Johnson was attempting to convert to pitching. (AP)

SAN DIEGO -- Former Major League catcher Rob Johnson, who played for four teams over seven seasons, knew his attempt to get back to the big leagues as a pitcher would be a long shot.

"I really felt there were three things that could happen," Johnson said by phone Friday from his home in Austin, Texas. "I would do really well and get back to the big leagues. I wouldn't do well and get released or I'd get injured."

As it turns out, Johnson, 31 was right about the latter.

On Friday, he spoke for the first time since being told late last month that he'd torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow earlier this spring, thus effectively ending his career after he signed a Minor League deal with the Padres.

"I'm at complete peace with it," said Johnson, who played for the Padres in 2011. "I'm enjoying being at home with the kids."

This is the first summer Johnson has had off since the Mariners drafted him in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft out of the University of Houston.

Known for his superior game-calling ability, Johnson played four seasons for the Mariners (2007-10), one for the Padres, 2012 with the Mets and last season with the Cardinals.

He suffered elbow pain in Spring Training He rested and rehabilitated the elbow for three weeks before resuming throwing. Johnson was close to heading out to an affiliate, but felt pain again during a throwing session.

Shortly thereafter, Johnson was diagnosed with the torn ligament. He will eventually need Tommy John surgery, especially to play catch with his three children, ages 5, 3 and 2. He's also looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Kristan.

Johnson said the biggest thing he'll miss is the daily friendships he had with teammates.

"I'll miss the camaraderie of the guys. It's such a very small world in baseball," he said. "As a player, you go through a lot of pressures, pressures of the game, leaving your family to go play.

"But when you're playing in front of 30,000 or 40,000, and it's you against the other guy, each trying to put your best foot forward, that's a lot of fun."

Headley gets epidural to alleviate back pain

SD@NYM: Headley sends a solo home run to right

SAN DIEGO -- Third baseman Chase Headley had an epidural injection for his back Friday to help alleviate pain from a herniated disc, general manager Josh Byrnes said.

Headley was in the Padres' original lineup Friday against the Dodgers but was scratched four hours before first pitch.

"Chase has been bothered by a sore back. He's been playing through it. He's able to play. From the first day of Spring Training players get banged up," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We'll see where this goes the next couple of days. It's been affecting a little bit of his lower half as well."

Black indicated that he didn't think Headley would need a stint on the disabled list, which was a positive sign for a team that has first baseman Yonder Alonso (right wrist tendinitis) and second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis, left foot) already on the disabled list.

Headley has started 27 of the Padres last 28 games and has two hits in his last 18 at-bats. Overall, he's hitting .200 with six home runs and 23 RBIs this season.

Alexi Amarista moved from second base to third base and rookie Jace Peterson got the start at second base in the first game of a three-game series at Petco Park.

Alonso admits he played in pain for a while

SD@NYM: Alonso snags den Dekker's sharp grounder

SAN DIEGO - First baseman Yonder Alonso spoke to the media for the first time Friday after being placed on the disabled list with right hand tendinitis.

After playing in every game since April 30, he had missed the team's games against Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday before the move was made official Thursday.

"It's something I've been dealing with for a while," Alonso said. "I really can't tell you [how much], but it's been affecting me and I kept playing with it."

On Friday, he was wearing a small protective cast on his hand, which he also injured last year. He estimated he likely wouldn't resume hitting in the cage for at least a week.

"Just for right now, just to calm down I want to rest it as much as possible so I can come back strong," Alonso said.

Alonso is hitting .210 with five home runs, 15 doubles and 22 RBIs in 229 at-bats this season. While he's out, newly called up Jake Goebbert and Tommy Medica are expected to split time at first base.

San Diego manager Bud Black said the lefty-hitting Goebbert will make his big league starting debut on Saturday or Sunday against the Dodgers.

Short hops

• Pitcher Casey Kelly, working his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2013, is still at the team's facility in Arizona dealing with general soreness in his right elbow. The good news is that Kelly's ligament is sound, according to the organization. Kelly appeared in two Minor League rehab games, the last coming on May 19, before being shut down for a time.