NEW YORK -- Left fielder Carlos Quentin didn't get the start Thursday against the Mets, though manager Bud Black said it wasn't entirely because the team wanted to keep him off his right knee.
Quentin, who had minor surgery in October on the knee, aggravated his knee in Spring Training and didn't play in his first Cactus League game until March 26.
Instead, Black said he wanted to get some of his non-regulars into the lineup. That meant veteran Mark Kotsay starting in left field for the series finale at Citi Field.
"You've got to use your entire roster," Black said. "I thought that this was an opportunity to get Kotsay a start. You don't want them disconnected from game action for too long."
The team figures to give Quentin rest on occasion, and he'll likely serve as the designated hitter when the team plays road games in Interleague Play.
It wasn't just Kotsay who got his first start of the season Thursday. Catcher John Baker did as well, as Nick Hundley started the first two games of the series.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.