Now that Cameron Maybin has returned from the restricted list, Padres manager Bud Black has plenty of outfield options to chose from before each game.
Does he have too many?
"How many do we have?," Black asked on Wednesday.
In all, the Padres have nine players on the roster who have seen time in the outfield this season, including five who peg as true outfielders -- and don't see time in the infield: Seth Smith, Will Venable, Rymer Liriano, Abraham Almonte and now Maybin.
That doesn't include Alexi Amarista, Jake Goebbert, Yangervis Solarte and Tommy Medica, who have seen time in the infield and outfield.
How does Black see this playing out over the final five-plus weeks of the season?
"We have some flexibility with those guys," he said. "But let's cut it down to the five guys for the three spots. We'll work through it."
The Padres want to take a long look at Liriano, the rookie, who figures to get plenty of at-bats between now and the end of the regular season. Smith is the team's best hitter, though he'll sit against most if not all left-handed hitters. Maybin needs to reestablish himself and can only do that if he plays.
"When Cam is right, he's a good player," Black said of the outfielder who was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for a prescription amphetamine. "We've got to get Cam back to where he's a big contributor. His numbers were down a little bit before [the suspension]."
Whoever starts in the outfield will be playing behind right-hander Tyson Ross on Thursday. Ross is 11-11 with a 2.70 ERA and has worked six or more innings in 20 of his last 24 starts. But Ross will have a tough task as he takes on Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw wasn't originally scheduled to make the start, but elbow discomfort pushed right-hander Zack Greinke back to Saturday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Kershaw threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in preparation for a possible start. He will be starting on regular rest because of a Monday off-day.
The left-hander last started Saturday against the Brewers and lost for the first time in 14 outings, despite throwing a complete game.
Kershaw allowed two home runs and three runs, saying after the game that he felt better than the scoreboard showed.
Dodgers: Ryu not expected to need rehab games
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu isn't expected to need rehab games as he recovers from a strained right gluteus muscle, Mattingly said Wednesday.
Ryu, who went on the disabled list Friday, played catch for the second straight day Wednesday.
"You feel like his arm will keep moving," Mattingly said. "He continues to improve. It sounded like yesterday was a little bit better."
Mattingly said the team is still unsure of a timetable for Ryu's return, but he doesn't expect to send him to the team's training facility in Arizona.
Ryu will continue to play catch and will work his way toward throwing on a mound, Mattingly said.
Padres: Sweet-swinging Smith
With a third-inning single on Wednesday night, Smith reached bases for the 10th consecutive game away from Petco Park. He's been a road warrior for the Padres this season.
Since June 23rd, Seth Smith is hitting .413 (31-for-75) on the road -- the best average in the Major Leagues.
Overall, Smith leads the Padres in doubles (26), triples (5) and home runs (12). The only player in Padres history to lead the team in all three categories was Dave Winfield in 1979.
• To make room for Maybin on the roster, the Padres optioned infielder Jace Peterson to Triple-A El Paso and designated left-hander Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.
• Mattingly said third baseman Juan Uribe continues to progress from his right hamstring strain and is starting baseball activity. On the disabled list, Uribe took batting practice before Wednesday's game.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.