Tucson Padres: Can't tell players even with program

San Diego injuries make roster turnover even worse for Pads
2012-05-22T00:00:00Z Tucson Padres: Can't tell players even with programDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 22, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Anthony Contreras remembers playing a handful of games in left field in his first professional season seven years ago.

Since then?

"Maybe about five innings total," Contreras said with a smile. "Not a lot, that's for sure."

But, on Sunday and Monday, the 28-year-old career middle infielder found himself starting in left.

That's what happens when a team has 53 transactions in 43 games, as the Tucson Padres have this season.

Manager Terry Kennedy has been forced to get creative with his lineup, playing with a 22-man roster at times instead of the maximum number allowed, 25.

The biggest reason behind that has been the number of injuries at the big-league level. San Diego currently leads the major leagues with 14 players on the disabled list. That's meant a lot of late-night calls to Kennedy from San Diego asking players from Tucson to head to the big leagues as soon as possible.

The organization often hasn't filled the vacated roster spots right away, leaving Kennedy shorthanded. He managed the majority of the previous series with two true outfielders on his roster. Of the 25 players who were on the opening day roster, only 13 remain.

"It can get interesting at times, but that's life as a Triple-A manager," Kennedy said. "It has been worse this year than most years, but you just deal with it."

The Padres are on pace for nearly 200 transactions. The most Kennedy has ever had in a season is 178, last year's total.

Here's a closer look at the team's personnel and how it's changed since opening day on April 5.

Starting pitchers

The originals: Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland, Jorge Reyes, Josh Geer, Matt Palmer

The current crew: Reyes, Kip Wells, Colt Hynes, Tom Layne, Bear Bay

What happened: Kelly is on the disabled list with elbow problems. Wieland is one of the 14 big leaguers on the DL, while Palmer was recently called up. Geer was demoted to Double-A and Reyes is still in the rotation.

Notable: Only Reyes and Wells were full-time starters before the season. The other three have all been pressed into the rotation with all the changes.

Relief pitchers

The originals: Hynes, Cory Burns, Alex Hinshaw, Eddie Kunz, Brad Boxberger, Dale Thayer, Brian Tallet, Josh Spence

The current crew: Burns, Boxberger, Spence, Erik Hamren, Jason Ray, Anthony Reyes, Will Scott, Nick Vincent

What happened: Hinshaw and Thayer are both currently in the big leagues with Thayer serving as San Diego's closer. Hynes was moved into the rotation. Kunz was demoted to Double-A and Tallet was released.

Notable: Boxberger and Burns are the only two relievers who have been in the bullpen all season. Spence had a short stint in the big leagues.

Position players

The originals: Matt Clark, Vince Belnome, Anthony Contreras, Beamer Weems, Amadeo Zazueta, Sawyer Carroll, Daniel Robertson, Blake Tekotte, Everth Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Davis.

The current crew: Clark, Contreras, Weems, Zazueta, Carroll, Robertson, Grandal, Davis, Logan Forsythe, Jedd Gyorko, Jonathan Roof, Kyung-Min Na.

What happened: The position players have had the least turnover on the roster and Tucson has been able to retain a lot of talent with Clark, Grandal and others. Tekotte and Cabrera are both in the big leagues.

Notable: Robertson, Carroll and Clark all have 150-plus at-bats on the year and have been the team's most consistent players.

¡Tus Padres!

Padres 9, Memphis 3

• Highlight: Colt Hynes earned his first win of the season, throwing 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and striking out five. The top five hitters in Tucson's lineup combined for 11 hits, eight RBIs and eight runs scored in the win. Matt Clark and Jedd Gyorko had back-to-back home runs.

• Big number: 5: 23-year-old Jonathan Roof had three more hits Monday and now has five hits in seven at-bats since being called up to help fill out Tucson's roster.

• Tonight's starters: LHP Nick Addition, Memphis (1-3, 5.32 ERA); RHP Bear Bay, Tucson, (0-1, 9.45 ERA)

Daniel Berk

Today

• Who: Memphis at Padres

• When: 7:05 p.m.

• Radio: 1600-AM

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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