Notes: Friars' roster undetermined
San Diego will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players
SAN DIEGO -- Jake Peavy, David Wells and Chris Young will start Games 1, 2 and 3, in that order, for the Padres in the National League Division Series.Beyond that, the Padres come to Tuesday afternoon's series opener at PETCO Park against the Cardinals cloaked in secrecy. The Cardinals are countering with Chris Carpenter as their Game 1 starter, followed by Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan and Carpenter, in that order. Peavy, like Carpenter, will be on his regular rest for Game 4 because of off days following Games 1 and 2. But Woody Williams, the former Cardinal, has had a terrific season and would be pitching in familiar surroundings in St. Louis. "We have until [Tuesday] to decide on the roster and lineup, and we still have to go over some things," general manager Kevin Towers said. "We're looking at it one day at a time." Only this much is certain about the roster: 11 pitchers and 14 position players will be available to manager Bruce Bochy. That was the composition of the roster on Aug. 31, when the Padres went from 12 pitchers to 11 by optioning Mike Thompson to Triple-A Portland and recalling outfielder Terrmel Sledge. "That was probably as stressful a time as we had all year, getting guys here on time," Towers said. "It was a crazy day." That was the day Towers acquired Wells -- 10-4 in the postseason, pitching for championship clubs in Toronto and New York with the Yankees -- from Boston for catching prospect George Kottaras. Living up to his big-game reputation, Boomer shook off a bout with gout and an ankle sprain to deliver six scoreless innings in Saturday's playoff clincher at Arizona. He will be working on his fifth day in Game 2 of the NLDS on Thursday against Weaver, the former Dodger. The scene shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday, with Young drawing the start against Suppan. The hardest pitcher in the league to hit in giving up a .209 average to opponents, Young was 5-5 at PETCO Park with a 4.60 ERA in 16 starts compared to 6-0 on the road with a 2.41 ERA in 15 starts. "I feel good about everything," Young said. "Jake's our ace, and he should be starting Game 1 -- and Boomer is Boomer. Everyone knows what he's done in the postseason." Young, who according to Bochy experienced back spasms in his most recent start at St. Louis, has not lost in 24 consecutive road decisions -- one shy of the all-time regular-season record. The Princeton tower of power has been dominant in his past two starts, allowing a total of four hits in 15 1/3 innings against the Pirates and Cards. "I imagine, other than Peavy, everyone's available [out of the bullpen in Game 1]," Towers said, giving no indication which 11 pitchers he will take. Back to the bullpen: Clay Hensley -- arguably the club's most consistent starter over the past two months -- apparently will return to the bullpen, where he spent his 2005 rookie season, in the opening series. "I think they're going to have me come out of the 'pen in the first round," Hensley said. "I pitched in all three games [of the Cardinals' sweep] last year, and I wouldn't mind doing it again if necessary. "I don't have any choice but to be prepared. I'm not going to think about it. If I come in for an inning, I'm going to take it like it's the first inning of a start -- come in relaxed and go after it." Greene on the fence: Among a sizable group of players that left the clubhouse after Monday's informal workout uncertain about their status was Khalil Greene, one of the game's premier shortstops, who is recovering from a hand injury.
"I don't know what they're going to do, but whatever they decide is fine by me," said Greene, who has not started a game since Aug. 17. "Getting to play in the last two games [against Arizona] helped me get a feel for the game again, and the [ligament tear in his left middle finger] is getting a little better every day."Greene had four at-bats on Saturday and Sunday, going 0-for-3 with a walk, but his defense in the late innings was a big factor in the Padres prevailing in both games and claiming the NL West championship by winning the tiebreaker against the Dodgers, who also finished 88-74. Numbers squeeze: Because only pitchers can replace pitchers from the disabled list, spots belonging to Doug Brocail and Shawn Estes cannot be taken by an infielder or outfielder. With Greene and Ryan Klesko -- who was 3-for-4 with two walks in his return from shoulder surgery -- expected to be activated, Sledge and fellow outfielder Ben Johnson appear to be odd men out for the NLDS. The roster can be adjusted if the Padres advance to the NLCS. Towers informed outfielders Jack Cust, Jon Knott and Paul McAnulty that they would not be traveling to St. Louis, but Sledge and Johnson will accompany the team. "We'll travel guys who can be eligible for the next series, so if we're fortunate enough to go to the next round, they'll be physically able to handle it," Towers said. "A lot of it comes down to matchups." In addition to the starting eight behind Peavy -- with Geoff Blum expected to start at shortstop and Russell Branyan at third -- the six extra roster spots for position players probably will go to catchers Josh Bard and Rob Bowen, infielders Greene, Todd Walker and Mark Bellhorn and first baseman/outfielder Klesko. Confident club: Peavy, whose rib fracture prevented him from reaching 90 mph on the speed gun in his disastrous Game 1 outing against the Redbirds last year, is brimming with confidence on the eve of his second playoff start. "We have 25 guys who believe we have what it takes to win in the postseason," Peavy said. Bochy, who watched his club win 20 of its last 29 under severe pressure, shares that feeling with his athletes. "I mean, we feel good about ourselves," Bochy said. "I think the club should. We've been playing good baseball. And we had to win a lot of games down the stretch to get here. "So, there's a sense of confidence with this ballclub, where last year we struggled getting in. The Cardinals are a very, very good ballclub. We know it. We've had our tough times with them in the past."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.