Padres honor military with camo uniforms
Players petition to wear special jerseys in opener vs. Pirates
SAN DIEGO -- When a number of Padres players received the word Sunday night about successful military activities against Osama bin Laden, they were inspired to do something special.
The idea to wear the club's camouflage uniforms on Monday night -- a tradition usually reserved for Sunday afternoon games -- began to take hold, and when the players arrived in the clubhouse, those honorary jerseys were hanging at each locker.
Manager Bud Black said the support for the idea came directly from the players, who wanted to acknowledge the military campaign against the leader of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
"The players came up with it," Black said. "I'm not sure where it started. I think Chase [Headley] was one of the first guys that talked about it. It gained a lot of support over a period of time, and we said, 'We're gonna do it.'"
The team further acknowledged the armed forces that make up so much of San Diego's population by offering two free tickets to active or retired members of the military.
"I think it's a great tribute to what happened," said Ryan Ludwick. "I think it's a great tribute to the troops who are out here each Sunday, and what better day to bust [the jerseys] out than after what happened. I watched the President's whole speech, and it was unbelievable. I told my wife afterward I wanted to go out in the streets and start celebrating."
That sentiment was shared throughout the Padres' clubhouse on Monday, where most of the televisions were tuned to news stations covering the military strike. Generally before games, those TVs show baseball from around the league, or other sporting events.
Thatcher has successful exploratory surgery
SAN DIEGO -- Reliever Joe Thatcher had exploratory surgery on his left shoulder Monday, but he could return to the Padres this season.
Manager Bud Black said Thatcher's prognosis calls for no throwing for six weeks, at which time Thatcher could rehab and contribute to the club before season's end.
"After that, there will be continual checks on him," Black said. "He could be pitching again this season."
That outcome is the better of two possibilities Thatcher discussed before the surgery, indicating that a more serious procedure -- and longer recovery time -- was a possibility. In this case, Thatcher will begin a throwing program with eyes on returning to the same form that saw him post a 1.29 ERA over 65 games in 2010.
Team doctor Heinz Hoenecke performed the arthroscopic surgery at Scripps Clinic, removing debris from Thatcher's labrum.
"I don't want to get too technical, but [the surgery] was successful," Black said. "There is a probability that Joe will be pitching again this year for us. They performed a debridement of his shoulder capsule."
Thatcher, on the disabled list since March 22, experienced a setback in a bullpen session last week. The decision to operate on the sore shoulder, which also plagued him early last season, was made soon thereafter.
Everth out six weeks with broken bone in hand
SAN DIEGO -- Shortstop Everth Cabrera broke the hamate bone in his right hand and will be out for six weeks -- two seasons after suffering the same injury in his other hand.
Cabrera, playing at the Triple-A level, returned to San Diego on Monday to have the hand examined. He was hitting .282 with 10 stolen bases in 22 games for the Tucson Padres.
San Diego manager Bud Black had received positive reports on Cabrera's play from Tucson manager Terry Kennedy.
"[Kennedy] said that he's playing well, his defense is pretty steady," Black said. "Getting his stolen bases, getting some hits. I think if you picture the way [Cabrera] plays, that's how he's been playing."
After getting off to a fast start in 2009, the Rule 5 Draft pick suffered the broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a pitch. He returned two months later and ultimately played in 103 games in the Majors, collecting 25 steals during his rookie campaign.
Plagued by injuries again last season, Cabrera went on the disabled list twice with hamstring issues. He played in 76 games, batting .208 and stealing 10 bases.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.