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Padres need Renfroe healthy and productive

MLB.com @AJCassavell

LOS ANGELES -- The Padres are going to weigh two factors when they mull a potential return for ailing outfielder Hunter Renfroe: the health of his elbow and the health of his bat.

Renfroe is eight games into his rehab stint with Triple-A El Paso, as he looks to return from inflammation in his throwing elbow. For the most part, the injury has subsided. The Padres right fielder is approaching an entirely clean bill of health.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Padres are going to weigh two factors when they mull a potential return for ailing outfielder Hunter Renfroe: the health of his elbow and the health of his bat.

Renfroe is eight games into his rehab stint with Triple-A El Paso, as he looks to return from inflammation in his throwing elbow. For the most part, the injury has subsided. The Padres right fielder is approaching an entirely clean bill of health.

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But the club isn't eager to rush Renfroe back to the big leagues until he can find some consistency at the plate. He was batting .242/.286/.455 at El Paso entering play Saturday night.

"Health is a big part of it, making sure he feels good enough day in, day out," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Then you also want to find him in a rhythm as well. You want to bring somebody back here that's in a rhythm and swinging the bat well."

In the meantime, Franmil Reyes will remain as part of the Padres' outfield rotation. He's the likeliest candidate to be optioned when Renfroe is activated, given their similar skill sets and the club's desire to give regular playing time to both.

For now, the Padres are committed to seeing what they have in Reyes, a power-hitting outfield prospect who torched Triple-A pitching for the season's first month and a half.

"As long as he's here, he's playing pretty consistently," Green said. "The advantage of the timing is we've gotten an opportunity to look. How long we choose to look depends on a lot of other factors -- how Hunter feels, if he's in rhythm, and then what we choose to do as an organization."

Reyes has struggled early, hitting .208 with one extra-base hit through eight games entering play Saturday. It's a small sample, and Reyes is still learning to counter Major League-caliber pitching.

"The pitchers here just have better command with their pitches," Reyes said. "They locate their pitches more. I just need to prepare the same way for my pitch, because at some point and at some time, they're going to throw it. I can't miss."

Bullpen day set for Sunday
The Padres are planning to piece together nine innings from their relievers on Sunday as they await the return of left-hander Joey Lucchesi from a right hip strain. Lucchesi isn't expected to be ready by his next turn on Friday either, but don't expect a repeat of the bullpen strategy.

"We've got about five games before then to navigate and figure out where we'll go," Green said. " But, ideally, we'd have a guy lined up to start that game that's a guy we view as a starting option."

It's unclear who that "starting option" might be. Walker Lockett and Miguel Diaz are both in the Triple-A rotation and on the 40-man roster. The Padres could also dip into their bullpen and hand a temporary starting job to Bryan Mitchell or Robbie Erlin.

Perdomo hits DL
Right-hander Luis Perdomo was placed on the Minor League disabled list with shoulder inflammation on Saturday. The move is retroactive to May 23, his last appearance.

In four big league starts this season, Perdomo posted an 8.36 ERA before being sent to El Paso. The 25-year-old seemed to find a groove there, with a 2.81 ERA over six outings.

A year ago, Perdomo missed two weeks with shoulder inflammation. Green is hopeful for another quick recovery.

"Last year wasn't severe at all, so I'm hoping it's very similar to last year," Green said. "But I don't have enough context to paint a picture for you yet."

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

San Diego Padres, Hunter Renfroe