PHILADELPHIA -- The San Antonio Missions are the last remaining Padres affiliate in the playoffs. The Missions opened the Texas League championship series on Tuesday against Arkansas.
They did so without one of their best offensive players, as first baseman Tommy Medica was added to the Padres' 40-man (and active) roster before Tuesday's game against the Phillies.
"I've been with the team the whole year, but this is the chance of a lifetime," Medica said when asked if he regretted not being with his Missions teammates. "But they've got a lot of talent on that team. They will be just fine without me."
Medica was with the Missions as they defeated Corpus Christi in Game 5 of their best-of-three series Sunday.
Class A Fort Wayne was eliminated from the Midwest League playoffs on Monday after falling to South Bend.
As for the Missions, they'll host the first two games of the Texas League championship series before it shifts to Arkansas.
Guzman providing steady bat off the bench
PHILADELPHIA -- Jesus Guzman wasn't in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Phillies, which probably wasn't a bad thing for the Padres -- it means they'll have his bat later in the game if needed.
When Guzman drew a bases-loaded walk as a pinch-hitter on Sunday against the Rockies, he earned his 13th RBI of the season as a pinch-hitter, which is the most in the Major Leagues, two more than Braves' rookie Evan Gattis.
"When he came to us, that was something that was attractive to us ... the natural hitter in him," Padres manager Bud Black said. "More than anything, Guzzie's strength is his bat. He gives you a good at-bat. And he's got more than a single in him. There's a home run in there."
Guzman is hitting .222 this season as a pinch-hitter with 10 hits, five of which have gone for extra bases, including three home runs.
Guzman's pinch-hit RBI total is tied for the fourth highest single-season total in team history. It's the most since Mark Sweeney had 13 in 1997. Jerry Turner holds the franchise record with 19 RBIs in 1978.
Going into Tuesday's game, Guzman was tied for the fourth-most pinch-hits in the Major Leagues. Kevin Frandsen, who started at first base for the Phillies on Tuesday, had 13.
Padres have high hopes for Medica on offense
PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres still aren't quite sure what to make of first baseman Tommy Medica, who two days ago was helping the Double-A San Antonio Missions advance in the Texas League playoffs.
They're about to find out, though.
"There's a little something in his bat," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We think here in September that he brings us another bat on the bench. He'll get some starts, too. We're looking forward to getting him into the lineup. We feel as though he's deserving of this."
On Tuesday, the Padres added the 25-year-old Medica to their roster before the start of a three-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Black said there's a good chance Medica could get his first start Wednesday against Phillies left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee.
Medica hit .296 with 20 home runs, 65 RBIs and 45 extra-base hits this season between five games in the Arizona League and 76 games with the Missions.
Medica missed a little more than two months on the disabled list earlier this season with a strained left oblique.
This promotion will give the team a chance to look at Medica before he heads to play in the Arizona Fall League next month.
He didn't see this promotion coming at all.
"It's just a huge shock," he said. "It was the last thing on my mind."
Medica, who was drafted in the 14th-round in 2010 out of Santa Clara University, is a .295 hitter in four Minor League seasons with 49 home runs. He has a .538 slugging percentage and a .926 OPS to show for 300 games in the organization.
"Tommy, when he's been healthy, has always hit and put up numbers," said Randy Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development and international scouting. "He has a knack for driving in runs."
A former highly-regarded catcher at Santa Clara, Medica has had two surgeries on his right (throwing) shoulder, once while in college in April 2009 and another in September 2011. He's been building his arm strength ever since, and this season, he said, it felt good.
"I could play every day without my arm being sore or tired," Medica said. "It's the strongest that it has felt."
Medica wouldn't rule out a return to catching at some point and neither will the Padres. They liked him behind the plate previously.
"He can really catch, he runs the game well," Smith said. "The game goes smoothly when he's behind the plate."
For now, Media will focus on the here and now.
"That would be a goal," Medica said of catching again. "But for now, I'll get the bat going and see what happens."