SAN DIEGO -- When Casey Kelly makes his Major League debut against the Braves on Monday night, he'll be the 15th starter used by the Padres so far this season. That ties a club record, though one that San Diego probably would rather have left untouched.
All that flux forced the Padres to turn to several arms that were barely on the organizational radar in Spring Training, but have nevertheless given the club some quality outings. While they struggled at times and while some have come and gone, six of those emergency pitchers -- Jason Marquis, Ross Ohlendorf, Eric Stults, Jeff Suppan, Andrew Werner and Kip Wells -- have combined to give manager Bud Black and his club 22 quality starts.
"A lot of guys have been given an opportunity -- back to Jeff Suppan, who pitched some great games for us, to Kip Wells, to Ross Ohlendorf, to Jason Marquis, Andrew Werner, and go down the line," manager Bud Black said. "They've pitched well and they've won some games."
Black credits his coaching staff, in particular pitching coach Darren Balsley and bullpen coach Jimmy Jones, for having "a lot to do with game planning and our catchers in getting these guys through games," Black said. "I think our coaches have done a great job with a lot of these players who have come in on short notice. For not being in Spring Training with us, having to come on board and make pitches in a new environment, the coaches deserve a lot of credit."
The Padres coaching staff has certainly gotten good at welcoming new pitchers, as 28 hurlers have pitched for the club this season. Only the Blue Jays, with 32, have used more.
In addition to those 15 starters, the Padres have called upon 15 relievers (Anthony Bass and Andrew Cashner have done both). Still, the San Diego staff has thrown to a 3.89 combined ERA coming into Monday, a number that places them in the top half of all big league teams.