SAN DIEGO -- Had it not been for a series of injuries and ailments and, quite possibly, a heaping dose of bad luck, pitcher Kevin Cameron likely would have begun the season on the Padres' roster.
As it stands, it took Cameron just over two weeks to get back to the Major Leagues, as he was recalled from Triple-A Portland prior to Tuesday's game against Colorado at PETCO Park.
Relief pitcher Enrique Gonzalez, who had a 10.80 ERA in four games, was outrighted to Portland to make room for Cameron on the 25-man active roster. Gonzalez, out of Minor League options, cleared waivers on Tuesday.
Cameron struggled in Spring Training, though those issues weren't related to pitching, as he missed time with a hamstring injury, a broken left thumb and finally a nasty bout with the flu that stuck with him for two weeks, causing him to lose 12 pounds.
"It was just a nightmare," Cameron said.
Cameron was limited to just 4 1/3 innings in Spring Training. The right-hander was one of the final cuts in spring as the Padres decided that he needed additional time to regain his strength and stamina and to round back into pitching form.
It apparently worked, as Cameron allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings for Portland with four strikeouts.
Cameron said Tuesday he was back to full strength, though at times he likely wondered when he would shake the effects of the flu that spread through the clubhouse in Peoria, Ariz.
"That was bad," said Cameron, who was 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 48 games last season, his first in the Major Leagues.
Cameron likely will be used in short relief much in the way the Padres used Gonzalez.
"He's ready to go, had a couple solid outings in Portland," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We felt he was ready to make a contribution to our bullpen."
The Padres claimed Gonzalez off waivers from the Nationals on Feb. 5. Gonzalez last pitched for the Padres on Saturday, tossing a scoreless inning against the Dodgers.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.