Notes: Linebrink demoted, not forgotten

Notes: Linebrink demoted, not forgotten

DENVER -- A day after allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning in a loss to the Rockies, Padres reliever Scott Linebrink was removed from his role as the team's eighth-inning specialist.

Linebrink's blown save on Monday -- his sixth of the season -- was the latest in a series of missteps for the right-handed reliever, who has already allowed as many home runs this season (nine) as he did all of last season.

Linebrink is tied with three other pitchers for the Major League lead in blown saves.

"I told Scott that it might be a time to take a step back and not being exclusively in the eighth and ninth innings," Padres manager Bud Black said before Tuesday's game at Coors Field against the Rockies.

"I think that there's just a couple of minor adjustments we have to make. He just has to fine tune his delivery to get the ball where he needs it to go."

Linebrink, who is 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA, has been hampered by location of his fastball, though it was his changeup that got him into trouble on Monday, as Colorado All-Star Matt Holliday jumped on a changeup up in the strike zone for a game-tying, three-run home run.

"It goes back to location," Black said. "His secondary stuff has been fine. Take last night's game: The changeup wasn't where it needed to be against Holliday. It was up and over the plate. Changeups are meant to be down below the zone."

Black indicated that Heath Bell, one of the National League's dominant relievers and owner of a 2.11 ERA, will get opportunities to pitch in the eighth inning with the hope the can deliver the ball and the lead to closer Trevor Hoffman.

Black made it clear that Linebrink -- who has been the eighth-inning anchor for Hoffman the last two seasons -- is still an important part of the bullpen and will get his chances to pitch in critical situations.

"We have a long ways to go and he's going to be a valued member of our bullpen as we move forward," Black said. "He's proven over time that he can handle a setback and bounce back."

Barrett gets a game: Catcher Michael Barrett was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his actions on July 22 when he was ejected from the Padres' 9-0 loss to the Phillies at PETCO Park.

Barrett might have been willing to accept his punishment and take Tuesday's game off in Denver had he not objected to observations of the incident that plate umpire Chris Guccione -- the one who ejected Barrett -- made.

"I wasn't happy with the report by the umpire. I just had a couple issues with the report," Barrett said. "If it was just one game and the report was fair ... then I probably wouldn't debate or argue it, I would just do it. But there are a couple of things that don't make a whole lot of sense to me."

Barrett was ejected in the fifth inning of that game when he was called out on strikes by Guccione. After a brief argument, Guccione ejected Barrett, who then threw his helmet down to the ground. Manager Bud Black was also ejected from the game.

Barrett, who was in the starting lineup on Tuesday, will appeal his suspension. He said the suspension surprised him to some extent.

"I was a little curious to see what the suspension will be," Barrett said. "I'm never happy with any type of suspension. I'm a little upset I got suspended."

Gonzalez receives threat: The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in its Tuesday edition that Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez recently received a death threat made by phone on July 20.

The threat is being investigated by San Diego police and Mexican authorities. The phone call contained a threat in English and Spanish referencing Gonzalez's father David, who, according to the article, recently had a falling out with partners of the Tijuana Potros -- a professional baseball team he owned.

Gonzalez has declined comment on the matter due to the ongoing investigation.

Friar notes: The Padres will play their 100th game of the season on Wednesday against the Rockies. ... Outfielder Milton Bradley entered Tuesday's game hitting at a .356 clip since joining the Padres. Bradley has three home runs, nine RBI and has scored nine runs in that 12-game stretch. ... Rookie Kevin Cameron has a 0.52 ERA, which is the second lowest single-season mark among Major League pitchers who have worked at least 34 innings. He trails only Buck O'Brien of Boston (0.38), who set the mark in 1911. ... Kevin Kouzmanoff, who is from nearby Evergreen, turns 26 on Wednesday.

On deck: The Padres finish their three-game series against the Rockies at 12:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Justin Germano (6-4, 3.77) will get the start for San Diego. The Rockies will counter with Aaron Cook (6-6, 4.37). The Padres open a four-game series against Houston on Thursday.

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