Volquez to start on opening day for Padres

The San Diego Padres rewarded Edinson Volquez on Sunday for his

hard work this spring when they announced him as their opening day

starter.

The Padres were expected to pick Tim Stauffer to pitch the

opener, but he is bothered by a sore right triceps, manager Bud

Black said.

San Diego begins the season at home Thursday against the Los

Angeles Dodgers, who will counter with reigning NL Cy Young winner

Clayton Kershaw.

Volquez was acquired along with three others in a trade Dec. 17

that sent pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds. Volquez is 2-0

with a 3.48 ERA in 20 2-3 innings this spring.

Members of the Padres coaching staff have been impressed with

the way Volquez has handled the many adjustments they have asked

him to make.

”We’re still working on being on the same page,” Volquez said.

”But I think I did well because I did everything they wanted me to

do this spring and look what I got now, opening day. I’m going to

keep working.”

Volquez was 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts for the Reds last

season. The right-hander, a 17-game winner and NL All-Star in 2008,

was Cincinnati’s 2011 opening day starter.

”Overall, he’s taken very well to the instruction we think is

going to help his pitching,” Black said. ”He’s adapted well to

the clubhouse. Up and beyond all that, he has thrown the ball well

and is deserving of an opening day nod.”

Black said Stauffer will be pushed back to the fifth spot in the

rotation, which means he won’t start until at least a week from

Tuesday. Stauffer said no one specific area is bothering him but he

has noticed ”dead-arm symptoms” in his last two outings. Stauffer

allowed six earned runs in five innings against the Milwaukee

Brewers on Saturday.

”It’s unfortunate, but the biggest thing is getting healthy and

ready for the season,” Stauffer said. ”I expect that to be the

case. As the trainers say it’s probably a little dead-arm symptoms

and just need to rest it and heal.”

Cory Luebke is the team’s No. 2 starter, followed by Dustin

Moseley and Clayton Richard.