LOS ANGELES -- Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained right elbow, two days after the elbow tightened up on him during some pregame long toss.Right-handed reliever Adam Russell was recalled from Triple-A Portland. "It makes sense from a making-space point of view, and I just want to get healthy and get back to I where want to be," said Blanks, who was batting .157 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. "I'm just out there running around and keeping my legs going. I can still run, so I need to run. I didn't throw. Just trying to leave it alone and do what it needs to do." Blanks was at least five days away from returning to baseball activities, manager Bud Black said. The injury is technically a strain of the flexor pronator, a forearm muscle around the elbow. Black said there was no ligament damage. "I still have some bite in there, it definitely feels tight," Blanks said. "We decided to put him on the list, let it quiet down, then jump back on the horse," Black said. Blanks will likely be sent for a Minor League rehab stint before returning to action, but he will stay with the team for this weekend's series in Seattle. He said Wednesday the time off could help him clear his head so that he can come back stronger at the plate.
Padres add Russell to bullpen mix
LOS ANGELES -- The Padres on Thursday recalled reliever Adam Russell from Triple-A Portland in place of injured outfielder Kyle Blanks, giving them 13 pitchers and four position players on the bench.Manager Bud Black said the increase in pitchers could be temporary, for only a couple days, but should help spell a bullpen that has been drained in the last week. The Padres and Giants played a 12-inning game on Tuesday, and in that game, reliever Joe Thatcher felt a strain in the lower left side of his back. Thatcher did not pitch Wednesday and is unavailable again Thursday night. He is not, however, believed to have an oblique injury, which can sideline pitchers for weeks. The Padres don't have to worry about double-switches and other National League maneuvering that could burn bench players this weekend. They're playing under American League rules in Seattle this weekend. "A four-man bench is doable, and especially moving into an American League game, it's more doable," Black said. "We felt as though we needed the pitching for the next day or two, and if that stabilizes itself, then we can maybe go to a position player." Russell, 27, has had two previous stints with the big league team this season. In 4 1/3 innings, he has not allowed a hit in the Majors this season. He was 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in 12 appearances for Portland. The Beavers had an off-day on Wednesday and took a three-stop flight home from Nashville, Tenn. Russell was told after landing he'd be rejoining the Padres in Los Angeles, and traveled to meet the team Thursday. "I'm excited to come back up to a first-place team," he said. "I love these guys."
Stairs shows there is still gas in the tank
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Stairs stole a base on Wednesday night for the first time since June 2008, when he was wearing a Blue Jays uniform.It was one of four steals on the night for the Padres, who, with a Major League-high 49 steals, are known for their speed. For Stairs, who's 42 years old and was a heavyset guy until he lost more than 30 pounds this winter, his fourth-inning steal in the Padres' 10-5 win was just the 29th of his Major League career. The Padres had already gone up 8-3 with five runs in the inning, and the Dodgers were using their second reliever, Jeff Weaver, when Stairs took second. "How old is he? You don't play until the age of 42 unless you know how to play this game and you have some athleticism in your game," manager Bud Black said. "You don't pass the test of time unless you're a good player. He was sizing up Weaver, and Weaver, probably like everybody, probably didn't think he'd steal at 42."
Headley quietly having strong season
LOS ANGELES -- Lost in the Padres' shuffle on Wednesday of Adrian Gonzalez's six RBIs Will Venable's attempt at the cycle was Chase Headley.Headley, batting .292 with three home runs and 16 RBIs, hit the second leg of back-to-back home runs with Gonzalez in the Padres' five-run fourth inning in a 10-5 win over the Dodgers. Headley finished 1-for-4 with two walks and has a three-game hitting streak. On Thursday, Headley received his first day off of the season, 40 games in. Headley said he was actually feeling tired on Wednesday night after the game for the first time this season, but he hadn't told manager Bud Black about it. "He does a pretty good job of kind of being able to see how guys are feeling," Headley said. "Last night, I was actually pretty tired. That was the first time I was really like, whew. I've played a lot of games in a row, it kind of caught up." Black also kept Venable, 4-for-5 and a home run shy of the cycle Wednesday night, in the leadoff spot on Thursday night. Black wasn't sure whether Venable, a left-hander, would start against Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw. "I know I want to be back out there, and I think after my at-bat against [left-hander George Sherrill], it was probably my best at-bat against a lefty this year," Venable said. Venable drew a full-count walk off Sherrill in his final at-bat of the night, in the ninth inning. Venable is 2-for-12 with one home run and two walks against left-handers this season.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.