MILWAUKEE -- Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner -- one day after making his first start for San Diego -- will be optioned to the club's Double-A affiliate in San Antonio, according to manager Bud Black.
Starting in place of the injured Eric Stults, who is on the 15-day disabled list, Cashner went 2 1/3 innings while giving up one earned run and two hits in a 5-2 win over the Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park. But now Black said Cashner, who last started on April 5, 2011, for the Cubs, needs to build his endurance to transition from reliever to starter.
"I think [Saturday] was a building block for future starts, which will happen," Black said. "We're going to option him out to San Antonio, and he's going to start in the middle of the week for the Double-A club and continue to build a pitch count off of what he did [Saturday]."
Black also said reliever Brad Boxberger, who has a 4.70 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched for Triple-A Tucson this year, will be called up to replace Cashner on Sunday.
Although Saturday was only Cashner's second Major League start, he has started 42 games in the Minors and also was a starter in junior college. The right-hander, whose fastball touches triple digits, said going to San Antonio gives him a chance to work on the things he needs to be better at, without the pressure of pitching at the Major League level.
"I'm going to be working on my slide step a lot," Cashner said. "Really controlling the running game, throwing my offspeed, letting my offspeed work more instead of maybe guiding it in there here and there, [and] working on my breaking ball in some good counts."
Owings makes rehab start -- at first base
MILWAUKEE -- Padres pitcher Micah Owings, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a right forearm strain, made a rehab start for Triple-A Tucson on Friday.
But the right-hander wasn't on the mound, instead getting the start at first base. Owings went 1-for-2 on the night, one day after doubling in a pinch-hit appearance.
While his arm isn't ready for the strain of pitching, San Diego manager Bud Black said hitting is not a problem. And it's also something Owings has proven he can do effectively.
"I think that his situation is so unique, because there is a guy that likes the idea of hitting, is motivated to hit," Black said of Owings. "But [he is] also viewed as a Major League pitcher. This just gives the organization an opportunity to let him rehab the forearm to get healthy on the pitching side and also get some at-bats."
Owings pitched in six games for the Padres this year before going out with the injury. In 9 2/3 innings, he allowed eight hits and accumulated a 2.79 ERA.
At the plate, Owings struck out in his only two at-bats, but he's proven over the course of his career to be a more than capable hitter. In 219 plate appearances, Owings owns a .283 average, has driven in 35 runs and hit eight homers. His career slugging percentage is .502, including a career-high .683 in 2007, when he won the Silver Slugger award for pitchers.
Does that mean a switch to the field and more regular at-bats could be in Owings' future?
"I think time would have to let that play out," Black said. "But could he? Yeah. I think he's athletic enough to go to the outfield. I haven't seen him play first base or how his hands are really at a position that requires some athleticism and hands."
As far as batting goes, Black said Owings has good speed and strength in his swing. He doesn't expect the 29-year-old to ever be a Gold Glover in the outfield, should he make a move, but he said Owings would be serviceable.
Black closed saying Owings wouldn't make any position changes anytime soon, but he didn't rule it out for further down the line.
"There might be a motivation there at some point," Black said.
Forsythe settling in at second base
MILWAUKEE -- Padres infielder Logan Forsythe made his sixth start since coming off the disabled list on Saturday against the Brewers at Miller Park. All of those starts have come at second base, although he made most of his starts (21) at third base last season.
Forsythe, who was batting .412 with a home run and three RBIs in 17 at-bats entering Saturday, said he's grown comfortable with second base, especially as he continues to play there more.
"I've gotten a lot of reps there, too," he said. "The past year and a half or so, I've been switching between second, short and third, so it's not really a big difference. It's nice to be over there consistently and get put in situations to get a better feel for the position."
Earlier in the season, manager Bud Black talked about moving Forsythe to shortstop if needed. But with Everth Cabrera playing well and starting to produce offensively, Black said he's happy with the setup of the infield.
Fortunately for Black, Forsythe has shown he can play all three middle and left infield spots effectively.
"It helps a lot when we have to make moves during the course of the game, knowing that he can go to all three infield positions and have no qualms about it," Black said. "The versatility that a number of our players bring really helps us do a lot of things other teams can't do."
Forsythe said he doesn't know where he's playing each day until he sees the lineup, but there is one spot he'd prefer.
"I've always loved third," he said. "That's where I grew up playing, that's what I got drafted as. But I've been playing all three, switching on and off, so I'm pretty comfortable at all of them by now."
Venable back in starting lineup
MILWAUKEE -- Will Venable played for the Padres on Saturday for the first time since he strained his right oblique Sunday against the D-backs. The outfielder started in right and led off for the Friars.
"We gave him the allotted time needed to recover from the side injury," manager Bud Black said. "He feels good. He's confident where the side is. He's ready to go with no apprehension, so it's good to get Will back."
Venable owns a .268 average on the year with 12 RBIs and four homers. He had turned it up shortly before the injury, though, batting .307 with a .613 slugging percentage in his last 23 games.
On Friday, Venable took batting practice and treated the afternoon like a regular game day. After making it through that without any issues, he told the staff he was ready to go and found out he was starting when he saw the lineup for Saturday's game.
"Everything went well [Friday]," Venable said. "I felt good and responded well this morning. I felt better than I did the day before, even after all that stuff, so it's time to get back out there."
• Outfielder Carlos Quentin was out of the lineup for the Padres on Saturday after going 2-for-4 on Friday night. Manager Bud Black said he wanted to give Quentin a day off to rest the right knee he had surgery on during Spring Training. Black said Quentin would be available as a pinch-hitter or defensive substitute if he was needed.
"He's feeling good," Black said. "He came out of last night's game good. We want to keep it that way."
• Shortstop Everth Cabrera hit the first inside-the-park home run of his Major League career on Friday in San Diego's 9-5 loss. It also was the first inside-the-parker for the Padres since Aug. 5, 2010. Cabrera said it felt "really good" to come around and score, which he didn't expect to do.
"When I hit the ball I said, 'Maybe he'll catch it,'" Cabrera said. "But I kept running, and when I saw the ball get past [Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez], I thought it was a triple. But I saw the coach, 'Go, go, go, you got to go!' I said, 'Alright.'"
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.