SAN DIEGO -- Beginning Friday, Padres manager Bud Black will be allowed to add an extra hitter to his lineup, with the team playing the first of five consecutive Interleague road games.
The Padres play three games against the Rays and two more against the Orioles, part of 10 Interleague road games this season that will allow for the team to use the designated hitter.
"It's an opportunity for us to get another bat in the lineup. We like our bats," Black said.
Last season, the Padres didn't get much production from their designated hitters -- .235 batting average with four hits in 17 at-bats with one home run and two RBIs.
Black said that you can expect to see outfielder Carlos Quentin get several starts as the designated hitter as it will allow the team to continue its plan to give Quentin and his surgically repaired right knee a rest from playing in the field.
"We have to manage this for six months," Black said of Quentin's knee.
By using the designated hitter, the Padres will lose one option from their stable of bench players, though Black isn't too concerned about being short-handed.
"The thing with an American League game, with the DH, that guy is pretty stable in there the whole game," he said. "The flexibility you need to have in an NL game, you need extra players and versatile players. The AL game is pretty straightforward."
The Padres play two Interleague road games in Seattle on May 27-28. The team will then play a three-game series in Boston, July 2-4.