Cameron Maybin can't shake the injury bug.
The San Diego Padres center fielder ruptured his left biceps tendon March 2, and he will be sidelined two to three months.
Last year, was limited to 14 games due to injuries to his right knee and right wrist.
Maybin was hurt while diving to make a catch during to make a catch in an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
He stayed in the game but had trouble fielding a grounder later in the inning. An MRI exam March 3 found the biceps damage, but it ruled out shoulder capsule or rotator cuff damage.
"It's a tough story," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He did a diligent job this past offseason of rehabbing both the knee and wrist and was feeling great coming into this camp. He had the home run up in Surprise. He was running well and put on some muscle and was in a good spot. It's a tough one personally for Cam and us. We all feel for him."
Veteran Will Venable is likely to be the Padres' replacement in center field.
After playing only 10 of last season's first 59 games due to the wrist ailment, Maybin strained the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee only four games after returning to action on June 6.
Although Maybin was 5-for-18 (.278) with a homer, four steals, two walks, four runs and four RBIs in those four games, the PCL injury coupled with recurring wrist pain combined to shut him down. While Maybin was on the disabled list with the PCL strain, the decision was made to have the wrist surgery.
He finished the year hitting .157 with a .232 on-base percentage, a .235 slugging percentage, one homer and five RBIs.
--LHP Cory Luebke returned to the Padres' spring training facility a week after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in a span of 21 months. This time, the patellar tendon from just below Luebke's right knee was used to replace the ulnar collateral ligament because the Palmaris tendon from Luebke's left forearm was used in his first Tommy John surgery in May 2012. Said Luebke: "When they got in there this time and took the old ligament out, it was just basically rotting away in there. It never really attached, never did anything it was supposed to do."
--LHP Alex Torres arrived in the Padres' camp Feb. 26 after clearing up visa problems in his native Venezuela. The reliever was two weeks late. Torres believes his visa delay was result of his late trade from Tampa Bay to the Padres, although recent civil unrest in Venezuela could have contributed to the delay. "I am very excited to be here with my new teammates and new organization," said Torres. "I wanted to be here 15 days ago. It was all out of my control, but I finally made it." Torres, 26, said he was throwing bullpen sessions in Venezuela during the visa delay.
--RHP Andrew Cashner, who is on track to be the Padres' Opening Night starter March 30 against the Dodgers, allowed no runs on one hit in two innings in his spring training debut against Seattle. Due to an error, the Mariners had runners on second and third with no outs in the first. Cashner struck out the next two hitters. "I felt like I was a bit jumpy in the first inning," said Cashner, who also threw a wild pitch. "My fastball was kind of all over the place. Overall, I felt I had a really good outing."
--RHP Ian Kennedy said the best thing about his first spring outing was not throwing from behind the protective screen that pitchers use before exhibition games. "I'm a little short for that screen," said the 6-foot Kennedy. "The bar is right in front of my face." Twenty of Kennedy's 26 pitches went for strikes. He worked two scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk against two strikeouts. "I thought he looked great," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Everything looked crisp for a first outing."
--LF Carlos Quentin was expected to make his spring training debut early in the week of March 3-9. Quentin, 31, was limited to a total of 168 games and 560 at-bats in his first two seasons with the Padres due to recurring right knee problems (three surgeries in a span of 19 months).
--RHP Donn Roach worked two scoreless innings in his spring debut.
Roach, a sinkerballer, is scheduled to open the season with Triple-A El Paso.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "This spring training, my arm feels like it is progressively getting better. The more I throw, the better it feels. Last spring training was just the opposite. I felt good at the beginning and it slowly kept going the opposite direction." -- RHP Josh Johnson, 30, who signed a one-year contract with the Padres as a free agent after missing most of last season with forearm and elbow problems. He had surgery last October to remove bone chips from the elbow.
RHP Andrew Cashner
RHP Josh Johnson
RHP Tyson Ross
RHP Ian Kennedy
LHP Eric Stults
Cashner came within a seventh-inning single of throwing the first no-hitter (and perfect game) in Padres history last Sept. 16 in Pittsburgh. He took giant steps forward toward developing into a staff ace. Cashner (3.09 ERA) and Ross (3.17 ERA) both emerged as quality starters in 2013.
The key to the rotation's success could be Johnson, who had an operation last October to remove particles from his surgically rebuilt elbow. When healthy, Johnson has top-of-the-rotation stuff.
Kennedy and Stults are competitive innings-eaters at the bottom of the rotation. The Padres will have four solid starting prospects in minors in RHPs Matt Wisler, Burch Smith, Joe Wieland and Casey Kelly and LHP Robbie Erlin. Wisler and Smith have the highest ceilings.
RHP Huston Street (closer)
RHP Joaquin Benoit
LHP Alex Torres
RHP Dale Thayer
RHP Nick Vincent
RHP Tim Stauffer
The free agent signing of Benoit gives the Padres two potential closers. If not closing, Benoit is the perfect setup replacement for RHP Luke Gregerson, who was traded to Oakland for left-handed-hitting OF Seth Smith.
Torres is more than a situational left-hander. He has the stuff of a late-inning setup man, a fact that could open the last spot in the bullpen to another left-hander (Rule 5 acquisition Patrick Schuster or Zach Braddock). The veteran Stauffer is the perfect long man, and he also has the stuff to make an emergency start.
Thayer is durable. Vincent was an unsung hero the past two seasons.
1. SS Everth Cabrera
2. OF Will Venable or OF Chris Denorfia or OF Seth Smith
3. 3B Chase Headley
4. LF Carlos Quentin
5. C Yasmani Grandal
6. 2B Jedd Gyorko
7. 1B Yonder Alonso
8. CF Cameron Maybin or Denorfia or C Nick Hundley
The Padres used 145 starting lineups last season due to injuries and suspensions. Even if they are healthy this season, they could come close to matching that figure. The reason is roster versatility. The Padres have three switch hitters: Grandal, Headley and Cabrera. Manager Bud Black could field a starting lineup of eight right-handed position players against a left-handed pitcher and seven left-handed hitters against a right-hander.
Black will have five outfielders to choose from, giving him ample ways to rest Quentin's tender right knee.
Aside from Quentin, the Padres have few proven power hitters -- although Gyorko hit 23 homers as a rookie in 2013 and Headley had 31 homers in 2012. Given Cabrera's ability in the leadoff slot and Quentin's presence when healthy in the No. 4 slot, the offense should be improved this season from one through eight.
Black believes all five of his outfielders -- Quentin, 2013 club MVP Venable, Denorfia, Smith and Maybin -- are capable of 400 plate appearances this season.
TOP ROOKIES: OF Rymer Liriano probably will open the season at Double-A San Antonio after missing the entire 2013 season following Tommy John surgery. The 22-year-old is still viewed as the top outfield prospect in the system, and he could be promoted to Triple-A El Paso and the major leagues by the end of the season.
RHP Matt Wisler, 21, was a combined 10-6 with a 2.78 ERA at Class A Lake Elsinore and San Antonio last season. He could be inserted into the major league rotation when needed this year.
--CF Cameron Maybin (ruptured left biceps tendon) was hurt March 2. He will be out until May.
--3B Chase Headley (right calf strain) was hurt Feb. 21, and he was still restricted as of March 2. He is expected to be sidelined until mid-March.
--RHP Casey Kelly (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) threw off a mound in mid-February. The Padres hope that Kelly might be able to pitch in minor league games by the end of April or early May.
--RHP Josh Johnson (arthroscopic right elbow surgery in October 2013) had chips removed from his surgically repaired elbow. He was on a restricted throwing program at the start of spring training, and he was scheduled to make his exhibition debut March 3.
--C Yasmani Grandal (right knee surgery in August 2013) had a torn anterior cruciate ligament repaired. He was limited early in spring training, but he aims to be ready by Opening Day.
--LHP Cory Luebke (Tommy John surgeries in May 2012 and February 2014) will miss the entire 2014 season.
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