Rule of thumb: when someone says “I hate to say ‘I told you so,” they’re lying. They’re really quite pleased to say “I told you so.”

So I’ll come right out and say it. I told you so. In my Monday blog I suggested that Clay Hensley’s old job as Padres number three starter would not be waiting for him upon his return from the disabled list; that the position was now in the capable hands of Justin Germano.

Forty-eight hours after my pronouncement, the Padres made me look like the sage you already knew I was, by handing Germano the keys to Hensley’s office. The club also floated the idea that Hensley might be headed to the bullpen when he comes back, rather than, say, replacing David Wells as the team’s fifth starter.

But hold a minute, please. Let’s say David Wells gets battered all over Petco by the Cubs tonight, which is a distinct possibility. And let’s just say Hensley pitches lights out in his rehab start for Portland over the weekend, also a distinct possibility. Then what? Hensley can pitch in relief and Wells really can’t, nor would the club consider it seriously. That means one of three things.

One, Hensley stays in the minors a bit longer, while Kevin Towers and Bud Black brainstorm. A decision might be easier in another week or so. Two, Hensley goes to the pen and waits for an opportunity to arise. If it’s a spot start or a 20-inning game, I’m sure he’ll take it. And three, Wells goes on the DL early next week with a real or manufactured injury, and Hensley takes his place.

I’m predicting it’ll be the latter, and if that’s what happens, you can count on me to say “I told you so.”

— HOWARD COLE

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