The only capacity in which Jesse Hahn has ever taken the mound for the Padres is as a starting pitcher. He still managed to get the save on Tuesday.

This wasn't Hahn hurling ninth-inning breaking balls to save the Padres, though. This was very much the Padres saving him.

Before San Diego stepped onto the field for Game 1 of a three-game series vs. the Dodgers Tuesday, Hahn was demoted to AA-San Antonio while left-handed reliever Frank Garces was brought up. This upset some social-media squawkers, who loathed the fact that one of the few bright spots for the Padres was being dimmed.

When you look at this team's roster, sending Hahn down to the minors kind of feels like sacrificing a rook when it could have been a pawn. But if chess is the metaphor here, then it's important to understand that the organization's top priority is keeping Hahn's young arm in check.

"This is the plan we talked about," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It was time to option Jesse and give him a little break."

The Padres' problems are broad and deep-seeded, but among the most debilitating has been health. Whether it's Carlos Quentin, Andrew Cashner, Yonder Alonso or Cameron Maybin, we've regularly seen potential impact players become impaired players.