CLEVELAND -- In previous seasons, when the Padres have traveled to an American League city, manager Bud Black has often used the designated hitter spot to get a position player off his feet defensively for a few days during an Interleague series.
A year ago, Carlos Quentin got 25 at-bats as a designated hitter in six Interleague games. He got 21 at-bats in five Interleague games the previous season.
But this season is different, as the Padres, just six games into the regular season, find themselves in an AL ballpark for three games this week against the Indians.
"I think this is the earliest Interleague series we've ever played," Black said.
The Padres decided to give Yasmani Grandal the start at designated hitter Monday, though that game was postponed by rain.
The club has three catchers on the 25-man roster and Grandal has already started three times with Rene Rivera getting two starts. Monday's game would have been the second start behind the plate for Nick Hundley.
Grandal, coming back from major surgery on his right knee last August, isn't to the point where he can catch nine innings in consecutive days. This allows the team to keep his bat in the lineup, as he has five walks and three hits in nine at-bats.
How will Black proceed with the designated hitter Tuesday and in Wednesday's doubleheader?
"I guess you'll know when we post the lineup," he said, smiling.