PADRES UPDATE : NOTEBOOK / ALAN DROOZ : Maddux Activated; Hernandez Shipped to Triple-A Las Vegas
In the Padres’ latest bullpen maneuver, right-hander Mike Maddux was activated Sunday and right-hander Jeremy Hernandez was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas. The move leaves the Padres with three right-handers and three lefties in the pen.
Hernandez, 25, was 0-1 with a 6.39 earned-run average in eight games. Opponents had hit him for a .354 average despite 12 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.
Maddux, who was on the disabled list with a sore elbow, is considered a versatile middle reliever and spot starter. Maddux hasn’t pitched yet this season but was 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA last year.
Hernandez said he wasn’t surprised to be sent to Las Vegas. “I kind of thought it was coming,” he said. “I didn’t do quite as well as I’d hoped. I’m kind of disappointed in myself. I may have thrown the ball well but the consistency wasn’t there. Now I have to show ‘em what I can do.”
Tough Weekend Dept.: Hernandez’s demotion was merely the capper to a rough couple of days for the right-hander. On Friday, Hernandez discovered his truck was stolen from the parking lot at the hotel where he had been staying.
Hernandez had many of his belongings, including most of his clothes, in the truck. That night, he was the losing pitcher in the 16-inning, 7-6 loss to the Reds.
There continues to be no love lost between the Padres and Bip Roberts, who was traded to Cincinnati over the winter.
In the seventh inning, with Padres catcher Dann Bilardello on first, Tony Fernandez hit a grounder toward Roberts, who was playing second. Roberts, Bilardello and the ball all converged, and Bilardello knocked Roberts to the ground while being tagged out, avoiding a double play.
Roberts said something to Bilardello, who ignored it.
“I’m not a player who’s going to go in and shake his hand,” Bilardello said. “I had to do what I had to do. It wasn’t dirty, it wasn’t cheap. I like Bip. He was chirping but I didn’t pay attention. It was a non-issue. We almost scored that inning. You can’t just let a guy tag you and complete a double play.”
Roberts wasn’t available to give his side.
Starting times for tonight’s game against Philadelphia and Friday’s game against St. Louis have been changed to 7:35 p.m. to accommodate ESPN. . . . Gary Sheffield walked twice but had an eight-game hitting streak snapped. . . . The Padres made several fine fielding plays Sunday, highlighted by Darrin Jackson’s diving shoestring play to rob Bill Doran in the sixth. . . . Reds outfielder Paul O’Neill took potential extra bases away from Sheffield with a leaping grab at the wall to end the fifth. . . . Billy Hatcher’s home run was the Reds’ first in nine games. . . . The Padres and Reds don’t face each other again until July 27, here. The Padres, who opened the season in Cincinnati, don’t play there again until Aug. 14. . . . Reds center fielder Reggie Sanders, the preseason favorite to be rookie of the year, had two hits Sunday to raise his average to .323, but made a crucial throwing throwing error that led to the Padres’ third-inning run. . . . Sheffield, who grew up a few miles from Fred McGriff in Tampa, Fla., has rented a house next door to McGriff in Poway.