SD@SF: Quackenbush works a hitless fifth inning

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres reassigned four pitchers to Minor League camp Saturday, leaving the team with 51 players remaining in Major League camp.

Right-handed pitchers Kevin Quackenbush, Jason Ray and Matt Stites and left-hander Robbie Erlin were moved over to the Minor League side in the morning.

"All of these guys showed well in camp," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It was good to see Stites and Quackenbush up close and personal."

None of the four pitchers were on the 40-man roster and none were expected to make the Padres' 25-man Opening Day roster.

Quackenbush allowed one run in four innings in four games. He walked three and struck out two. He will likely begin the season with Double-A San Antonio or possibly Triple-A Tucson.

Stites yielded seven runs in four innings in five games. He'll likely start the season with Single-A Lake Elsinore.

Ray, who will likely start the season in Tucson, had a 6.75 ERA in three appearances. Finally, Erlin, who will likely be a part of the rotation in Tucson, had a 2.25 ERA in two games spanning four innings.

The Padres started camp with 67 players. The team will break camp on March 28, and will then head to San Antonio for two exhibition games against the Rangers before beginning the regular season on April 1 at Citi Field in New York against the Mets.

Denorfia ready to return to Cactus League action

Denorfia prepares for season, World Baseball Classic

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres manager Bud Black phoned outfielder Chris Denorfia earlier this week to tell him he could take a few days off after returning from his stint with Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

But by Saturday morning, Denorfia sounded as if he was ready to jump back into Cactus League action.

"I'm not quite sure how many more days I need off ... I'd rather just keep going," Denorfia said. "But I think it was good to step back for a couple of days and relax.

"That was very high-intensity baseball. I think that it almost surprises a lot of players who go for the first time."

Denorfia hit .381 in five games in the Classic for Italy, which lost a pair of one-run games this week -- 5-4 to the Dominican Republic and then a 4-3 setback in an elimination game against Puerto Rico. The team got to the second round by finishing second in Pool D in Phoenix.

This experience was far different than Denorfia's previous Classic stint in 2009, when Italy went 1-2 and didn't advance out of pool play.

"This year was different. It was definitely better," Denorfia said. "I feel the last time I was there, we were still not sure where we were in the World baseball-wise. This time, I not only felt like we like we belonged, but felt we were out to prove something. That's a fun way to play the game.

"I know there were some who took us lightly, but the teams across the way didn't."

Denorfia reported to camp in February ahead of the rest of the Padres position players, knowing that he would be pulled away when Italy competed in Pool D of the Classic in Phoenix. Italy and Team USA made it out of that pool, advancing to Miami.

Before leaving for the Classic, Denorfia amassed 16 at-bats in Cactus League games, hitting .375 with a double and two RBIs.

"I had my mindset to be ready earlier," Denorfia said. "I wanted to make sure I wasn't going there to get work in, but to perform."

Worth noting

• The organization had a couple of notable injuries to Minor League players Friday. Pitcher Tayron Guerrero hurt his right calf in a game. Guerrero, who was clocked as high as 99 mph, will miss an undisclosed amount of time. Infielder Casey McElroy suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder diving for a ball in a Cactus League game. McElroy, who split last season between Single-A Fort Wayne and Single-A Lake Elsinore, won't be ready for the start of the Minor League season.

• Padres manager Bud Black said after Saturday's game that left fielder Carlos Quentin -- who hasn't officially appeared in a Cactus League game yet -- will be the designated hitter in Peoria for one of the Padres' Minor League affiliates on Sunday. He will get as many at-bats as he's comfortable with.

Quentin has been slowed in camp after having minor surgery on his right knee in October. On Monday, he aggravated his knee and has participated in limited drills. Quentin did start as designated hitter in a game on March 8 against the White Sox and had two plate appearances, but the game was called because of rain.