Cahill, Weaver, Friedrich closer to return

Healthy return of the 3 would force changes in rotation

Cahill, Weaver, Friedrich closer to return

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Christian Friedrich made his second rehab start with Double-A San Antonio Sunday, allowing two hits and two walks over four scoreless innings.

Jered Weaver pitched three innings in a simulated game in Milwaukee on Friday and is scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A El Paso on Thursday.

And Trevor Cahill is expected to throw a bullpen session at Wrigley Field in Chicago Monday and could face live hitters later this week.

Three starting pitchers are on the road to returning to the Padres rotation, which right now includes Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Luis Perdomo, Dinelson Lamet and Miguel Diaz.

The time schedule is uncertain. Pitchers get longer rehab assignments and there could be setbacks. It could be after the All-Star break before two of three re-enter the picture. But they are on the road back.

Eight goes into five?

As all managers like to say: "These things have a way of working their way out." But the addition of possibly three healthy starters does raise some interesting questions. That's if all three remain healthy.

Most likely, 22-year-old Rule 5 pick Diaz would return to the bullpen if for no other reason than to limit his innings and continue his development. He has never pitched more than 94 1/3 innings a season above low Clas A thus far. He is at 28 1/3 innings thus far with more than half a season to go -- and these are Major League innings. Two starts thus far have lasted a total of 5 1/3 innings.

Chacin and Richard are fixtures in the rotation, unless a contender might desire their services in a trade.

That leaves 24-year-olds Lamet and Perdomo. At some point, the Padres might seek to limit the innings of each.

Cahill had a 3.27 ERA in seven starts. But his second stint on the disabled list -- with right shoulder inflammation -- began on May 17. Weaver's left hip sidelined him on May 20 when he was 0-5 with a 7.44 ERA in nine starts with 16 homers allowed in 42 2/3 innings. Friedrich has been on the disabled list since Spring Training.

There is also no guarantee that Cahill, Weaver and Friedrich will complete their rehab assignments without further delays.

Noteworthy

• Looking back, 24 of the 26 runs scored by both teams in the three-game, Padres-Brewers series in Milwaukee came on home runs. The only two that didn't came on Hunter Renfroe's run-scoring double in the second game and Erick Aybar's run-scoring single Sunday.

• Aybar is 7-for-19 in his last five starts with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

• CF Manuel Margot is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso Monday. Margot has been on the disabled list since May 25 with a right calf strain.

• 2B Yangervis Solarte is 9-for-24 in a six-game hitting streak. It is tied for his second-longest hitting streak of the season.