HOUSTON -- When right-hander Nick Vincent was called up to the Padres for the first time on May 18, his mechanics weren't in good shape. He was with the club for two games, and didn't pitch in either before being optioned to Triple-A Tucson on May 20.
After getting called up for a second time before Tuesday's game, Vincent said his mechanics are more refined. He's also not as shocked to be on a Major League roster.
Vincent got his first taste of the big league mound in the Padres' 5-3 loss to the Astros, firing two hitless innings while striking out two and walking one.
"The first one's always the hardest one, I think," Vincent said. "As soon as you get through that, you just have to work on keeping the ball down and getting guys out."
"It was good to see Nick get in the game," manager Bud Black said. "He's had a nice run in Double-A the last two weeks, pitching very well. He carried that over."
The Padres optioned reliever Brad Boxberger to Tucson to make room for Vincent. They also moved right-hander Joe Wieland from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
After his brief stay with the Padres, Vincent, 25, went to Tucson before coaches said that he needed to pitch more regularly in a defined role than he could with the Triple-A club. So Vincent was sent to Double-A San Antonio, which he was fine with.
"It's hard to fix your stuff when you're only throwing every fourth day," Vincent said.
At San Antonio, Vincent decided to abandon throwing out of the windup because it put too much pressure on the ankle he injured after stepping on a ball in Spring Training. He has only been throwing out of the stretch in recent outings, and he's seen some success. In his last nine appearances, all for San Antonio, Vincent was 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. He struck out 15 without issuing a walk.
"As long as you do that, someone's going to see it," Vincent said. "I've been doing well. I don't know if they're short on arms or not, but I'm just happy to be back up here. I'm going to take the opportunity and go with it."
Black said the Padres' evaluators felt that Vincent's recent numbers was more indicative of his pitching ability than what he did with Tucson. In 8 2/3 innings pitched with Tucson, Vincent had an 11.42 ERA.
"We're getting a guy that's throwing the ball well in the Minor Leagues," Black said. "Let's hope that carries over."
Headley given rare day off by Black
HOUSTON -- Manager Bud Black decided to give third baseman Chase Headley a day off on Tuesday.
That didn't stop the Padres skipper from summoning Headley in a 5-3 loss to the Astros, though. Entering as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, Headley went 1-for-2 with a two-run single in the ninth that made things interesting.
Headley had started 72 of the Padres' first 74 games, only sitting out on May 22 against the Cardinals (back). He pinch-hit in the ninth inning of his other non-start, on May 13 against the Phllies.
The third baseman is batting .267 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs this season. He has reached base safely via hit or walk in 66 of his 74 games played this season.
Black said Headley would definitely be back in the starting lineup on Wednesday against Astros starter Lucas Harrell.
Padres sign compensation pick Jankowski
HOUSTON -- The Padres signed compensation pick Travis Jankowski and 11th-rounder Maxx Tissenbaum from the First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.
The teammates at Stony Brook University couldn't sign immediately after the Draft due to their team's surprising run to the College World Series.
Jankowski, a center fielder from Lancaster, Pa., was taken with the 44th overall selection. He batted .414 in 66 starts for the Seawolves, eliminated from the CWS with losses to UCLA and Florida State. Jankowski also stole 36 bases in 42 attempts. He was named an ABCA National Co-Player of the Year.
Tissenbaum batted .390 in 65 games for Stony Brook, picking up 51 RBIs. He is originally from Toronto.
In remembrance of bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, the Padres will now wear patches with the number 48 on them. Akerfelds passed away Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer.
First baseman Yonder Alonso was available for Tuesday's game after missing the previous two with a sore knee. Mark Kotsay started at first base.
Casey McElroy, the Padres' 11th-round pick in the 2011 Draft, was named the Offensive Player of the Week for the California League for the week ending June 24. With Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, McElroy was 10-for-15 with a homer and six runs in four games.
A shortstop out of Auburn, McElroy was just promoted to Lake Elsinore from Class A Fort Wayne last week.
Chris Denorfia entered Tuesday's game with a 12-game hitting streak, the longest Padres' streak of the season. He did not start on Tuesday.
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.