LOS ANGELES -- Winning five of his first seven starts and positing a nifty 2.21 ERA wasn't enough to keep rookie pitcher Jesse Hahn in the big leagues, as the Padres on Saturday optioned him to Triple-A El Paso.
"He missed a take sign," quipped Padres manager Bud Black.
Black was laughing because Hahn is only headed to the Minor Leagues briefly because the team needed an extra position player for the final two games of the first half.
The team added infielder Jace Peterson before Saturday's game against the Dodgers. He had been with El Paso.
The roster move also allows the Padres to delay Hahn's reentry to the rotation in the second half, as the organization closely monitors his innings moving forward.
"This is a good time to give Jesse a couple-week break," Black said. "By slowing Jesse down a little bit we can keep a handle on his innings a little. This will give his arm a little of a breather."
Not that he's shown he needed it.
On Friday, Hahn held the Dodgers to one run over six innings with six strikeouts. Over his last six starts, Hahn is 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his first run in the big leagues.
Hahn has thrown a combined 79 innings this season between Double-A San Antonio and the big leagues. He threw 69 innings last season the Rays system, as that organization was bringing him back slow from 2010 Tommy John surgery. Black said it's unlikely Hahn doubles is innings output from a year ago.
The plan is for Hahn to join El Paso next week for a few days and then head back to San Antonio, where he will work out and get in one game, throwing only a few innings. He'll then rejoin the Padres, who can get by without a fifth start until July 26 in Atlanta.
Peterson is making his third stint with the Padres. He hit .100 in his first 50 at-bats with the Padres and a combined .294 in the Minor Leagues this season between San Antonio and El Paso.
The Padres needed an extra position player after playing one man short Friday after first baseman Tommy Medica injured his right groin on Thursday. He won't likely play in these next two games.