in May and 10 in April. Despite the infrequent appearances, Hoffman's on pace to surpass his 65 appearances last season.

On deck: The Padres begin a four-game series at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday against the Phillies at PETCO Park. A pair of National League All-Stars will take the mound, as San Diego goes with Chris Young (8-3, 1.97 ERA) while Philadelphia counters with Cole Hamels (11-4, 3.83 ERA).

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