SAN DIEGO -- It was late Tuesday night when Padres manager Bud Black informed reliever Brad Brach that he wouldn't be on the Opening Day roster and instead would be headed to Triple-A Tucson. That's not all Black told him, though. "They said to just be ready and that they would need me at some point during the season," Brach said.
The Padres didn't wait long. In fact, less than 24 hours later, Brach was told to turn his car around and get back to San Diego, as he was added to the 25-man roster after pitcher Tim Stauffer went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. Brach didn't see it coming, and had he not waited until late Wednesday afternoon to leave San Diego -- he had to pick up his girlfriend from the airport -- he might have been further along in his drive, his 2006 Saturn Vue packed with his belongings. Brach, who posted a 1.69 ERA in 12 games this spring, said he smiled the entire trip back to San Diego. "I was thinking about it a lot [on the drive to Tucson], how disappointed I was," Brach said. "It's funny how one phone call could change that."