PITTSBURGH -- Padres manager Andy Green said Friday that outfielder Travis Jankowski's health is no longer an issue. All the reports he received about Jankowski's rehab assessment were positive. But what Jankowski needs at the moment is consistent at-bats, and that's not available right now in San Diego.
That's why the Padres activated Jankowski from the 60-day disabled list then optioned him to Triple-A El Paso on Friday. Jankowski hasn't played since April 22, so the Padres would rather have him get regular at-bats in El Paso than be the Padres' fourth outfielder.
"It's a tough [decision] because he's been a big part of what we've done here in a year-plus," Green said. "We wanted to give him consistent at-bats. Where our outfield shapes up right now, we are still pretty committed to giving the three guys that are out there consistent at-bats. Travis coming in as a fourth outfielder and subbing for those guys on occasion probably wasn't the best at this point after he's missed so much time.
"But we fully expect to see him back here at some point."
Jankowski was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an injury to his right foot, then moved to the 60-day DL when it was discovered his foot was broken. He was hitting .160/.263/.180 with one extra-base hit in 17 games before going on the DL.
Jose Pirela, meanwhile, has stepped up in Jankowski's absence. Since being called up in early June, he has slashed .293/.332/.505 and is slugging .857 since the Padres placed him in the third spot in the lineup Saturday.
Green said it was imperative to keep Pirela's bat in the lineup and was a factor in the decision to option Jankowski to Triple-A.
"If we didn't have someone up here playing as well as Pirela, we would probably bring Travis back right away," Green said. "Pirela has been providing offense for a team that's largely starved for it most of the season. We need that bat in the lineup, and we are going to keep that bat in the lineup."
Friedrich rehab assignment
Christian Friedrich is scheduled to throw a maximum five innings during a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore on Saturday. Friedrich was placed on the 60-day DL in April with a left elbow strain and hasn't pitched in a game this season. He was shut down for most of July after suffering soreness.
"He's just had a hard time getting over the hump," Green said. "We are trying to build him back up again. The hope is that this time it actually works."
Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.