SAN DIEGO -- When Alex Torres decided last Saturday to become the first pitcher to wear MLB's approved cap designed to protect players on the mound from line drives, the Padres' reliever suddenly received more media attention than he had in his entire career.
National media outlets lined up to talk to Torres about why he decided to pioneer the cap that could save a pitcher's life one day, including Diane Sawyer of ABC News. The social media landscape, meanwhile, seemed to primarily focus on the oversized cap's look. And Twitter users weren't the only ones to poke fun at Torres.
"Teammates, they just joke around that I look like Super Mario," Torres said.
Even D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who was struck by a liner in 2012 that caused internal bleeding in his brain, said in January that he wouldn't wear the cap this season. Among McCarthy's criticisms were the cap "doesn't pass the eye test," is too hot and doesn't fit snugly on his head.
But Torres doesn't share the same critiques, believing that when pitchers are in the middle of a game, they won't notice the seven extra ounces of weight the padding adds to a traditional cap.
"I think [pitchers] just think about how they're gonna look," Torres said. "Right now it looks weird because you're not used to it."
He also says he'll continue to don the padded cap for the rest of his future outings -- and that soon, other MLB players will be following his lead. If not this season, perhaps in 2015.
"In the future, you're going to see a lot more pitchers in the big leagues wearing it," Torres said. "I don't want to wait for someone to hit a line drive right to my head before I start wearing it. I don't want to lose two or three months because I got a concussion. Why not wear it if I have it right now?"
Black insists Padres won't dwell on no-hitter
SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bud Black said he wasn't anticipating any residual hangover Friday from his team after being no-hit Wednesday by Tim Lincecum of the Giants.
"These guys have played their whole lives … tough losses, tough defeats," Black said. "I think players are conditioned to turn the page as quickly as possible."
Lincecum no-hit the Padres for the second time in as many seasons with his gem in the series finale at AT&T Park. Last July 13, he did the same at Petco Park before the Padres scored 10 runs the following day in a victory over the Giants.
In 2009, when Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants tossed a no-hitter against the Padres, San Diego scored just one run the next day. But the day after that, they scored 12 runs against the Giants.
Black said the same principal of bouncing back after a brush with history applies to games that go the Padres' way, too.
"I think it's on both ends, from euphoria to disappointment. I think what makes a player what he is … it's the ability to let the bad go. You've got to let the good go, too," Black said.
How can players do that so easily?
"Because you have to play the next day," he said.
Benoit building resume worthy of All-Star attention
SAN DIEGO -- It's going to be hard for Padres relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit to make his first All-Star team, even if he's having an All-Star kind of month.
Benoit, the team's eighth-inning specialist, went into Friday's game at Petco Park against the D-backs having not allowed a run in June in six appearances with two victories to boot.
Benoit, who has a 1.42 ERA this season, hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 appearances. In order to get on the National League roster, Benoit would need to be selected by the manager of the team or his peers.
It's not too late to make a push for Padres on the NL ballot.
San Diego players on the ballot include shortstop Everth Cabrera, first baseman Yonder Alonso, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, third baseman Chase Headley, catcher Yasmani Grandal and outfielders Chris Denorfia, Seth Smith, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
The voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
• Left fielder Carlos Quentin was scratched from Friday's lineup against the D-backs because of a sore left shoulder. Quentin injured the shoulder as he attempted to make a diving catch on Wednesday against the Giants at AT&T Park. He tried to take some swings three hours before Friday's game, but the shoulder was bothering him. Black hopes he's day to day.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.