CHICAGO -- Carlos Quentin, one of general manager Josh Byrnes' most important acquisitions of the past winter, made his Padres debut on Monday against the Cubs.
Quentin hit fourth and started in left field the same day he was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. Outfielder Blake Tekotte was optioned to Triple-A Tucson. Quentin hit an RBI double in his first at-bat with the Padres in the first inning.
Quentin had been sidelined since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19. He had two rounds of Minor League rehabilitation stints, after having a setback with his knee earlier in May.
Quentin's latest Minor League stint included games Friday and Saturday with Class A Lake Elsinore. He had four hits in those two games and declared his knee ready to join the Padres in Chicago.
Quentin flew from San Diego to Chicago on Sunday.
"We're excited to get him back," Padres manager Bud Black said Monday.
Quentin's arrival couldn't have come at a better time for the offensively-starved Padres, who went into Monday's game without a run in their last 26 innings before Quentin's double. Also, the team has been shut out three times in the first seven games of its 10-game road trip.
Black cautioned that Quentin's arrival doesn't mean the Padres' offensive woes will suddenly be cured.
"Again, he's only one of 25 guys," Black said.
That said, the Padres were excited to see Quentin in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Monday. Closer Huston Street even gave him a big hug.
"It doesn't matter if you're good or bad offensively, it's always good to get a guy back who has hit in the middle of the lineup like Carlos has," Padres catcher Nick Hundley said of Quentin. "We have high expectations for him."
Quentin has hit 121 home runs in his first six seasons in the Major Leagues. The Padres as a team have hit 18 home runs this season, the lowest among all 30 Major League teams entering Monday.