Bonine brings knuckler to organization

SAN DIEGO -- Two of the Padres' top Minor League pitching prospects -- Burch Smith and Matt Wisler -- made starts for their respective teams on Tuesday.

Smith was pitching for Double-A San Antonio, while Wisler got a start for Class A Lake Elsinore. Smith is rated as the Padres' 20th-best prospect, while Wisler is No. 8, according to MLB.com .

However, the most intriguing arm in the system that got a start on Tuesday might have been right-hander Eddie Bonine, who signed a Minor League deal with the Padres last week after he was released by the D-backs.

Bonine got the start on Tuesday for Triple-A Tucson. He's doing so as a knuckleballer, a pitch that he has used occasionally before. He missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Bonine, 27, appeared in parts of three seasons (2007-10) with the Tigers. He had a 6.30 ERA over four games with the D-backs' Triple-A team in Reno before being released.

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.