"That's why he came out," Black said during his morning media session. "He might have come out anyway even if he was healthy just based on his pitch count. But he reported when he came out that he didn't feel like he could go back out."
Stauffer, who was the Padres' first-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, allowed four of the first five batters he faced to reach base, including a three-run homer off the bat of Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, his second of the spring. Stauffer was scheduled to throw two innings, but he said he was yanked by mutual consent with Black, who said at the time that Stauffer had already exceeded his pitch limit.
"I just didn't feel too great from the get-go," said Stauffer on Saturday after allowing three runs on three hits -- including the homer -- while walking one. "I kind of labored a little bit and didn't make too many good pitches. I just couldn't get it done."
Stauffer was probably ticketed for Triple-A Portland anyway as a fallback starter if any of the Padres' elder statesmen -- David Wells and Greg Maddux -- suffer injuries. Now right-hander Mike Thompson, who made 16 starts for the Padres last season, may be wedged into that position and kept on the team in a long relief role.
Thompson, who made 19 appearances and was 4-5 with a 4.99 earned run average in 2006, replaced Stauffer on Saturday and worked three innings of scoreless, two-hit ball.
"Mike did a good job," Black said. "It was good to see him throw three zeros in what you could call a long relief role. His innings were scheduled for the third and fourth."
As far as Stauffer is concerned, Black added: "It's March 18. If this is only a five-to-seven-day event, he'll be able to get back on the mound before Spring Training ends, get a start in or two, start the season in Portland and be in their rotation. If that's how it turns out, he'll be part of our [pitching] depth."
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Spring Training info:
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Jose Cruz Jr. is day-to-day with a slightly strained left hamstring also sustained in Saturday's game. Cruz went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his third of the spring. He's hitting .308 (8-for-26) in nine Cactus League games. Black said that holding out Cruz on Sunday was just a precautionary measure and the club would continue to monitor it during the next few days.
The Padres cut three more players prior to the game Sunday, leaving them with 39 in camp -- 32 on the 40-man roster and seven non-roster invitees. Reassigned to the Minor League camp were outfielders Will Venable and Adam Shabala and right-handed pitcher Aaron Rakers. Venable, one of the team's prized prospects, batted .316 (6-for-14) with two doubles and four RBIs in 14 Cactus League games. Shabala hit .l43 (2-for-14) in 12 games. Rakers made six relief appearances and had a 2.70 ERA (two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings).
Battle of the big-time ERAs:
Wells had one of those days you'd rather forget, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in three innings, including Paul Konerko's two-run homer. Trevor Hoffman's dismal spring continued. He pitched the seventh inning, allowing a run on two hits, giving him six earned runs and nine hits allowed in 3 2/3 spring innings. Hoffman's ERA actually dipped from 16.88 to 14.73. Wells, who also didn't cover first base on a grounder to Adrian Gonzalez, had his ERA jump from 11.57 to 15.26. Wells said it didn't matter what he did. "Whether I threw 98 [mph] or 87, they were destined to waffle the stuffing out of it."