SAN FRANCISCO -- Who returns first: Gregor Blanco or Hunter Pence? At the moment, you would want to bet on the fourth outfielder, not the starting right fielder.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Blanco could return to the roster this week if he continues to make progress. Blanco (concussion) hasn't felt any dizziness the last couple of days and he said he hopes to take some swings on Tuesday. Pence (forearm tendinitis) wasn't feeling great when he came to the park Monday, but he got treatment and then played catch with trainer Dave Groeschner. While Pence was walking around with a bat, he isn't scheduled to take any light swings until Tuesday at the earliest.
"Unless he's cheating on us here ..." Bochy said.
It definitely sounds like Pence won't be ready to return when eligible June 18. Blanco is eligible to come off the concussion DL as soon as tomorrow, although that won't happen.
--- The big news in baseball Monday was the firing of Bud Black, who was put in an impossible situation in San Diego. There was no way to live up to expectations. Black has been temporarily replaced by Dave Roberts, who played two seasons for Bochy here in San Francisco, although it sounds like another move may be made in the next couple of days.
"I called Buddy," Bochy said. "I know Buddy well. We're close. I hated to hear that."
Bochy said Roberts is "a really good baseball man" and added, "You hate to see a change there, but Dave will be fine."
Having seen plenty of the NL West the last three-plus seasons, I think the Padres made a mistake here. Black was one of the few NL managers who didn't get run over by Bochy late in close games, and he always overachieved down there. The Padres made a splash this offseason, but that's not a logical roster (they really could use Cameron Maybin in center field right now, no?). I suppose ownership couldn't fire Matt Kemp (.629 OPS), though.
--- Jean Machi is in Sacramento and will start a rehab assignment today or tomorrow. It's unclear at the moment how Machi will fit when he's ready (he does have 30 days to get "ready"). Mike Broadway has been impressive in two appearances.
"I like the way he's come out," Bochy said. "He throws strikes with his fastball and his breaking ball. There's no fear in this guy. He goes at 'em. He's a power guy and a lot of times those guys lack command, but he hasn't shown that at all."
Broadway has relied on a 96-97 mph fastball in two appearances and a really tight slider. He said he throws a changeup, too, but he hasn't had to use it much this season.
--- Matt Cain pitches for Sacramento tonight, Jake Peavy starts for them tomorrow. Bochy said he would like to see Peavy get deeper into the game than he has in previous rehab starts.
--- What's Bochy looking for tonight? "Just a well-played game," he said. "Catch the ball, run the bases well. Timely hits are nice and they come and go, but we've got to get back to who we are."