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Quackenbush meets up with old pitching coach

Quackenbush meets up with old pitching coach

SAN DIEGO -- When reliever Kevin Quackenbush walked into the Padres' clubhouse on Thursday, it was not as if he walking into a room full of strangers.

After all, Quackenbush spent two days with the Friars at the end of April, as well as six weeks during the team's time in Arizona for Spring Training.

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Quackenbush found a familiar face when he walked out on the field as well, as he was reunited with his former pitching coach at the University of South Florida: Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.

Hernandez, who was a pitching coach for the Angels (1993-96), Rays (2004-05) and Tigers (2006-08), was at USF for two seasons after he was dismissed by the Indians along with manager Eric Wedge in 2011.

In fact, that 2011 season was Hernandez's first at USF and Quackenbush's senior season at the school.

"He was great to learn from," Quackenbush said. "He taught me a lot in that one year and I had my best year. I just picked his brain a lot. He has wealth of knowledge, he simplified my mechanics."

Quackenbush had a 4.54 ERA in 33 2/3 innings before Hernandez arrived, but the hurler thrived in 2011, posting an 0.81 ERA in 33 1/3 innings with 12 saves and 45 strikeouts. The Padres picked him in the eighth round of the First-Year Player Draft that year.

"He made it a lot more fun," Quackenbush said. "I wasn't so stressed and worried about getting outs. I was able to relax out there. I think before I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed instead of letting my stuff play."

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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