One of those young players is 23-year-old right-hander Burch Smith, who will get the start Friday at Petco Park against the Rockies.
Smith, ranked by MLB.com as the Padres' No. 9 prospect, began the season with Double-A San Antonio and then was added to the big league roster in time for a start -- his Major League debut -- May 11 against the Rays. He allowed six earned runs in just one inning, part of a six-game stint that saw him post a 11.37 ERA.
Smith returned to the Minor Leagues where he went 5-1 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts with the Triple-A Tucson Padres. On Tuesday, he was actually named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Week. He tossed seven scoreless innings in a no-decision against Reno with 10 strikeouts.
Smith said Tuesday that he's a different pitcher than the one who struggled earlier in the season with the Padres.
"I'll get back out there and go at it differently this time," Smith said. "I'm going to try and execute my pitches and not just try to blow the ball by guys."
Black is excited to see Smith pitch again.
"The last number of games he's pitched in the Minor Leagues have been good," Black said.