PEORIA, Ariz. -- When Carlos Quentin stepped into the box in the second inning Tuesday, it marked the first time he had faced live pitching in a game in just over seven months.
That point certainly wasn't lost on the Padres' left fielder.
"I thought about that yesterday, that I hadn't been out there in a while," Quentin said. "The live BP [in workouts] was interesting and was good, but you need a game to gauge where you're at, and to see the ball out of the pitcher's hand."
In that regard, Quentin's spring debut against the D-backs rated as a smashing success, as he hit a solo home run well over the fence in left field off Randall Delgado. He grounded out in the only other at-bat.
The last game Quentin appeared in was on July 30 of last season, as he was shut down because of pain in his right knee, which eventually needed surgery.
Quentin's home run off Delgado came on a 3-0 count and that fact that he swung at the pitch rated as something as a rarity -- and maybe something he wouldn't do in the regular season.
"Not necessarily," Quentin said. "It's something you have to work on. You either feel comfortable doing it or you don't. To be honest, I'm not usually comfortable doing it."
Quentin, who had surgery in August to remove debris and floating particles from his knee, was the last of the Padres' regular position players to make his Cactus League debut. The team isn't exactly easing him into games so much as wanting him to be healthy when the team breaks camp later this month.
Quentin got to show off the new stance he worked on a year ago with hitting coaches Phil Plantier and Alonzo Powell, which has him more upright in order to take pressure off his knees.
"When I first did it, I was fortunate to have some success with it and have some consistency with it," Quentin said of his stance. "This stance is a function of getting me on the field [more]."
Since the Padres traded for him on Dec. 31, 2011, he's had three knee surgeries.