SAN DIEGO -- When reliever Kevin Quackenbush walked into the Padres' clubhouse on Thursday, it was not as if he walking into a room full of strangers.
After all, Quackenbush spent two days with the Friars at the end of April, as well as six weeks during the team's time in Arizona for Spring Training.
Quackenbush found a familiar face when he walked out on the field as well, as he was reunited with his former pitching coach at the University of South Florida: Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
Hernandez, who was a pitching coach for the Angels (1993-96), Rays (2004-05) and Tigers (2006-08), was at USF for two seasons after he was dismissed by the Indians along with manager Eric Wedge in 2011.
In fact, that 2011 season was Hernandez's first at USF and Quackenbush's senior season at the school.
"He was great to learn from," Quackenbush said. "He taught me a lot in that one year and I had my best year. I just picked his brain a lot. He has wealth of knowledge, he simplified my mechanics."
Quackenbush had a 4.54 ERA in 33 2/3 innings before Hernandez arrived, but the hurler thrived in 2011, posting an 0.81 ERA in 33 1/3 innings with 12 saves and 45 strikeouts. The Padres picked him in the eighth round of the First-Year Player Draft that year.
"He made it a lot more fun," Quackenbush said. "I wasn't so stressed and worried about getting outs. I was able to relax out there. I think before I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed instead of letting my stuff play."
Rehabbing Kelly continues in right direction
SAN DIEGO -- Casey Kelly's second Minor League rehabilitation start Thursday for the Padres' Class A affiliate in the California League went about as well as could be expected.
Kelly allowed two runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts for Lake Elsinore during a game against Lancaster.
Better still, Kelly's right elbow -- he's working his way back from April 2012 Tommy John surgery -- felt fine afterwards and again on Friday.
"The elbow feels great," Kelly said. "I think the big thing for me is just getting used to being in a game situation again."
Kelly, the Padres' No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com, threw 72 pitches (47 strikes).
"Casey threw the ball well, he's building his pitch count and now he'll add to that," Padres manager Bud Black said Friday. "He felt fine physically. He's getting closer to being on a true active roster ... and not a rehab player."
Black said there's a good chance that Kelly's next outing could come next week for the team's Double-A affiliate in San Antonio.
Kelly threw 58 pitches in his first rehab outing for Lake Elsinore last Saturday. After throwing 72 pitches on Thursday, he could be cleared to throw in upwards of 85 pitches the next time out, possibly next Tuesday.
Thayer doesn't second-guess pitch selection in loss
SAN DIEGO -- Upon further review, Padres reliever Dale Thayer wouldn't have done anything differently with the fastball he threw Giancarlo Stanton in the 11th inning of Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Marlins.
Well, maybe other than make sure the ball never came close to the plate.
"It wasn't a bad pitch. ... I was trying to do down and away," Thayer said.
In a 1-1 game, Thayer tried to bury a fastball where Stanton couldn't extend his arms and knock it out of the ballpark. It happened anyway, on an 0-2 count, as Thayer's two-seam fastball came back over the outside corner just a bit and Stanton hit it 411 feet for a go-ahead two-run home run.
"There are probably only a handful of guys that would be able to do that ... especially here," Thayer said of spacious Petco Park.
San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal echoed Thayer's sentiment.
"It probably was the best pitch he threw," Grandal said. "It was right on the spot. I guarantee you there's not another player in the league that could put that out there."
• Outfielder Carlos Quentin, working his way back from a bone bruise in his left knee, could join the Padres sometime next week during a six-game trip to Cincinnati and Denver that begins on Tuesday. Quentin went 0-for-4 on Thursday with Triple-A El Paso. Quentin was scheduled to play most of if not the entire game Friday for El Paso against Fresno.
• It looks as if veteran outfielder Xavier Nady, designated for assignment earlier in the week, will decline his outright assignment to El Paso. Nady has until Sunday to let the team know of his intentions. If he does indeed decline the assignment, he will become a free agent. Nady hit .135 with three home runs in 22 games for San Diego.