Padres continue to shift rotation

Padres continue to shift rotation

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' starting rotation continues to shuffle, as manager Bud Black said on Saturday that rookie pitchers Dirk Hayhurst and Chad Reineke will now throw out of the bullpen.

That means two openings in the rotation, though the Padres will activate Chris Young from the disabled list for the start Monday in Los Angeles.

The other start, coming Wednesday against the Dodgers, hasn't been announced, but there's a good chance it will be either veteran Shawn Estes or one of two rookies, Wade LeBlanc or Cesar Ramos.

Estes is close to coming off the disabled list. He has been inactive since May 29 with a fractured thumb.

LeBlanc and Ramos might be long shots, as they are still with Triple-A Portland, though the rosters expand from 25 to 40 players on Monday and both pitchers are expected to be added to the roster.

The Padres have made it clear they want to look at their young players over the final month of the season as they begin to prepare for 2009.

San Diego figures to have as many as three openings in the rotation behind Young and 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy.

Hayhurst got two starts and Reineke three for the Padres. Hayhurst allowed seven earned runs in eight innings. Reineke fared better, going 2-1 in three starts with a 4.50 ERA.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Jake Peavy (9-9, 2.84 ERA)
Peavy threw a season-high 121 pitches in his last start on Monday against Arizona and pitched well, though he earned a no-decision. Peavy allowed two runs on four hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 2.84 overall and 1.54 at home. He likely would have worked longer but the D-backs made him work. Peavy threw 36 pitches in the fourth inning alone, including nine to Chris Snyder, who eventually lined a two-run single into center field after fouling off five pitches.

COL: LHP Jeff Francis (4-8, 5.36 ERA)
Francis finally got rewarded with a win in his third consecutive quality start, allowing two runs in seven innings against the Giants on Monday night. He was winless in his five previous starts, which included three no-decisions. He still has trouble with the first inning, though, as he gave up both runs in the first and now has a 9.23 ERA in the inning as opposed to a 4.28 ERA in all other innings combined.

Tidbits
When rookie pitcher Josh Geer started Saturday for the Padres, he became the 11th Padres player to make his Major League debut this season. That's the second most in franchise history behind the 2002 team, which had 16 different players make their Major League debut. ... When rookie Will Venable tripled for his first Major League hit on Friday, he became only the second player in Padres history to triple in his first at-bat. John Sipin also did it on May 24, 1969. ... Closer Trevor Hoffman is three saves shy of 13 consecutive seasons with at least 30 saves.

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Up next
• Monday: Padres (Chris Young, 4-4, 4.74) at Dodgers (Greg Maddux, 6-11, 4.22), 5:10 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Padres (Cha Seung Baek, 4-8, 4.85) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 2-5, 4.56), 7:10 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Padres (TBD) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda, 7-10, 3.87), 7:10 p.m. PT

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.