Before trip to Majors, Rearick pranked by manager

Before trip to Majors, Rearick pranked by manager

SAN DIEGO -- Pat Murphy was at it again Thursday. The manager for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate pulled another dandy prank on an unsuspecting player headed for a promotion to the big leagues.

Murphy's target on this occasion was 27-year-old left-handed pitcher Chris Rearick. It began as Murphy summoned Rearick into his office.

"He told me I had to cut my beard and that it came down from the top that I was going to be suspended for one game because my beard wasn't short enough," said Rearick, who wears a red beard, though not of great length.

"It does stick out a bit," Rearick said of his red beard.

Rearick believed the story because just the day before, several teammates were informed they needed to cut their hair, including right-handed reliever Brandon Maurer, who was also recalled Friday.

"I thought maybe I would get a warning. I thought that was a little unfair," said Rearick, who was then told of his promotion.

The Padres needed some bullpen depth after long reliever Odrisamer Despaigne jumps into the rotation for Ian Kennedy, who landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Maurer was added, too.

Right-hander Nick Vincent, who has pitched in three of the team's first four games, was optioned to El Paso. He would not have been available for two days or so, Padres manager Bud Black said, because of his heavy usage, including 40 pitches in Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Giants.

Rearick gives the team two lefties in the bullpen along with Frank Garces. Rearick impressed Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley in Spring Training, allowing but one hit to a lefty and posting a 3.12 ERA, with all three earned runs coming in one of his 11 appearances.

"I think it was very important. I think every outing in Spring Training was make-or-break for me, one way or the other, not just for this team, but for any other team that might have been watching me. It helped to come in and have a good Spring Training," Rearick said.

Maurer, obtained in December from the Mariners, had a 3.86 ERA in seven spring games.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.