CLE@SD: Grandal singles home a run in the fourth

CLEVELAND -- In previous seasons, when the Padres have traveled to an American League city, manager Bud Black has often used the designated hitter spot to get a position player off his feet defensively for a few days during an Interleague series.

A year ago, Carlos Quentin got 25 at-bats as a designated hitter in six Interleague games. He got 21 at-bats in five Interleague games the previous season.

But this season is different, as the Padres, just six games into the regular season, find themselves in an AL ballpark for three games this week against the Indians.

"I think this is the earliest Interleague series we've ever played," Black said.

The Padres decided to give Yasmani Grandal the start at designated hitter Monday, though that game was postponed by rain.

The club has three catchers on the 25-man roster and Grandal has already started three times with Rene Rivera getting two starts. Monday's game would have been the second start behind the plate for Nick Hundley.

Grandal, coming back from major surgery on his right knee last August, isn't to the point where he can catch nine innings in consecutive days. This allows the team to keep his bat in the lineup, as he has five walks and three hits in nine at-bats.

How will Black proceed with the designated hitter Tuesday and in Wednesday's doubleheader?

"I guess you'll know when we post the lineup," he said, smiling.

Ross has throwing session, alters position on mound

LAD@SD: Black on Ross' outing, denied challenge

CLEVELAND -- When the Padres opted to move Tyson Ross' scheduled start from Monday to Tuesday to give him an extra day of rest, they didn't exactly ease off the right-hander in terms of work.

Ross had a throwing session Saturday in Miami with pitching coach Darren Balsley to fix a few things that troubled him during his first start of the season, when he needed 100 pitches to complete five innings against the Dodgers.

For this start against the Indians, Ross will start his delivery from the middle of the rubber rather than from the first-base side, Balsley said.

"I just think he gets better extension when he moves toward the middle or the third-base side," Balsley said. "That could lead to better velocity and even a better slider. It's a slight change."

Balsley said that during his between-starts bullpen sessions that he has Ross start from the middle of the rubber for 10 pitches before shifting to the first-base side.

Ross threw 54 pitches in the first two innings alone of that last start against the Dodgers and was hurt by a few pitches that he elevated.

"When Tyson is down in the strike zone, he's going to do well," Balsley said.

Even with Monday's postponed game, the Padres opted to have Ross pitch Tuesday so not to keep him too far removed from his usual start date.

Kelly plays catch; simulated game up next

Top Prospects: Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres

CLEVELAND -- Pitcher Casey Kelly played catch Monday at the Padres' Spring Training facility in Arizona and will now move ahead to a simulated game this week.

Kelly had been scheduled to throw a simulated game against the other players who are in the team's extended Spring Training program, but he said he said he felt some soreness in the back of his right elbow.

It was the same elbow Kelly had Tommy John surgery on last April.

Kelly said Saturday by text message that he hoped it was just inflammation. He was able to play catch Monday and now is apparently ready to face live hitters in a game-like situation.

San Diego manager Bud Black said that Kelly would likely throw three or so innings in a game this week. Kelly would then likely repeat that while increasing his endurance until the organization is comfortable with sending him on a Minor League rehabilitation stint.