Bullpen roles to change, at least in short-term

Padres to shuffle relievers after struggle vs. Mariners

Bullpen roles to change, at least in short-term

SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Andy Green said Friday that bullpen roles would be changing after Thursday night's struggle, but he avoided getting into many specifics.

"I think you'll see some changes," Green said. "Four guys at this point have thrown back-to-back days so some of that change will take a while to evolve based on availability. ... I think we'll see guys in some different roles going forward."

One of those guys in a different role appears to be right-handed reliever Ryan Buchter, who Green used in the eighth inning during Friday's 4-0 victory over Colorado.

Aside from his poor outing on Thursday, Buchter has been a revelation this season. Over 25 innings, the rookie right-hander has allowed just six runs on 12 hits, and he's struck out 35. He retired the side in order Friday night.

"He'll probably be the primary setup guy for [Fernando] Rodney," Green said after the game. "And we'll go that route for the time being."

Despite some solid stretches, the San Diego bullpen has struggled as a whole so far. The group has posted a 5.06 ERA -- but those issues have been exacerbated recently.

Over the last seven days, Padres relievers have combined for a 9.35 ERA. The group has allowed 27 earned runs in the last seven games, with 10 of those runs coming in Thursday's loss to the Mariners.

"I don't think it's a long-term loss of faith in anybody," Green said about the forthcoming changes. "I think it's a short-term design to regain confidence in some of our relievers to put them in positions to succeed.

"I fully expect [that] the guys who get reshuffled a little bit will be back in the roles where they were, where they were succeeding and thriving for a portion of the year."

It seems likely that Brandon Maurer -- who had regularly been used as a setup man -- will be used in fewer high-leverage situations for a time. After Thursday's loss, Green said the club would "re-evaluate" Maurer's role.

In his first 18 games to start the season, Maurer posted a 3.57 ERA (seven runs in 17 2/3 innings) with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks. In his latest nine games though, he has a 15.26 ERA (13 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings) with six strikeouts and six walks.

"Get them out of the high-leverage role for a short period of time, and after that occurs they regain their confidence," Green said, "They find their footing again and they're off to the races throwing the ball well again.

Edwards fans the side in first rehab outing

A day after striking out the side in his first rehab outing for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, Jon Edwards was back in the Padres' clubhouse Friday, as he continues to recover from a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. Edwards said he was able to throw all of his pitches in Thursday's rehab outing and even incorporated a new-and-improved sinker, which he and pitching coach Darren Balsley began developing during the offseason.

"Balsley recommended it last year, we started talking and just thought it would be a good pitch for my arm slot," Edwards said. "I just kind of felt like once my four-seam command came along, I was able to let it work."

Edwards will throw again Sunday for Lake Elsinore, but the Padres will proceed with caution. He isn't slated to throw back-to-back outings for some time. That's the biggest hurdle he'd need to clear before being big league ready.

"It's been a little bit tough at times," Edwards said of his rehab process. "It's kind of tough to watch guys playing. You want to be out there playing, feel like you're contributing -- especially being in the clubhouse a lot of the time and around the guys."

Quotable

"It's one of those games you just get behind you at this point in time. That's one of those things that historically doesn't happen very often. But you don't dismiss it and try not to learn from it. I can promise you, I've rehashed every single at-bat in my head and. ... It comes down to: Learn from it what you can, put the guys in position to succeed, and move forward." -- Green on the Mariners' come-from-behind win Thursday

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.