SAN DIEGO -- Dale Thayer was beaming Monday in the Padres' clubhouse, as the reliever returned to the active roster after being away for the weekend on the paternity list.
Thayer missed the Padres three-game sweep of the D-backs after flying to Phoenix on Thursday only to return to San Diego hours later for the birth of his third child -- a daughter named Ella Grace -- who was born prematurely in the early hours of Friday morning.
Thayer made it to the hospital in San Diego with 100 minutes to spare, a small enough window to cause Thayer to sweat just a little.
"She waited it out," Thayer joked.
This is the first time that Thayer's wife, Lisa, had given birth during the baseball season. The other two children were born in the offseason.
"I talked to her on the off-day [Thursday] before the flight and she was having some contractions. But then by the time we landed in Phoenix, it had gotten worse. That's when I got on a plane back here."
Thayer said that because the hospital wasn't showing games, he could keep track of how the team was faring only via his phone. But, of course, most of his attention was elsewhere.
"They're doing well," Thayer said of mom and daughter.
In order to reinstate Thayer from the paternity list, the team optioned left-handed reliever Josh Spence to Triple-A Tucson. Spence didn't appear in any of the game against the D-backs.