Cabrera hasn't just impressed with his glove in his first season in the Major Leagues -- he had never played above the Class A level before this season -- but with his bat and his raw speed, which has translated into a team-high 15 stolen bases this season.
San Diego manager Bud Black was asked Thursday if Cabrera, who has been caught twice and ranks seventh in the National League in stolen-base percentage (88.2), had the green light to run at any time.
"He's got the green light, even though there are times when he's not to run," Black said. "He's got to learn that 'I can't go here.' But in the course of his game, he's on his own."
On Aug. 3, in a 4-2 victory over the Braves, Cabrera literally ran himself into a run as he singled, stole second base and then stole third base. Cabrera then scored on a single for an important insurance run.
"The best basestealers are the ones who have no fear, they want to steal and so does that young boy," Black said. "That's what we love about the kid, isn't it?"
The Padres have well surpassed their stolen-base total of a year ago (36) with 52 steals through the first 110 games of the season.
Chase Headley has seven stolen bases and Tony Gwynn has six since coming over in a trade with the Brewers in May.
The Padres extended the contract of manager Bud Black before Thursday's game. He's now contracted through 2010 with a club option for 2011.
"This is the kind of team he likes managing," Towers said of a team that has players like Cabrera who have the ability to steal a base.
SD: RHP Kevin Correia (7-9, 4.73 ERA)
Black said pitcher Kevin Correia undoubtedly "deserved a better fate" in his last start, a 6-1 loss to the Brewers at PETCO Park. Entering the seventh inning locked in a tie, Correia had surrendered just one run and allowed one hit in a performance that Black called "great." He allowed two on base before exiting in the seventh -- an inning that resulted in five runs and appearances by three Padres relievers. Correia allowed three runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and two walks. "My command was just a little off, and I got through it, but the game just kind of slipped away," Correia said.
Perez was Perez again on Saturday against the D-backs, throwing 112 pitches while allowing six hits and five walks in five innings. He managed to limit the damage, however, to just three runs (two earned) by getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third with a strikeout and a double-play grounder. Perez next faces one of his former teams in the Padres, against whom he is 2-3 with a 4.55 ERA in six career starts. One of those two wins came on April 15 this season, when Perez had easily his best start of the year, giving up one run on three hits and two walks in six innings. In his three starts at PETCO Park, he is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. The current Padres' roster has had minimal success in its limited opportunities against Perez, going 7-for-33. Tidbits
When the Padres traded pitcher Chad Gaudin before Thursday's game, it left a hole in the rotation that won't need to be filled until Thursday in Milwaukee. Towers said that either Wade LeBlanc, Aaron Poreda, Josh Geer or Cesar Carrillo will get that start. ... The Padres traded Gaudin for a player to be named later or cash considerations. A decision will be made by Sept. 1 on what the Padres will receive in return from the Yankees. .... Towers on moving Gaudin and what it means for the rotation: "We've got some options. We'll continue to give young players more opportunities." ... Catcher Nick Hundley was 0-for-2 in his first Minor League rehab outing on Wednesday for Triple-A Portland. He then went 2-for-3 with an RBI on Thursday. ... Baseball Hall of Fame members Rickey Henderson and Dick Williams will be honored on Friday and Saturday, respectively, as part of Padres Hall of Fame Weekend. Williams will be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on Saturday. Tickets
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Saturday: Padres (Mat Latos, 3-1, 2.66) vs. Mets (Bobby Parnell, 2-1, 3.74), 7:05 p.m. PT
Sunday: Padres (Tim Stauffer, 1-3, 3.12) vs. Mets (Johan Santana, 12-8, 3.10), 1:05 p.m. PT
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.