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Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
The San Diego Padres continue to shape their 40-man roster to accommodate which players they want to protect and which players they'll dangle as being eligible for other teams in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft in December. Today the team announced that pitchers Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland, along with catcher Nick Hundley, and outfielders Kyle Blanks and James Darnell, have been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
Luebke and Wieland each made five starts for the Padres in 2012, Luebke going 3-1 with a 2.61 earned runs average while Wieland went 0-4, 4.55 on the season. Luebke was lost to a strained elbow while Wieland had season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Hundley played in 58 games and hit only .157 before the Padres demoted him to AAA Tucson. There, his hitting failed to improve before his season ended in late August as he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.
Darnell was called up to San Diego from Tucson in May and played in seven games, hitting .235 in his short stint with the big club. He was placed on the disabled list with left shoulder subluxation and then subsequently underwent arthroscopic surgery that ended his year.
Blanks only played in four games for the Padres in 2012 before going down with a strained left shoulder. He also went through arthroscopic surgery in April and did not return at any level.
With only three spots open on the 40-man roster, the Padres designated two players for assignment to make room for the five players reinstated. Josh Spence and Blake Tekotte were both designated for assignment.
Spence has completed his third year with the Padres, bouncing around between the minors and the big club. The native Australian, 24 years old, played in 51 games in the major leagues with San Diego in 2011 and 2012, going 0-3 with an ERA of 3.15 in the combined seasons.
Tekotte, 25, was drafted by the Padres in the third round in 2008. Blake has played in a total of 30 games with the big club between 2011 and 2012, hitting .163 in his time there. He will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft unless the Padres elect to add him to the 40-man roster at some point beforehand.