DENVER -- Twenty-year-old rookie Luis Torrens got his first big league start in the series opener in Colorado on Monday.
Though the Padres had four catchers on their Opening Day roster, manager Andy Green describes Christian Bethancourt -- a catcher throughout his previous four big league seasons -- as a reliever who can catch, play the outfield, and pinch hit. Hector Sanchez, the primary back-up backstop, is on the disabled list. Starting catcher Austin Hedges has caught six of the Padres' first seven games, and is off to an 0-for-18 start.
Green said Torrens' start is more about Hedges needing a break than anything else.
"I did the same thing to Torrens I did to [Allen] Cordoba, which is give them no heads up whatsoever," Green said of the first start for his two Rule 5 position players. "I figured it would probably keep them sleepless all night. I'd rather ambush them with their first start. I'll communicate better in the future, but I deliberately told them nothing. Probably got their juices flowing when they came in and looked at the lineup card."
Torrens is now 0-for-4 this season after going hitless in two at-bats in Monday's 5-3 win over the Rockies.
Sanchez hit in the batting cage Monday and is optimistic about getting back on time, according to Green. He told his manager the concussion is "incredibly mild" compared to others he's been through.
Capps on tap
Right-handed reliever Carter Capps is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance Tuesday with Class-A Lake Elsinore. Capps is returning from Tommy John surgery he underwent March 8, 2016. He's scheduled to pitch an inning.
Speed bump for Baumann
Left-handed reliever Buddy Baumann is making a slow recovery from a sore shoulder that put him on the disabled list to start the season.
"Slow sledding for Buddy," Green said. "He's started to throw, but very lightly. He was throwing 30-foot rainbow throws and didn't feel perfect. So we're hopeful he gets back. He had an outstanding Spring Training. He threw the ball very well for us. I was excited about factoring him into our bullpen. But he'll be a depth guy at some point in time when he gets back."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.