Welcome to the new Daily Star blog that will focus on Tucson Padres action throughout the season. You will be able to find news and notes here along with whatever else comes up.
To get us started:
- Third baseman/ left fielder James Darnell returned to Tucson's lineup Sunday after missing Saturday's game with a minor fingernail injury. Manager Terry Kennedy wanted to get Darnell a day off anyway, so Saturday worked for both sides. Darnell played left field in the team's opener, but has played third base in the two games since. He singled in his second at-bat on Saturday and scored, appearing to be totally healthy.
- First baseman Matt Clark got his first off day of the year Sunday. The 25-year-old has struggled so far in the team's first series and like Darnell, Kennedy wanted to give him a day to regroup. He's expected to be back in the lineup Monday. Infielder Everth Cabrera and catcher Yasmani Grandal also got a break.
- Even though Tucson has played just four games this season, Kennedy's squad has already lost two pitchers to the big leagues. Lefty reliever Josh Spence was called up the major leagues prior to Sunday's game. Right-handed reliever Brad Brach was called up before Tucson even played a game. Spence went up because San Diego placed Dustin Moseley on the disabled list. Kennedy wasn't sure when Spence's Triple-A roster spot would be filled.
- Kennedy, the former big league catcher with 113 home runs, offered his take on some of his favorite backstops to watch these days. Kennedy said his favorite is Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann. Kennedy said he also enjoys watching Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, the Giants' Buster Posey and of course Minnesota's Joe Mauer.
- Starting pitcher Jeff Suppan is expected to return to San Diego's spring training facility in Peoria this week and is expected to face some hitters in extended spring training. Suppan has been bothered by a tricep injury and Kennedy estimated that he's about two weeks away from returning. Kennedy said he didn't have a timetable for infielder Logan Forsythe's return.
- Finally, we'll get into this much more on this blog soon, but for fans of prospects, Wednesday's Tucson matchup with Sacramento could be fun to watch. Tucson's Casey Kelly, the top pitching prospect in San Diego's organization, is scheduled to go to head-to-head with Jarrod Parker, Oakland's No. 1 prospect overall according to mlb.com. That should be some great competition to watch.