Walker optimistic: Todd Walker stressed that no matter how his arbitration hearing goes on Tuesday, he is happy in San Diego -- and there will be no hard feelings if the Padres prevail with their $2.75 million offer against his $3.95 proposal.Walker, 33, is expected to play a backup role at three positions -- first, second and third. "Win or lose [in arbitration], I want to be back," Walker said. "Once that happens, I'm ready to play. It won't affect me after [Tuesday]. When you're younger, you want to get your at-bats, play. When you're older, you want to win. "When you play with a team that can win a World Series, it makes it a lot more fun. Nobody has a crystal ball, but I'm going to get my at-bats." Walker played 44 games with the Padres last year, batting .282 after arriving in a trade-deadline deal with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .278 overall, with nine homers and 53 RBIs and is a .289 career hitter. Walker feels he'll be more attractive to other clubs looking for infield help if he loses arbitration, adding, "The lower your figure, the more chance you're going to get moved -- especially in my case, when we already have a second baseman [Marcus Giles] and third baseman [newcomer Kevin Kouzmanoff]." Walker, Black said, "has that ability to move around the field. We love his bat, and I think he's underrated a little defensively. He's a part of this team that makes us better, absolutely." Starting depth: Black said the club plans to keep right-handers Mike Thompson and Tim Stauffer in starting roles rather than making them candidates for middle relief openings. Teammates the past two seasons at Triple-A Portland, Thompson and Stauffer have almost identical records as spot starters for the Padres. Thompson is 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA in 16 starts (19 games) for the Padres, while Stauffer is 4-6 with a 5.07 ERA in 15 starts (16 appearances). "At this point in their careers, those guys are starting pitcher depth," Black said. "You look at our five guys, it's pretty set. But in this game, a lot of things can happen. That's why you have to always be ready for the opportunity if there's something unexpected on the roster." A hard rain's gonna fall: Persistent showers shortened Monday's workout, but pitchers threw on the side under protection, and Black was pleased with their work. Clay Hensley felt he made progress with his changeup after some tips from Greg Maddux, who had Peavy reeling with a comment about "Kelly" Greene's fair skin making him vulnerable to the sun. "Who?" Peavy replied, before realizing Maddux was referring Greene. ... Adrian Gonzalez sold his Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, the new owner is turning it into a seafood establishment.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.