Notes: Stansberry relishes debut

Notes: Stansberry relishes debut

PHILADELPHIA -- Craig Stansberry was never so happy to be lifted from a game as he was Friday night.

After two at-bats, he came out of Triple-A Portland's game at Tacoma and learned he was being recalled to the Padres. From there, Stansberry went back to the hotel and barely slept before catching a 6 a.m. PT flight out of Seattle. There was a connection through Denver before he finally landed in Philadelphia to join his Major League teammates for the first time in his career.

In the seventh inning Saturday, on the the first pitch he saw, Stansberry lined a single to right field off Phillies reliever J.C. Romero, making the long trek even more worthwhile.

"I had some serious adrenaline going," Stansberry said. "It was like my first at-bat of the year."

Stansberry replaced second baseman Marcus Giles on the roster after Giles went on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee sprain. Giles will have an MRI on Monday.

Stansberry, 25, became the first Major Leaguer born in Saudi Arabia. He lived there for one month after he was born on March 8, 1982.

Before joining the Padres, Stansberry was hitting .273 with 33 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 75 RBIs, 83 runs scored, 70 walks and 10 steals in 124 games with Portland. He played for the World team in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend in San Francisco.

Originally selected by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Stansberry was claimed off waivers by the Padres on Dec. 20, 2006. He appeared in 12 Spring Training games with San Diego, hitting .286 (4-for-14).

"He was in Spring Training and he knew me, knew the guys," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He was comfortable."

Despite the long travel day, Stansberry soon learned the difference between the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues. He traveled first class.

"That was nice," Stansberry said.

Next step: Catcher Michael Barrett was advised to wait seven consecutive days without concussion-like symptoms before taking the next step. That time is now.

Black said Barrett will join Triple-A Portland for a rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz., with a goal of joining the Padres on Sept. 1.

"He's doing well," Black said.

On Aug. 10, Barrett took a shin to the helmet while trying to break up a double play in Cincinnati. Since then, he has endured some of the worst pain of his life and has contemplated a new catcher's mask for next season.

"The headaches were the worst part for me," Barrett said. "They were full-brain headaches. I can't even describe the pain."

Coming back from this injury was as difficult as any in his career.

"Guys like [former NFL quarterbacks] Troy Aikman and Steve Young, I don't know how you can have two or three concussions and continue your career," Barrett said.

Barrett said he has been catching bullpen sessions and blocking balls thrown at him.

"I feel as strong as I've felt all year," Barrett said.

Roster move: The Padres activated pitcher Tim Stauffer before Sunday's game and optioned Clay Hensley to Portland. Hensley pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits on Saturday night.

"I'm not ready to be that guy anymore," Hensley said of being sent down.

In three stints (12 appearances) with San Diego this season, Hensley is 2-3 with a 6.43 ERA.

Young update: Right-hander Chris Young had another positive day in his return from a sore lower back. Young felt tightness after Tuesday's start and has been in San Diego recuperating.

"He's getting better," Black said. "He's going to throw in the bullpen [Monday]. More will be determined after that session."

Here's a first: Terrmel Sledge hit his first career pinch-hit home run Saturday, a line shot off Phillies closer Brett Myers.

"I didn't know that," Sledge said. "I thought I had hit one before. When I hit it, I saw that the ball carries a little bit more here."

Back in the saddle: When you have the most saves in Major League history, a few are bound to get away from you. That's been the case for Trevor Hoffman, who has 33 saves this season, but he has blown five others.

For the record, Hoffman owns 515 career saves. Before a blown save on Aug. 10, he had converted 25 consecutive opportunities.

"It's tough to be invincible every time out," Black said. "You see that with the best of them. The guy doesn't have [515] saves for nothing. He knows how to do it."

Hoffman recorded No. 515 on Saturday despite allowing one run in the ninth inning of the Padres' 4-3 victory.

Old friends: Milton Bradley attended the same high school as Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Both players graduated from Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic High School. Bradley graduated in 1996 and Utley in '97.

Coming up: The Padres return to PETCO Park on Monday and send ace right-hander Jake Peavy (14-5, 2.21 ERA) to the mound to oppose D-backs righty Livan Hernandez (9-8, 4.96 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Andy Jasner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.