CHICAGO -- Carlos Quentin, one of general manager Josh Byrnes' most important acquisitions of the past winter, made his Padres debut on Monday against the Cubs.
Quentin hit fourth and started in left field the same day he was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. Outfielder Blake Tekotte was optioned to Triple-A Tucson. Quentin hit an RBI double in his first at-bat with the Padres in the first inning.
Quentin had been sidelined since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on March 19. He had two rounds of Minor League rehabilitation stints, after having a setback with his knee earlier in May.
Quentin's latest Minor League stint included games Friday and Saturday with Class A Lake Elsinore. He had four hits in those two games and declared his knee ready to join the Padres in Chicago.
Quentin flew from San Diego to Chicago on Sunday.
"We're excited to get him back," Padres manager Bud Black said Monday.
Quentin's arrival couldn't have come at a better time for the offensively-starved Padres, who went into Monday's game without a run in their last 26 innings before Quentin's double. Also, the team has been shut out three times in the first seven games of its 10-game road trip.
Black cautioned that Quentin's arrival doesn't mean the Padres' offensive woes will suddenly be cured.
"Again, he's only one of 25 guys," Black said.
That said, the Padres were excited to see Quentin in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Monday. Closer Huston Street even gave him a big hug.
"It doesn't matter if you're good or bad offensively, it's always good to get a guy back who has hit in the middle of the lineup like Carlos has," Padres catcher Nick Hundley said of Quentin. "We have high expectations for him."
Quentin has hit 121 home runs in his first six seasons in the Major Leagues. The Padres as a team have hit 18 home runs this season, the lowest among all 30 Major League teams entering Monday.
Hoyer feels 'a little weird' seeing Padres
CHICAGO -- Two hours before Monday's game at Wrigley Field, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer stood behind the batting cage, looking slightly bewildered.
His new team, the Cubs, were finishing batting practice on the field. His old team, the Padres, were in front of the visiting dugout going through their pregame stretching routine.
"It's a little weird," Hoyer admitted.
Hoyer was general manager of the Padres from 2010-11 before being hired in October as the Cubs' executive vice president and general manager, reuniting with his former boss in Boston, Theo Epstein.
Jason McLeod, formerly an assistant general manager with the Padres, followed Hoyer to Chicago. He's now the senior vice president/scouting and player development.
"It's strange ... but it's great to see everyone," Hoyer said. "I feel for [manager Bud Black] and his staff [because of injuries]. I don't think these guys have had a chance to get their season going."
Hoyer, who helped add to the Padres' farm system by trading Adrian Gonzalez in 2010 and Mike Adams last July, feels the organization he left is in good shape moving forward with many of the young players the team acquired in those deals.
"Jason and I worked hard in San Diego to build that core," he said. "I think they have a bright future. ... They should have a lot of success."
Stults on track to make start on Tuesday
CHICAGO -- There was good news on the pitching front for the Padres on Monday, as manager Bud Black said Eric Stults will make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Cubs.
The start had been in jeopardy after Stults was hit by a line drive by the Mets' Vinny Rottino in New York on Thursday. The ball hit him in the fleshy area of his left arm, behind the left triceps.
Since then, Stults has worn a compression sleeve on his left arm that's designed to reduce swelling in the triceps.
"I'm at the point where I feel comfortable, where I should be ready to go," Stults said.
Stults threw off the mound on Sunday at Citi Field in New York, and declared himself ready to make his next start, which came as a relief to his manager.
"We were worried a couple of days ago," Black said. "He threw 20 or so pitches [Sunday] and felt fine. He's confident."
If Stults wasn't able to start on Tuesday, the Padres were prepared to stay in-house for his replacement, tabbing right-hander Matt Palmer to start. Palmer is the designated long reliever in the bullpen, though he made seven starts with Triple-A Tucson.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin missed his second start in as many days on Monday after leaving Saturday's game against the Mets with a sprained right wrist. "He's getting better," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's still sore, but he continues to get aggressive treatment. It's day to day."
Closer Huston Street, who has been on the disabled list since May 5 with a strained right lat, will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. He'll throw all of his pitches that day in preparation for a Minor League rehab outing that could be announced later this week. "He's gaining on it," Black said.
The Padres claimed right-handed pitcher Neil Wagner off waivers from the A's on Monday and sent him to Triple-A Tucson. Wagner, 28, was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 19 2/3 innings with the A's Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. Wagner made his Major League debut with the A's in 2011, posting a 7.20 ERA in six relief outings. To make room for Wagner on the 40-man roster, the Padres moved third baseman/outfielder James Darnell from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Darnell went on the DL on May 18 with a subluxation of his left shoulder.