MIL@SD: Ransom rips a solo homer to right field

PEORIA, Ariz. -- With Logan Forsythe and Chase Headley slated to begin the season on the disabled list, journeyman infielder Cody Ransom will likely start at third base and bat eighth for the Padres on Opening Day against the Mets, according to manager Bud Black.

Because New York is throwing southpaw Jonathon Niese on Monday, Ransom and Jedd Gyorko fit into the lineup better as right-handed batters than the left-handed Alexi Amarista. Black added that on Wednesday when the Mets send right-hander Matt Harvey to the mound, Amarista will get the nod at second base and Gyorko will shift to third.

If the manager's plan comes to fruition, Monday will mark Ransom's second career Opening Day start. The 37-year-old also played third base for the Yankees in 2009.

"It means a lot, there is something special about it," Ransom said. "It's a little different feeling. It's what you shoot for every year and it's a culmination of all the work paying off. There is usually some pretty cool stuff that goes on so I'll always remember it."

In 40 at-bats this spring entering Thursday, Ransom has hit .250 with four home runs.

"It'll be a highlight of my career," Ransom said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Forsythe out at least six weeks with foot injury

2013 Outlook: Forsythe to benefit at smaller Petco

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres manager Bud Black announced Thursday infielder Logan Forsythe will be sidelined at least six weeks after the plantar fasciitis in his right foot inflamed into severe pain Tuesday in a Cactus League game against the Giants.

The injury, which limited the 26-year-old to just 22 at-bats this spring, will keep Forsythe in a walking boot for the first three weeks of his rehab process before he resumes baseball activities.

"After he comes out of it, we'll assess it from there," Black said. "The six weeks is just a minimum."

With Chase Headley already set to miss much of April with a fractured tip of his left thumb, Forsythe would have likely been the Opening Day starter at third base. Instead, he'll begin the year on the disabled list. Cody Ransom, Jedd Gyorko and Alexi Amarista will platoon second and third base while the injured players heal.

To make room for Ransom and Gyorko on the 40-man roster, the Padres will move Casey Kelly and Cory Luebke to the 60-day DL this weekend.

"It's part of the game, injuries happen in professional sports," Black said. "It's a blow to our projected roster, but it happens. The guys who are on the roster, no matter who they are, have a job to do. It's right there ahead of them. For the guys who were fighting to make the roster, and they are now on it, it's a great opportunity to show they are great Major Leaguers and they belong."

In 91 games with the Padres last season, Forsythe hit .273 with six home runs and 26 RBIs.

Padres leaning toward Ross for fifth starter role

SEA@SD: Ross fans six in strong outing vs. Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Even though the club still isn't ready to officially name its fifth starter, Padres manager Bud Black said Thursday the team will "probably" go with Tyson Ross over Andrew Cashner for the backend rotation job.

The coaching staff will meet with the front office this weekend before making the final choice.

"It will be a collective decision among us," Black said. "We'll talk and make a baseball decision."

In 21 innings this spring, Ross has a 2.57 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts. Cashner, on the other hand, has pitched 10 innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out 11. Both pitchers will likely throw again this weekend when the Padres travel to San Antonio for a pair of exhibition games against the Rangers.

If Ross does earn the spot, Cashner would likely find himself as the long reliever in the Padres' bullpen. Black likes that option because he doesn't want the right-hander to make such a large jump in innings from last year to this one. The 26-year-old threw just 69 2/3 innings in 2012, 46 1/3 of which came in the Majors.

"He wasn't going to go from that to 220 Major League innings this year," Black said. "This way, let's say, hypothetically Edinson Volquez goes 2 1/3 innings, Cash would go three or four. And if we feel the need to stretch him and if he doesn't get that work with us in April or May, we'd send him down to the Minor Leagues to do it."

Worth noting

• Playing for the third consecutive day after missing the rest of Spring Training with a knee injury, Carlos Quentin collected a hit in four at-bats on Thursday.

"He felt good, I'll check on him again, but all in all, the last three days have been really beneficial for all of our confidence," Black said. "We'll see as we go each day, but he's worked awful hard this spring to get into this position."

The club remains confident Quentin will be able to begin the season on the active roster, but it will know for certain after this weekend's games in San Antonio.

• Counting the 4,353 fans in attendance on Thursday, the Peoria Sports Complex finished its season with 196,881 fans coming through its gates between Padres and Mariners games.