SAN DIEGO -- The Padres designated right-hander Sean O'Sullivan for assignment on Monday afternoon, clearing space for fellow righty reliever Brad Boxberger to be recalled from Triple-A Tucson.
The move also opened a space on the club's 40-man roster, meaning the Padres could add a prospect, though manager Bud Black hinted that would not happen before Sept. 1, when rosters expand.
Black said the O'Sullivan decision was an especially tough one to make. The Valhalla High (El Cajon, Calif.) graduate grew up a Padres fan and signed a Minor League contract in December.
He impressed during Spring Training and had his contract selected by San Diego on July 12. In seven appearances this season, three of them starts, O'Sullivan posted a 3.96 ERA.
"He pitched his butt off in Tucson -- probably the best overall starting pitcher there for a long time," Black said. "When we brought him here, he came up and did some nice work for us.
"He was on board, a native San Diegan who grew up a Padres fan, nice guy, good on the team, all those things. So it was tough. But we just felt at this point we made a baseball decision."
Boxberger was told he would be recalled Sunday and joined the club Monday. Boxberger has made just six relief appearances for San Diego this season -- most recently June 22 against Los Angeles. He has allowed four earned runs in nine innings.
Both Black and Boxberger mentioned the word "consistency" when asked what exactly they would be looking for in Boxberger's fourth stint with the big league club this season.
"Overall, I've worked on the command of my pitches and being able to throw any pitch in any count, being able to get ahead of hitters and being able to pitch every day," Boxberger said.
Spending time back and forth between Triple-A and the Majors initially took a toll on the 25-year-old Boxberger, who had progressed evenly to the Majors -- never being sent down to a lower level.
"Bouncing up and down and not staying in one spot is a little different," he said. "It took me a little while to get used to. But once I figured out the mental side, it's a good transition."
Black wants to see Boxberger's back-and-forth journey end, saying, "Hopefully this is the time he [comes up], and he never goes back."
So how can Boxberger accomplish that?
"He's just got to get his pitches in good areas, get ahead in the count and put guys away," Black said. "He's got the weapons; there's no doubt about it. I think each time he comes back he feels more secure as a Major League pitcher."
Black: Quentin has 50-50 chance at return
SAN DIEGO -- Padres manager Bud Black put the chances of a Carlos Quentin return this season at 50-50.
The right-handed hitting left fielder, who leads the club in on-base percentage and RBIs this year, has been battling a strained right knee that landed him on the disabled list Aug. 10.
"I wish I could be more confident than that, but I think the next week we'll have a better handle on it," Black said.
Quentin is in the midst of a 10-day rest period without much activity, and if his knee barks upon his return to action, the club will almost certainly shelve him for the rest of the year.
Quentin, who has not seen game action since July 30, has played in just 82 of the club's 124 games this season, hitting .275 with 13 homers.
"It's frustrating mostly for Carlos -- he wants to play -- and obviously for us, because he's a good player," Black said. "It would be good to have him. But right now the knee's not letting him do the things he needs to do."
One pitcher's start is another's scouting report
SAN DIEGO -- Most pitchers get the scouting report for their next opponent on paper at some point before the series begins.
Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, however, typically gets his in living color within 24 hours of a start.
With fellow 26-year-old righty Andrew Cashner pitching a day ahead of Ross in the starting rotation, Ross learns plenty about what might work against his next opponent, simply by watching intently. That is what he will be doing Monday when Cashner starts against Pittsburgh.
"We're very similar," Ross said. "It gives me an opportunity to watch a similar pitcher to myself the day before me. It's a rare opportunity -- to have an advanced scouting report like that."
Both pitchers are hard-throwing right-handers with a sharp slider and a changeup used to keep hitters honest, so they are constantly learning from each other.
"I think the best interaction is teammate-to-teammate," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It really is. When you have two guys who ... can relate to each other because of velocity and because of hard-slider and because of the change, and how those all work together, I think it's great."
• New Padres president and CEO Mike Dee met with the team for about five minutes before Monday's game. On Tuesday afternoon, the club will hold an introductory press conference for Dee, who left his role as CEO of the Miami Dolphins to join the Padres on July 17.
• Injured outfielder Kyle Blanks did some running on the field, took batting practice and worked on outfield drills before Monday's game, and Black said Blanks might begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Tucson over the weekend. Blanks was placed on the DL with tendinitis in his left Achilles on July 12.
• Center fielder Cameron Maybin was evaluated by team doctors in San Diego on Monday, and there is a chance he will need a second opinion on the strained PCL in his left knee. Maybin was placed on the DL on June 9, and his rehab with Tucson was halted last week because of more knee pain.
• Black on the Pirates' success this season: "They've done a nice job in a lot of areas to put this group together here. Last year, they got closer with a great first half. The second half didn't quite go their way, but there's no doubt that a lot of us in smaller markets are trying to do those things."