Edinson Volquez set to be Opening Day starter

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have finalized their starting rotation for the first week of the regular season -- well, sort of.

On Monday, Padres manager Bud Black named Edinson Volquez as the Opening Day starter on April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field.

On Wednesday, Black said left-handers Clayton Richard and Eric Stults will follow in that series with right-hander Jason Marquis set to pitch April 5 in Colorado against the Rockies.

Black would not name his fifth starter yet, though it is believed to be a two-man race between Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. The Padres would not need their fifth starter until April 6 against the Rockies.

Stults will get a start Friday when the Padres face the Rangers in the first of two exhibition games in the Alamodome. Marquis will start Saturday against Texas. Both games from San Antonio will be televised on Fox Sports San Diego.

The Padres might have normally had Marquis as their No. 3 starter and Stults at No. 4, but the team likes that Marquis has had success at Coors Field. He is 10-7 with a career 3.78 ERA in 140 1/3 innings there -- most coming in 2009 when he spent the entire season with the Rockies.

Stults has a career 5.75 ERA in 20 1/3 career innings at Coors Field.

Black says roster will likely be set during weekend

Tyson Ross on his fastball being at full speed

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres will not set their roster for Opening Day until the weekend, though it seems the team has a very good idea who will comprise the 25-man roster.

It appears that right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross will be the fifth starter in the rotation and will pitch April 6 against the Rockies -- the first time the Padres will need their fifth starter.

Another right-hander, Andrew Cashner, who threw 72 pitches in a game Tuesday, will also make the team. The organization still views Cashner as a starting pitcher, although it appears as if he will at least initially be used as a reliever.

Manager Bud Black previously announced the first four starters in his rotation -- Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, Eric Stults and Jason Marquis. Wednesday in his last warm-up before his Opening Day start April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field, Volquez allowed one run in five-plus innings with six walks against the Reds.

Ross has a 2.57 ERA over 21 innings this spring, the most on the staff. He recently had a streak of 15 1/3 scoreless innings. Cashner had a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings.

Left fielder Carlos Quentin, who has been nursing a sore right knee, played seven innings in the outfield Wednesday and had two hits. It appears as if he will begin the season on the active roster and will not need a stint on the disabled list.

That means outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks, who had three hits Wednesday to raise his average to .365 this spring, will start the season with Triple-A Tucson so that he can play every day.

Black indicated after the game Wednesday that the team would most likely finalize its Opening Day roster during a two-game exhibition series in San Antonio this weekend. Games are set for Friday and Saturday.

Forsythe could start season on DL

2013 Outlook: Forsythe to benefit at smaller Petco

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Infielder Logan Forsythe has returned to San Diego to see a specialist about the plantar fasciitis in his right foot, manager Bud Black said Wednesday.

Forsythe, appearing in his first game since March 7, left Tuesday's game against the Giants after three innings when the pain in his foot became unbearable.

After the game, Black said there was a possibility that Forsythe could begin the season on the 15-day disabled list.

"He's really sore," Black said Wednesday.

With Chase Headley already set to miss much of April with a fractured tip of his left thumb, Forsythe would have likely been the Opening Day starter at third base.

As it stands now, veteran infielder Cody Ransom will make the roster and could likely start Opening Day on April 1 against the Mets.

Ransom, who was in the lineup at third base Wednesday, is hitting .250 this spring with four home runs and eight RBIs. He has played 80 career games at third base in parts of 10 Major League seasons.

The team could also use rookie Jedd Gyorko at third base and have Alexi Amarista play second base, but chances are Gyorko will remain at second base.

Stauffer among Padres sent to Minors

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Pitcher Tim Stauffer, the Padres' Opening Day pitcher in 2011, will begin the season with Triple-A Tucson.

Stauffer, nearly seven months removed from surgery to repair the flexor bundle in his right elbow, was told that he would be stretched out to be a part of the Tucson rotation.

"We'll see how it goes," Stauffer said Wednesday.

Regardless of where he is starting the season, Stauffer said that he was encouraged by the health of his elbow this spring.

"It feels good and feels normal," he said. "Physically, I've been able to bounce back, and stuff-wise, it's there or on the way back. I feel good about that."

Stauffer came to camp last month on a Minor League contract with no assurances. He went 0-3 with an 8.74 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. He had 11 strikeouts and only two walks. In his last appearance, March 25 against the Rangers, he tossed two scoreless innings, throwing 22 strikes out of his 31 pitches.

Stauffer has thrown at least 49 pitches in two outings this spring, so he does not think it will take long to build him up to 90 pitches.

"Stauff has fought a couple of different injuries, and now, hopefully, the elbow situation is resolved," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Now he's just got to pitch."

All told, the Padres trimmed their roster to 34 when they reassigned five players to Minor League camp.

In addition to Stauffer, the team sent right-handed pitcher Sean O'Sullivan, catcher Rene Rivera, outfielder Travis Buck and infielder Gregorio Petit to Minor League camp.

Worth noting

• Left fielder Carlos Quentin (aggravated right knee) was back in the lineup for the second time in as many days Wednesday. Quentin played four innings Tuesday. He will also serve as the designated hitter in Thursday's game against the Indians. "He's encouraged, and the medical staff is encouraged," Black said.

• The Padres released five players from Minor League camp Wednesday, including right-handed pitcher Erik Hamren, who had a 4.38 ERA in 14 games with the Padres in 2011. The others who were released were left-handed pitchers Mark Hardy, Mark Picca and Kyle Ottoson and infielder Cody Gabella.