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Szczur happy to make return to Windy City

Padres outfielder faces his former club at Wrigley Field
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Upon his return to Chicago on Sunday, Padres outfielder Matt Szczur decided he wanted to see a bit of his former city. After all, he is returning to the Windy City for the first time since being claimed off waivers from the Cubs in May.

"I walked and got a coffee last night, and was recognized by a couple people," said Szczur, who made a fine defensive play in the Padres' 3-2 loss during Monday night's series opener. "They told me good luck with the Padres, and they told me that I was missed here. That always feels good."

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CHICAGO -- Upon his return to Chicago on Sunday, Padres outfielder Matt Szczur decided he wanted to see a bit of his former city. After all, he is returning to the Windy City for the first time since being claimed off waivers from the Cubs in May.

"I walked and got a coffee last night, and was recognized by a couple people," said Szczur, who made a fine defensive play in the Padres' 3-2 loss during Monday night's series opener. "They told me good luck with the Padres, and they told me that I was missed here. That always feels good."

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The local coffee shop wasn't the only place to give Szczur some love. In the Cubs' clubhouse, Ben Zobrist sported a Lower Cape May (N.J.) Regional High School shirt. Szczur, an alum, had given it to Zobrist.

"I'm wearing this in honor of Szcz," Zobrist said.

Szczur's role with the Padres has been largely the same as the one he played with the Cubs. He's received sporadic playing time at all three outfield spots.

Despite Szczur's utility role, he's clearly beloved in Chicago. In the eyes of Padres manager Andy Green, it's easy to see why.

"He's an easy guy to like," Green said. "And it's not just baseball. He's got the painting skills, he's got the personality, he's a tremendous person, tremendous teammate, tremendous competitor."

Szczur, who was hitting .179/.324/.339 in 69 plate appearances entering Monday, noted it was a bit odd to turn toward the first-base dugout at Wrigley Field.

"It's definitely different," Szczur said. But it's a big league clubhouse, and it's nice to be over here, too. ... The fans have always been awesome to me, and Chicago has always been great to me, so it's great to be back."

Worth noting
• The Padres claimed 25-year-old left-hander Dillon Overton off waivers from the Mariners on Monday. Overton, who will report to Triple-A El Paso, had posted a 7.36 ERA in nine appearances for the Mariners this season. He was ranked as the Mariners' No. 15 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

Video: TEX@SEA: Overton alertly picks off Andrus at second

To clear room for Overton on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated right-hander Zach Lee for assignment. Lee made three appearances this season, allowing five runs over eight innings. The Friars had claimed Lee off waivers from Seattle in December.

Trevor Cahill, who is recovering from a right shoulder strain will pitch at Inland Empire later this week. But it's unclear whether he will throw three simulated innings against hitters for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore or three rehab innings for Elsinore against Inland Empire.

For now, it sounds as though the Padres are leaning toward the simulated setting so they can better control Cahill's workload.

Christian Friedrich pitched four scoreless innings for Double-A San Antonio on Sunday as he recovers from a strained left lat and left elbow soreness. His next scheduled appearance will be for five innings with El Paso. He could be bound for a callup after that.

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

San Diego Padres, Matt Szczur