Thornton placed on DL; Erlin recalled from El Paso

Thornton placed on DL; Erlin recalled from El Paso

DENVER -- As a non-roster invite on a Minor League deal, Matt Thornton pitched his way onto San Diego's roster with an impressive spring. But Thornton won't make his Padres debut any time soon.

The veteran left-hander, who has yet to enter a game this season, was placed on the disabled list before Friday's game against the Rockies with tendinitis in his left Achilles. Fellow southpaw Robbie Erlin was recalled from Triple-A El Paso.

Thornton, who posted a 2.18 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP with Washington last season, did not make the trip with the team to Colorado. He will be in a walking boot for two weeks and then will begin his recovery.

As for Erlin, his ability to pitch multiple innings has already proven pivotal for the Friars. He entered Saturday's 13-6 win over the Rockies in the fourth inning and was very impressive, tossing 3 2/3 shutout frames, while allowing only one hit.

"Robbie's a really versatile piece," said Padres skipper Andy Green. "He's a guy that can start, can pitch in long relief, can pitch out of the bullpen, can match up. So I think in time, you'll probably see him do all of those things."

Erlin was in competition for a rotation spot out of camp, but he was one of the club's final roster cuts before the season began. It didn't take long for Erlin to find himself back in the big league clubhouse.

In fact, in a bit of an odd coincidence, this marks the third straight year that Erlin has joined the team in Colorado after being recalled.

Until Friday's outing, Erlin hadn't appeared in a game since March 31 in El Paso, when he was roughed up to the tune of seven runs on 12 hits in four innings. Before that, however, Erlin was sharp in Cactus League play, posting a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings.

Erlin records fifth strikeout

Projected as the starting pitcher for El Paso's season opener on Thursday night, Erlin was given the news he'd be heading to Colorado instead. His most recent bullpen session came on Saturday in San Diego. Essentially, it's been a week of travelling for the 25-year-old lefty.

"That's just how it played out," Erlin said. "I haven't really given it too much thought. You just kind of expect that kind of stuff in this game. You've got to be on your toes and ready to move at the drop of a hat."

Worth noting

Wil Myers will spend some time working in the outfield during batting practice, but Green said that has nothing to do with the club's recent signing of first baseman James Loney to a Minor League deal. With Brett Wallace installed as the backup first baseman, Green said he'd like to keep Myers' bat in the lineup if and when Wallace cracks the starting nine.

• Catcher Christian Bethancourt will get his first start of the season either for Sunday's series finale against the Rockies or on Monday in Philadelphia, Green said. Bethancourt has yet to appear in a game this season.

• The Padres claimed left-handed reliever Brad Hand off waivers from Miami on Friday. In parts of five big league seasons with the Marlins, Hand posted a 4.71 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. With the move, San Diego has a full 40-man roster.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.