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Black wants starters to push for 200 innings

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- In a perfect world, Padres manager Bud Black will preside over a starting rotation filled with pitchers who can make 30-plus starts and reach or eclipse the 200-inning mark.

But that hasn't been something Black has seen often enough in his tenure with the team, which started in 2007.

The Padres have had just five pitchers in the last seven years reach or eclipse the 200-inning mark -- Jake Peavy in 2007 (223 1/3), Clayton Richard in 2010 (201 2/3), Jon Garland in 2010 (200), Richard in 2012 (218 2/3) and, last season, Eric Stults (203 2/3).

"It's a little different now. But that's been shaped by baseball in general, how we use our bullpens, how we manage our pitching staff," Black said. "Starts and innings have evolved to a certain standard now."

Much more so, Black said, than during his 15-year big league career (1981-1995), where he tossed over 200 innings in a single season five times, including throwing 257 innings for the Royals in 1984.

"You knew they [innings] were important [then]," Black said. "And they're important now. I tell our guys that. There was an expectation that this is what a starting pitching does. But the hard number [200] is talked about more than ever before."

Unlike years past, the Padres open Spring Training with a rotation that's essentially set: Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, newcomer Josh Johnson and Stults.

Cashner threw a career-high 175 innings last season and Ross reached a career-best with 125 innings. Kennedy has twice topped 200 innings in his career and Johnson has done so once.

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.

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