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Lamet injury leaves Padres scrambling

MLB.com @AJCassavell

Relatively speaking, the Padres received favorable news regarding Dinelson Lamet on Monday.

The 24-year-old right-hander was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow after leaving his Sunday start early. Lamet is expected to miss the season's first month, at least, but evaluations revealed no structural or ligament damage, the team said.

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Relatively speaking, the Padres received favorable news regarding Dinelson Lamet on Monday.

The 24-year-old right-hander was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow after leaving his Sunday start early. Lamet is expected to miss the season's first month, at least, but evaluations revealed no structural or ligament damage, the team said.

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"It seems to be a lot better than we felt it was yesterday," said Padres skipper Andy Green. "We're going to continue to have him examined and make sure everything is as it should be. ... How severe? Don't know. It doesn't seem to be too severe."

In any case, the Padres have been left scrambling to fill Lamet's place in their starting rotation. He was initially slated to pitch on Friday, but will instead open the season on the disabled list.

Tyson Ross, Robbie Erlin and lefty prospect Joey Lucchesi are all options to fill that void. But you can cross one potential candidate off that list: Chris Young, a non-roster invitee to Padres camp this spring, who was informed that he wouldn't make the team.

Young, who posted a 7.53 ERA in six Cactus League appearances, had an opt-out structured into his contract if he were to be left off the Opening Day roster. The veteran right-hander chose not to accept an assignment to the Minors.

"Hopefully he finds himself another job, because there's still pitching left in him, I believe that," said Green. "He's one of those guys that can do whatever he wants in this game. He's built that reputation, and he deserves that respect. ... If he finds something, I'll be thrilled for him, and I'll be pulling for him, as long as he's not facing us."

Green explained that finding a place for Young would've been especially tricky, given 40-man roster constraints. That statement could be telling.

Video: SD@KC: Young fans Orlando to end the 2nd inning

Currently, the Padres have one place available on their 40-man squad, and they could have three more if Alex Dickerson (UCL sprain), Allen Cordoba (concussion) and Colin Rea (lat strain) are placed on the 60-day DL, as expected.

So who fills those four spots? Ross is an obvious candidate. Catchers Raffy Lopez and A.J. Ellis are likely to be added as well. That would leave one place available -- perhaps for Lucchesi and perhaps for sidearming righty reliever Adam Cimber, who has been dominant all spring.

"When you start getting into roster gymnastics and how you have to maneuver people, there's a cost of losing somebody to add a Chris Young," Green said.

It's still unclear who fills Lamet's spot against Milwaukee on Friday. But the Padres get a bit of a boost from their schedule. They wouldn't need a fifth starter until April 6 in Houston because of Sunday's scheduled off-day.

With that option in play, it's possible the club chooses to open the year with only four starters on its 25-man roster before adding a fifth next week.

Padres close spring slate

On to the regular season.

The Padres wrapped up their Spring Training schedule on Monday night with an 8-6 victory over their Triple-A affiliate in El Paso. Luis Perdomo, who is slated to pitch Saturday against Milwaukee, allowed two runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out three.

Hunter Renfroe, a virtual lock to make the team as the fourth outfielder, went 2-for-2 with a mammoth two-run homer in the fifth inning. Shortstop Freddy Galvis went deep as well.

Video: SD@ELP: Renfroe launches a two-run home run to right

Second-base prospect Ruddy Giron went 3-for-3 and homered for the Chihuahuas, while right-hander Walker Lockett pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits. Before the game, Green touted the importance of the club's relationship with El Paso.

"This is as good, if not the best facility in Minor League Baseball," said Green. "It's a tremendous place for our players to play before they show up in San Diego. The partnership is strong."

Bullpen battle takes center stage

Following Perdomo on Monday night was a procession of Padres relievers currently on the roster bubble. Green gave an inning apiece to six different pitchers -- all of whom are vying for the final three spots available in the bullpen.

Jordan Lyles, Kyle McGrath, Phil Maton and Buddy Baumann all tossed scoreless frames. Sidearmer Adam Cimber allowed his first run of the spring after 10 prior zeroes. Right-hander Colten Brewer, meanwhile, allowed three runs on four hits in the sixth.

Hoffman to throw Opening Day's first pitch

Legendary Padres closer Trevor Hoffman will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday's opener against Milwaukee at 1:10 p.m. PT. Hoffman was among four players elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January.

San Diego native Jackie Foster, a contestant on "The Voice," will sing the national anthem, followed by a flyover featuring four F-18 Superhornets.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Dinelson Lamet