SAN DIEGO -- Consider Padres manager Bud Black a big fan of Marlins closer Heath Bell, unless Bell happens to be pitching in the ninth inning of a game this weekend."When an opposing player is part of your past, it's a little different," Black said on Friday. Black would certainly know, as his first season as manager of the Padres (2007) was also the first one for Bell, who served as Trevor Hoffman's setup man for two seasons before following that up with three All-Star seasons as closer. "He was jovial, he was loose, he was about the team -- not Heath," Black said. "I didn't have to worry about his heart and mind being in the right place." Former Padres general manager Kevin Towers got Bell from the Mets in the winter of 2006, the same winter the team hired Black. In his final three seasons with the Padres, Bell had 132 saves, the most of any pitcher in the Major Leagues over that time. "When Heath came here, he had a new lease on life," Black said. "We got a guy who had something to prove. And he proved it. I liked the day-to-day consistency he came to the park with." Bell signed a three-year deal in December with the Marlins worth $27 million. The Padres received two additional picks as compensation -- the 33rd and 70th selections in this June's First-Year Player Draft.
Street sustains shoulder strain
SAN DIEGO -- Padres closer Huston Street left in the 10th inning of Friday's 9-8 loss to the Marlins in 12 innings with what the team called a posterior strain of the right shoulder.Street got two outs in the 10th inning before walking pinch-hitter Logan Morrison. That's when he made a motion with his hand to the dugout. Manager Bud Black and assistant athletic trainer Paul Navarro went to the mound and Street left shortly thereafter. Street hopes the injury isn't serious. "By the end of the inning, [the pain] got a little sharper," Street said. "You know when something is not right. I just said, 'Something in there is not right.' But I don't think it's anything major." Street, who has a 0.93 ERA and four saves in 10 games this season, said the pain radiated more from his lat muscle than the shoulder itself. "I think that's a positive sign," he said. Black said Street will have an MRI exam on his shoulder on Saturday. "There is a little bit of discomfort, but we don't know the severity of it yet," Black said.
Luebke may be facing elbow surgery
SAN DIEGO -- Padres pitcher Cory Luebke won't be returning from the disabled list anytime soon and could be headed toward surgery on his left elbow.San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes said on Friday that Luebke -- on the DL with a strained elbow -- would meet with the Padres' doctors to get a better idea of what the next step will be, presumably rest and rehabilitation or surgery. Luebke had an MRI exam on Wednesday. The team was off on Thursday. San Diego manager Bud Black said that he hadn't seen the results of the MRI, though he certainly didn't sound optimistic when asked when or if Luebke would return. "This one I'm cautious about," Black said. "We want to make sure we're going down the right path." Luebke was unavailable after batting practice on Friday as he was meeting with Byrnes and the medical staff in the clubhouse. "We'll figure out what the next course of action will be and where we're going to take it," Byrnes said before the start of Friday's game against the Marlins. "We'll have a better idea in two to three days." Byrnes was asked if surgery would be avoidable for Luebke, who first noticed soreness in his elbow during the fourth inning of his start on April 27 against the Giants. "Surgery, in general, is the last resort," Byrnes said. "We're going to explore our options and talk to Cory and see how he feels." Luebke, who in March signed a contract extension that will guarantee him $12 million and could keep him in San Diego through 2017, is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
Brach rejoins Padres bullpen
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres recalled right-handed pitcher Brad Brach from Triple-A Tucson on Friday to take the place on the roster that previously belonged to reliever Ernesto Frieri.On Thursday, the Padres sent Frieri to the Angels for two Minor Leaguers, infielder Alexi Amarista and right-handed pitcher Donn Roach. This is Brach's second stint with the Padres this season. He made the Opening Day roster and was optioned to Tucson on April 16 after posting a 5.06 ERA in five appearances. In seven outings with the Tucson Padres, he had a 2.70 ERA. What did Brach work on most after being sent to Tucson? "I just tried to pound the strike zone more," he said. "I did some things up here that I had not done before. I was falling behind. I wanted to get back to throwing my slider more for strikes."