Where do Padres go for another starter?

Top healthy options are RHPs Lamet, Lockett at Triple-A

Where do Padres go for another starter?

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

With Trevor Cahill going on the 10-day disabled list, right-hander Jarred Cosart moves into the Padres rotation to make Thursday afternoon's start against Milwaukee in the finale of a four-game series at Petco Park.  

But what happens if the Padres need another starting pitcher? What if there is another injury? Or what if Jered Weaver's excellent start against the White Sox last Sunday was more an anomaly than a reversal of recent fortunes?      

Left-hander Christian Friedrich, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with lat and elbow issues, has just started throwing bullpens at the Padres' year-round training base in Arizona. He is not yet facing hitters, and there will be a lengthy rehab assignment after that step.   

And left-hander Zach Lee just went on the disabled list at Triple-A El Paso.   

The next candidates are probably Triple-A El Paso prospects Dinelson Lamet and Walker Lockett, or possibly Rule 5 Draft pick Miguel Diaz.   

Lamet, 24, is rated the Padres No. 10 prospect by MLBPipeline.com. He is 2-2 with a 3.55 earned run average for the Chihuahuas. But he is not on the 40-man roster and has blown hot-and-cold in his starts this season. The 40-man roster question is probably not an issue because the Padres could transfer outfielder Travis Jankowski to the 60-day disabled list.   

Lockett, 23, has a 4.84 ERA with El Paso. But he has a 4-1 record. And two of his road starts were at Reno and Salt Lake, two of the Pacific Coast League's most hitter-friendly parks. He is already on the Padres' 40-man roster.  

Diaz, 22, is an interesting possibility. It was about this time last season that the Padres moved another Rule 5 pick (Luis Perdomo) from being the long man in bullpen to the rotation. And Padres manager Andy Green mentioned that possibility for Diaz on Wednesday afternoon.   

"At some point of time, I can see Diaz starting for us before the year is out," said Green.   

Diaz has an 8.35 ERA after 16 appearances. But he worked three scoreless innings in his most recent outing (Tuesday night) after making only one outing in the nine previous days while working with pitching coaches Darren Balsley and Doug Bochtler on some changes to his delivery and approach (much like they did with Perdomo last year).   

GAME NOTES   

• Luis Urías -- at 19, the youngest player in the Double-A Texas League -- has been added to MLBPipeline.com's list of the Top 100 Prospects. He comes in at No. 100. Urías, who is hitting .338 for San Antonio, is the fourth Padres prospect on the list, joining Anderson Espinoza (No. 21), Cal Quantrill (No. 88) and Adrian Morejon (No. 94).

Jhoulys Chacin allowed a run on two hits and two walks with a season-high eight strikeouts Wednesday night. Over his four starts at Petco Park this season, Chacin has allowed two runs on 12 hits and seven walks with 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. That is a 0.67 ERA, a 0.704 WHIP and a .132 opponents' batting average.

"My slider was great today and I really like pitching here at home," said Chacin.  

Kevin Quackenbush was recalled from Triple-A El Paso to take Cahill's spot on the 25-man roster. It marked the fourth time since April 14 that Quackenbush has been recalled from El Paso, with three of the four being as an injury replacement. Quackenbush has a 3.68 ERA with the Padres in six appearances covering 7 1/3 innings.   

Brandon Maurer is 0-2 with two blown saves in his last four appearances. Over those four games Maurer has given up nine runs (all earned) on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

"I don't look at his stuff and be concerned at all," said Green. "Brandon last year had a stretch similar to this."