SAN DIEGO -- Initially surprised, left-hander Matt Strahm was excited to join the Padres' ranks of talented young pitchers.On Friday, Strahm was in the Padres' clubhouse for the first time since being acquired from the Royals on Monday along with Friday starter Travis Wood and Minor League infielder Esteury Ruiz
SAN DIEGO -- Initially surprised, left-hander Matt Strahm was excited to join the Padres' ranks of talented young pitchers.
On Friday, Strahm was in the Padres' clubhouse for the first time since being acquired from the Royals on Monday along with Friday starter Travis Wood and Minor League infielder Esteury Ruiz for pitchers Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter.
Three weeks to the day after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, Strahm made his way around the room on crutches with his left leg in a brace, but he was upbeat as he met his new teammates.
"I was shocked being on the shelf and everything," Strahm said of the trade. "... Obviously, this was the one way I could help them win, in their eyes, right now, so totally understood it. Moving on with it."
Strahm, 25, was doing physical therapy Monday afternoon when Royals general manager Dayton Moore called to inform him of the trade. Strahm suffered the injury while attempting to leap to catch a hit up the middle against the Twins on July 1. Strahm felt something go down his left leg internally, but he stayed in and faced three more batters. He ended the season with a 5.45 ERA in 24 games.
Before the injury, Strahm was splitting time between the rotation and bullpen, something he had done throughout his rise in the Royals' system. The Padres see Strahm as both a potential starter or key backend reliever. Strahm said he has no preference, but Padres manager Andy Green, who met Strahm for the first time Friday, does.
"I think people are going to look up in the middle of next season, when he's back in full form and go, 'Wow, that was a great pickup,'" Green said. "He's going to have every opportunity to establish himself here in whatever capacity he thrives in. I'm hopeful it's the starting rotation because I think there's a lot in him, and if he goes up and grabs that, he's going to be great in that role, and if he has to pitch in the back end of the bullpen, he showed he could do that last year and do it very well."
Strahm will have a four-week visit with Dr. Timothy Kremchek next week and is expected to remain in the brace for another five weeks. Still early in his recovery process, Strahm said his timetable to return is somewhere in the range of 4-6 months. But he's hopeful it's sooner, ready to contribute to a young Padres team in 2018.
"Their farm system is loaded," Strahm said. "Should be an exciting future here, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
● Infielder Yangervis Solarte (strained left oblique) was scheduled to play 7-9 innings at shortstop Friday in the second game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso. Solarte hasn't played shortstop in the Majors since 2014. He went 0-for-2 with walk and run scored Thursday.
● Austin Hedges, on the seven-day concussion disabled list, will catch 5-7 innings in the Arizona Rookie League on Friday.
● Outfielder Travis Jankowski (right foot fracture) is continuing to progress in his rehab and beginning to better use his skill set while on his rehab assignment. On Thursday, he stole his first base since his rehab was moved to Triple-A.
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.