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Padre Spring TRaining Articles

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by wrbanwal, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Maddux exits game with thigh contusion

    Starter hit by comebacker early, tosses two scoreless innings

    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news...id=2424731&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd


    MESA, Ariz. -- Padres starter Greg Maddux left Thursday's game against the Cubs after two innings due to a thigh contusion suffered on a ball hit back to the mound.

    Derrek Lee hit a ball off Maddux's left thigh in the first inning. Maddux retrieved it, made the out at first and went on to both bat and pitch in the second inning. However, due to pain from the hit, Maddux was replaced after that.

    "The leg started to get a little stiff, and I came out," Maddux said. "It's one of those where, if it's April or May, you stay in."

    Maddux said the pain in his thigh could have led him to alter his delivery had he stayed in.

    "This kind of sets you back a little bit," he said. "I think I was supposed to go 60 pitches today, and I only threw about 30."

    The injury is not expected to be serious, according to acting manager Craig Colbert.

    "That was precautionary, the whole thing," Colbert said. "[Pitching coach] Darren [Balsley] just felt it would be the right thing."

    Maddux allowed two hits in two scoreless innings, striking out one, and is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts this spring.
     
  2. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Hunter, McDougall impress; Giles to see Minor League action

    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080313&content_id=2425148&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd
    MESA, Ariz. -- The Padres lost in the ninth inning to the Cubs on Thursday, but plenty of worthwhile observations were gleaned by the San Diego coaches.

    Because Greg Maddux only pitched two innings, due to a left thigh bruise, both Mike Gardner and Wil Ledezma received extended looks.

    Friday, meanwhile, Brian Giles will get his first game action since microfracture surgery on his right knee. He is expected to play in a Minor League game.

    Gardner, trying to make the club as a Rule 5 draftee, allowed three runs and one hit in two innings, while Ledezma yielded only two hits in four scoreless innings.

    "Wil looked good today," acting manager Craig Colbert said. "I thought he had a better fastball the last couple innings than in the first two. He threw some good changeups, some good breaking balls."

    Ledezma has long intrigued scouts and executives with his combination of strong stuff and left-handedness, but Major League success has been fleeting. In parts of five seasons with Detroit, Atlanta and San Diego, he's 15-20 with a 5.28 ERA.

    Control has often been an issue, as Ledezma has struck out 194 in 306 2/3 innings but has walked 138.

    Ledezma, though, was voted as having the best control in the Eastern League in 2004, and his Minor League record is 28-16 with a 3.47 ERA, so the ability is certainly there. At age 27, he's allowed only four hits and one run in seven innings this spring as he battles for a roster spot.

    Prospect Cedric Hunter impressed in center field, making a nice, running, over-the-shoulder catch of Kosuke Fukudome's deep fly ball in the sixth.

    Continuing their spring one-upsmanship, outfield contenders Jody Gerut, Paul McAnulty and Chase Headley all hit high fly balls to the warning track. Fukudome made a spinning catch at the wall in right-center in the third to rob Gerut.

    Callix Crabbe continued his utilityman training by playing most of the game at shortstop. Crabbe, who easily leads the Padres in spring at-bats (33), had three singles in four at-bats and made several nice plays defensively.

    Another utility candidate, Marshall McDougall, was perfect at the plate. He walked three times and hit his first Cactus League homer, a solo shot, in the fifth. He was charged with an error while playing first base, but only because his throw to second trying to complete a double play hit the runner in the back.
     
  3. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Giles sees first game action

    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080314&content_id=2427401&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd




    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right fielder Brian Giles returned to action on Friday afternoon, albeit on a windswept practice field in a Minor League game.

    The spectators might not all have recognized him -- one fan turned to another and wondered who the new guy named Giles was -- but the Chicago Cubs Minor League pitchers he faced certainly did.

    Giles, who had surgery on his right knee at the start of the offseason, batted four times in the first three innings and received a paucity of hittable pitches. He faced four different pitchers and hit a run-scoring single up the middle, walked twice and struck out looking.

    "It was nice to get out there and see some pitches in a game situation," Giles said, while admitting it was frustrating that he didn't get to swing the bat more.

    "He almost got hit in the head with a 3-1 pitch from a lefty," bench coach Craig Colbert said. "A-ball pitcher, big league hitter, [the pitcher] might be a little nervous."

    Even so, Colbert said Giles looked healthy.

    "His lower half," Colbert said, "just swinging and how he was taking pitches, looked good."

    Giles did not play defense or run the bases, and he won't Saturday either, when he plays in another Minor League game. But he could be doing so by Monday in Tucson, Ariz., weather permitting, as rain is a possibility on Sunday and Monday.

    "Maybe he'll pinch-hit on Sunday in Tucson," Colbert said, "Monday and Tuesday, we'll probably get him out there [in the field] ... if the conditions are right, we'll run him out there for three innings, probably two or three at-bats."

    It's all part of the plan Giles and the Padres have in place to get him ready for the regular season.

    "Opening Day is our date," Giles said. "We've kind of got a schedule from here until we're done with camp with the idea of being ready on the 31st [of March]."


    Giles said his knee didn't affect his ability to move around last year, but it took away his flexibility and swelled up after games. Giles batted .271 with 42 extra-base hits and 64 walks in 483 at-bats.

    Giles is not a stranger to abbreviated springs, something he experienced after a work stoppage led to shortened spring and regular seasons in 1995. He expects to get enough work this spring.

    "We've calculated where I'll get around 35 to 40 at-bats," Giles said, "which is maybe 10 at-bats shy [of ideal]."

    Giles said he has no intentions of favoring his knee or playing at less than full speed, and he's confident he will be ready to play at a high level by Opening Day.

    So far, Giles hasn't had any problems in his recovery, but game action will be the real test.

    "In the drills, it's fine," he said. "I really won't be able to tell until I get out there in a big league environment, running around. ... I need to go out and pound on it and see how it comes back the next day."
     
  4. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Germano makes case for rotation


    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080315&content_id=2428446&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd



    Righty tosses five solid innings in China Series opener


    BEIJING -- If the game ball from the first pitch of Saturday's historic game between the Padres and Dodgers at Wukesong Stadium was indeed earmarked for the Hall of Fame, Padres pitcher Justin Germano wanted to make absolute sure of something.

    That it was a strike.

    "That was one of the biggest things for me because I knew they wanted to keep the ball ... I was glad it was a strike," Germano said. "I was hoping the batter [George Lombard] wasn't going to come out of his shoes on it. I threw it right down the middle."

    That strike might not have been Germano's best pitch of the day, as the right-hander had more than a few in a start that saw him allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

    Germano earned a no-decision in a game that was called after nine innings and with the scored tied, 3-3. But he may have been a winner just the same, at least in the eyes of the Padres coaching staff, including manager Bud Black, as Germano tried to win the fifth-starter spot in the rotation.

    "He's pitched great all spring," Black said of Germano, who has a 3.14 ERA this spring and most of that damage was done in one game. "You could see the focus with him even when we got to the park. He showed very well again."

    And he might well have vaulted himself to the top of a short list of candidates for that fifth starter spot. Shawn Estes (20.77 ERA) has been ineffective, Glendon Rusch (1.35) has looked good but has far fewer innings than Germano, as does Wil Ledezma (1.29) and Wade LeBlanc (2.25).

    Germano allowed the first run of Saturday's game, oddly enough, to Lombard, who got a hold of a changeup in the third inning, sending it into the right-field seats. Undaunted, Germano pressed on and later worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs.

    Germano got several outs on changeups and benefited greatly from his curveball, which might be his best pitch. The ball had good movement in the cool Beijing air, something that might not have happened in Arizona.


    "It's good to get out of that thin air in Arizona and have a good feel for my curveball," Germano said. "I felt good. I wouldn't take anything back, not even the changeup he [Lombard] hit. He just put a good swing on it."

    As for trying to win a spot in the Padres rotation, Germano isn't thinking a whole lot about it, or, at least, he's not saying as much. Like his other teammates here in China, he's trying to enjoy the overall experience of baseball and culture.

    "I just told myself to have fun and that it was going to be a great experience," Germano said. "I was trying to have fun out there. I wanted to relax and enjoy the moment and not worry about the results. But I'm still happy with the results."
     
  5. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Minor League Report: Chase Headley


    gotta keep him on the 52


    :tup::tup::tup:


    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080321&content_id=2449107&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd




    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Chase Headley continues to force the Padres' hand
    this spring by the way that he's swinging the bat, which isn't altogether a surprise to those in the organization who believe his bat is already Major League ready.

    But is his glove?

    After hitting a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Mariners on Thursday, Headley has four home runs this spring, 14 RBIs and is hitting .389. Headley's 14 hits trail only Callix Crabbe (18) for the team lead.

    Better still, Headley has held up well in left field, as he's made the full-time conversion from third base to the outfield.

    But have the Padres seen enough defensively from him?

    "He's played well. The only thing is the change in positions and doing it at the big league level is tough," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Doing it in Spring Training is a great indicator of things to come. He hasn't done anything to indicate that he's not capable."

    The Padres have been mum on whether Headley will open the season on the 25-man Opening Day roster or might be better served starting the season with Triple-A Portland to get more playing time in the outfield, which might be a more realistic possibility at this point.

    The health of center fielder Jim Edmonds will go a long ways in determining how the Padres outfield sets up for the start of the regular season. Edmonds has been sidelined with a right calf sprain over the last two weeks and his status for Opening Day on March 31 appears doubtful.

    Bass still here: Right-handed pitcher Adam Bass, a non-roster invitee, is still here in camp, still competing for a job in the bullpen.

    Bass, who split last season between the Diamondbacks' organization and pitching in Japan, has allowed just two runs in eight innings over seven appearances this spring. Better still, Bass has walked one batter and that was on March 3 against Milwaukee.

    With left-handed Justin Hampson still nursing a sore shoulder and Kevin Cameron (fractured thumb on his non-throwing hand) getting limited appearances, Bass has continued to get chances to throw and has performed well.

    Bush on the mend: Pitcher Matt Bush, the first overall pick of the 2004 Draft, is back throwing again, less than seven months after having Tommy John ligament replacement surgery to repair his right elbow.

    Bush has been throwing off flat ground for the last three weeks, though don't expect him to get any time in a professional game anytime soon. He'll likely face live hitters during instructional league.


    Bush made the conversion from shortstop to pitcher in July, but pitched 7 2/3 innings before injuring his elbow. The reports on his pitching, especially his velocity, were very good before the injury.

    They're No. 1: Matt Antonelli, the Padres' first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, was one of the 17 players who were moved to the team's Minor League camp earlier in the week. Chances are Antonelli will open the season at Portland.

    Antonelli hit .150 this spring in Cactus League games with one home run in 20 at-bats. He was part of the contingent of players that the Padres took to Beijing a week ago.

    Antonelli hasn't played above the Double-A level, and has a .406 on-base percentage in the Minor Leagues and fits the organizational profile for patience well. He showed in 2007 that he's capable of hitting for power (21 combined home runs).

    Class of '07: Shortstop Drew Cumberland, a supplemental-round pick last June, could open the season at Class A Fort Wayne, which would likely make him on of the youngest players in the Midwest League in 2008.

    Cumberland, the 46th overall pick out of Pace High School in Pace, Fla., hit .310 last summer with the Padres' entry-level team in the Arizona League and then .333 in a short stint at Eugene.

    Cumberland recovered nicely after dislocating the ring finger on his right hand after losing a pop-up in the sun.

    What they're saying: "We're going to keep running him out there. He's a guy our scouts and a couple of our front office people identified. He's a guy who, if he continues to pitch, can force his way [and make us] make some decisions." -- Black speaking about Bass
     
  6. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Padres release veterans DaVanon, Fick

    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080322&content_id=2451608&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd


    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Veterans Jeff DaVanon and Robert Fick, who signed Minor League contracts with an invitation to Major League camp with the Padres, were released on Saturday.

    DaVanon, a 34-year-old outfielder, has played in the Major Leagues more than six years with the Athletics, Diamondbacks and Angels. He hit .213 in 39 games last season with the Diamondbacks and A's. DaVanon has a career. 295 average in 528 games in the Majors.

    DaVanon hit .290 with one double and one RBI in 31 at-bats in 13 Spring Training games.

    Fick, a 34-year-old catcher, has nearly nine years of service time in the Majors with the Tigers, Braves, Rays, Padres and Nationals. Fick hit .260 in 106 games with the 2005-06 Padres. He has a career .258 average in 846 Major League games.

    In 11 Spring Training games, Fick was batting .130 (3-for-23) with one extra-base hit.

    "They're two veteran players that came into camp that were battling for positions on our club," Padres manager Bud Black said. "They both acted and played with great professionalism, as they are, but the staff and [general manager] Kevin Towers, we decided it probably wasn't going to work for either of those two as we move closer to [the season opener on] March 31. We decided to do it at this time."

    The Padres decided to release the two veterans instead of sending them to their Triple-A Portland affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

    "We felt our situation at Triple-A was pretty set with the number of young players we're going to have there, both in the outfield and in Fick's case behind the plate," Black said. "Those guys probably wouldn't get the at-bats in Triple-A that they'd want.

    "These guys still have possibly an opportunity to get a Major League job with somebody else with another week to go of Spring Training."

    With the moves, the Padres have 40 players, including five non-roster invites, left in Major League camp.
     
  7. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    In Q&A with MLB.com, skipper professes forward mentality

    MLB.com: Has having a full season under your belt made coming into Spring Training easier this year on you? And moving into your second year, what are some of the things you want to do as a manager to improve?

    Bud Black: Every step that I took in this role [last year] was new. This year, knowing from one year experience how to go about certain things ... I wouldn't say makes it any easier, but I know what to expect. I've gained a lot of knowledge being in there last year. I want to continue to try to get to know the opposition, try to understand the managers in the National League and continue to look for any edge we can find as a staff. You keep pushing the preparation and the communication aspect and things we need to do in a leadership role.

    MLB.com: Your bench will look a lot different than it did at the start of last year and during the season. How important is bench play and, specifically, what do you want your bench to look like as far as what attributes the players have?

    Black: You want good hitters on the bench, you want good defenders, you want some speed. You want some power. You want it all. But it doesn't happen. Defense plays a premium, too. If you double-switch, you want to bring in a guy who is a good enough defender who won't cost you, especially in close ballgames. Seven years of Interleague Play sets you up for 162 games, but there was enough, going back to my four years in the National League as a player. The importance of the bench on a daily basis, the moves that are made, figures way more than an American League team.

    MLB.com: Chase Headley has certainly had a big spring making the conversion from third base to left field. He's looked good in the outfield, but there's certainly more to defense than just catching fly balls. How do you think he's fared?

    Black: He's played well. The only thing is the change in positions and doing it at the big league level is tough. Doing it in Spring Training is a great indicator of things to come. He hasn't done anything to indicate that he's not capable. We're asking a lot of this kid, but we think that he has the aptitude and the mental strength to handle it. Some guys you're a little leery of, but not this kid.

    MLB.com: There's certainly been a lot made about the Padres' inability to stop the opposition from stealing bases in 2007. Percentages show that a lot of those runners don't come around to score, but what have pitchers done this spring to ensure the teams don't run as much in 2008?

    Black: A lot of people are hung up on the stolen base. But we know, ultimately, you stop guys from scoring by getting guys out at the plate. With that said ... we want to improve on all areas. We have had pitchers vary their set times [in their deliveries]. And you have to identify the guys you want to keep from stealing. [Rafael] Furcal, [Scott] Podsednik and [Juan] Pierre, they're going to steal against everybody. The borderline runner, that's what we have to identify.

    MLB.com: You just returned from China where the Padres played two games in Beijing against the Dodgers. How did you feel about the overall experience, weighing what you might have missed here evaluating players against what you gained by going on the trip?

    Black: I don't think I missed a whole lot. I think Gonzo, Kouz and Hairston [Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Scott Hairston], getting them away from their routine, you don't know how it's going to affect them. But I think it was early enough in spring where there's time to regroup and get back. All in all, it was a great experience.

    MLB.com: Callix Crabbe, the Rule 5 Draft pickup from the Brewers, has had a strong spring playing just about everywhere -- center field, right field, third base, second base and shortstop. What do you think about his game?

    Black: The versatility is a big plus for him. There's a short little quick stroke. He puts the bat on the ball. He's got that line-drive, gap stroke from both sides of the plate that looks pretty good. He's having a great spring. He's a guy that we identified in the winter to help our club, and he's not making us think any different. All our scouting reports on him have been right on. The way he's played this spring, and the way our scouts saw him last year, he possibly could be deserving of a shot. He's playing very well. He's getting his hits, he's showing his versatility -- which is a plus."
     
  8. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Padres' gamble on Gerut paying off

    never heard of him, I guess he takes Headley's spot cause he just got sent down to the minors.

    :icon_shrug::icon_shrug::icon_shrug:


    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Given he hadn't played in the Majors -- or Minors -- in two years, Jody Gerut might have seemed like a long shot to make the Padres' Opening Day roster when he was invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player on Jan. 27.

    Nearly two months later, though, Gerut has already proven plenty. Many fans last remember his name from his time in Cleveland, where he hit 22 home runs as a rookie in 2003, and Gerut has hit this spring like he hasn't missed a day.

    Gerut, 30, is batting .262 and slugging .571 in 42 at-bats through Saturday, and he stands a good chance of making the Opening Day roster even if starting center fielder Jim Edmonds is healthy. If Edmonds starts the year on the disabled list, Gerut's versatility and Major League experience at all three outfield spots makes him all the more attractive to the Padres.

    "Jody's looked really good. Everyone on the staff has commented on the way he's going about things," bench coach Craig Colbert said. "Hopefully he can get back to what he did in Cleveland."

    Gerut was traded from the Indians to the Cubs to the Pirates during a whirlwind 2005 campaign, and hurt his knee soon after joining Pittsburgh.

    The 2006 and 2007 regular seasons were a loss.

    "It was a very difficult time and it led me to think about whether or not I wanted to play, but in the end, the day would come and go, and I still wanted to play," Gerut said. "I just rehabbed every day and tried to get better. It was extremely boring, because it was Groundhog Day every day."

    When Gerut finally felt healthy enough to play and signed with the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason, he had no idea what his future would hold.

    "You name it," Gerut said. "After not playing for two years, there's going to be questions. Just throw a dart at a question board and you'd hit a question I had."

    But almost immediately, those questions began to be answered with one crack of the bat after another. Gerut tore up the competition in Venezuela, batting .390 in 141 at-bats.

    The Padres were happy to roll the dice on a player who starred at Stanford University, breezed through the Minor Leagues and owned a .263 career average with a .334 on-base percentage and .434 slugging average in the Majors before being derailed by injuries, and their gamble could pay off if Gerut makes the club.

    If Edmonds is out, Scott Hairston will become the starting center fielder, which could lead to a spot in left for Gerut. The Padres would also consider playing Gerut in center to spell Hairston.

    "We feel comfortable with Gerut and Callix Crabbe out there," manager Bud Black said.
     
  9. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Padres option top prospect Headley


    PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' decision Sunday to option top prospect Chase Headley to their Minor League camp was certainly no reflection on how he handled the conversion from third base to the outfield this spring.

    If anything, the Padres want to see more of the 23-year-old in the outfield, which is why he'll likely begin the season at Triple-A Portland instead of San Diego, despite swinging one of the hottest bats in Cactus League play.

    Apparently, six weeks do not make an outfielder.

    "We tried to explain to him that going down there and getting more time in the outfield is only going to make him better when he gets back up here," said Padres general manager Kevin Towers. "I think this spring really validated how good we think this guy is going to be."

    Those kind words from the staff, as relayed by manager Bud Black, Towers and hitting coach Wally Joyner, certainly softened the blow of the news Headley never intended to hear this spring.

    "Obviously, I'm disappointed," Headley said. "Because I feel like I can contribute at the big league level right now. It's tough when you have a good spring and you feel like you did everything you can."

    Headley hit .349 in 43 at-bats with three doubles and a triple, and he led the team in home runs (four) and RBIs (14) in 23 spring games. Headley had a single in his only at-bat in Sunday's 7-3 loss to the Cubs at the Peoria Sports Complex.

    Headley, the Texas League Player of the Year in 2007, proved to be a quick study in left field this spring. He was tested on a wide range of fly balls, line drives and base hits. He even threw a runner out at the plate in a game on Friday against the Brewers.

    But the Padres want him to gain more experience defensively, and the only way to do that was playing on a regular basis.

    "I felt like I did a good job. I felt like I did better than I expected, and I would guess that I did better than a lot of people expected," Headley said. "Was I perfect? No. I am satisfied with what I did and the work I put in. I'm not where I'll be ultimately, but for the amount of time I've had, I've done all I could have done."



    Towers was especially impressed and with how quickly Headley took to the outfield, and cited a March 5 game against the A's as evidence at how far the former third baseman had come since taking fly balls at PETCO Park in January.

    In that game, Headley was tested several times in left field, including twice in the first inning when he missed a fly ball off the bat of Jack Cust with a diving attempt after getting a late jump. Later in the same inning, Headley made a nice running catch of a fly ball in the gap in left-center field.

    Then in the third inning, Headley narrowly missed making a running catch on a ball hit again by Jack Hannahan, which resulted in a double. Headley made up for it later in the inning by making a diving grab in the left-field corner on Travis Buck's fly ball.

    "I'd say he's probably exceeded my expectations for only being out there six weeks. I go back to that game in Oakland," Towers said. "He had a tough time with fly balls and came back and made two or three very good plays. That's the sign of a good athlete making an adjustment."

    Headley said the sense of self-satisfaction that he did all he could do defensively helped make the move to the Minor League camp a bit easier, though he has every intention of finding his way back to the Major Leagues sooner rather than later.

    "I was happy with the way I played. I can accept that," he said. "Everything else is out of my control. All I can do is work hard, get some games under my belt and hopefully be back as soon as possible.

    "They told me I needed to play every day, and that if I was in San Diego, that wasn't going to be the case right now. They're happy with how I played and they think highly of me, is what they said. It's never a fun deal, but all I can do is get better."

    With Saturday's release of Jeff DaVanon, with Headley going to the Minor League camp and with Jim Edmonds likely starting the season on the disabled list with a strained right calf, it looks like non-roster invitee Jody Gerut has not only made the team, but will start on Opening Day in left field against the Astros on March 31.

    Gerut has impressed the staff all spring and is hitting .279 with three home runs and six RBIs. In Edmonds' absence, Scott Hairston will likely start the season in center field.
     
  10. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Headley will probably be playing very soon, even if he was optioned
     
  11. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    wasted another million $$$


    SAN DIEGO -- The Padres resisted the urge to push their last roster decision for Opening Day to Sunday's league-mandated deadline, opting instead to place veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds on the 15-day disabled list on Friday.

    Edmonds, who has not played in an official Spring Training game since March 6 when he strained his right calf, will be eligible to come off the disabled list on April 5, as his roster move was made retroactive to March 21.

    The Padres had suggested as recently as Thursday when they broke camp that they might wait until Sunday's deadline to see how Edmonds' calf responded to the rigors of playing in Minor League games as well as continued rehabilitation.

    "My feeling now is it keeps Jimmy from pushing it the next few days over in Arizona," Padres manager Bud Black said. "This way, he can still work into his at-bats, get the rehab and continue to intensify his running program."

    Edmonds played in Minor League games in Peoria, Ariz., on Wednesday and Thursday, going a combined 4-for-8 with a home run. He didn't play in the field in either game. Black said Edmonds didn't play in a game on Friday.

    Black indicated the Edmonds will remain in Arizona until Monday when he will join the Padres at PETCO Park to work out before the home opener against the Astros. Edmonds will remain in San Diego until Thursday when he joins Class A Lake Elsinore for two games.

    "He'll get a couple of games under his belt there," Black said.

    By placing Edmonds on the disabled list on Friday and not waiting until Saturday or Sunday, the Padres' 25-man roster is set and they'll avoid anyone guessing who might be staying and who might be leaving.

    "I just think for clarity ... so there's no confusion going into Sunday," Black said.

    Edmonds was the only lingering roster decision the Padres had to figure out, as they had trimmed the roster to 26 players on Wednesday.

    The Padres' 25-man roster for Opening Day includes pitchers Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Greg Maddux, Randy Wolf, Justin Germano, Joe Thatcher, Cla Meredith, Wil Ledezma, Heath Bell, Trevor Hoffman, Glendon Rusch and Enrique Gonzalez.

    Position players include catchers Josh Bard and Michael Barrett, infielders Callix Crabbe, Adrian Gonzalez, Tony Clark, Tadahito Iguchi, Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff and outfielders Brian Giles, Scott Hairston, Paul McAnulty, Justin Huber and Jody Gerut.
     
  12. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    ANAHEIM -- A year ago, there was no hint of what lay in store for Kevin Kouzmanoff in his first month as a Major League starter -- let alone his first season.

    He'd had just a month's worth of experience at the top level, having been called up by the Cleveland Indians on September 2, 2006.

    His debut could not have been more auspicious -- or historic. Kouzmanoff hit the first pitch he saw in the Majors for a grand slam off Texas' Edinson Volquez. No Major Leaguer had done it before.

    Fast-forward to April 2007, his first month in a Padres uniform. As the Friars' regular third baseman -- three words guaranteed to send a chill down the collective spine of well-schooled Padres followers -- Kouzmanoff put his eye-opening debut in the shadows, hitting .113 going into May.

    "You couldn't tell the 'boos' from the 'Kouz,'" remembers one member of the Padres' media legion.

    Having come to Bordertown in exchange for fan favorite Josh Barfield didn't help matters from a public perspective.

    Kouzmanoff finished the season at .275, with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs, and complemented that with improvement in the field and on the bases.

    Padres manager Bud Black still marvels at the turnaround.

    "He got off to a rough start but came on strong," Black said. "From mid-May, his confidence grew through the end of the season. I think one of the reasons for the adjustment is that he'd never been in a big league camp."

    Conversely, Kouzmanoff credits Black and his staff for their confidence in him.

    "I definitely had a tough adjustment period in the beginning," Kouzmanoff said, "but I was fortunate enough to be in a good clubhouse. The players were behind me, and Bud and his staff hung in there."

    Amid speculation that he'd be sent down in May, Kouzmanoff's turnaround began to take form thanks to "more and more reps," in the words of the native Coloradan.

    His numbers for May included .303, three home runs and 18 RBIs.

    Kouzmanoff's outlook for 2008 is anything but relaxed. Black appreciates the fact that his regular third baseman continues to work on his fielding, an unorthodox throwing motion notwithstanding.

    Asked to pinpoint areas he feels need improvement, Kouzmanoff said flatly, "Everything. Hitting. Fielding. Running. Throwing. I'm never satisfied."
     
  13. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Kouz, staff lead Padres past Angels

    Kouz, staff lead Padres past Angels


    Angels at the plate: The Angels didn't get a hit until the seventh inning, though it was a big one, as Erick Aybar knocked a home run over the wall in right field to start the inning off Padres reliever Adam Bass. Minor Leaguer Hainley Statia had the Angels second hit of the game.

    Padres at the plate: Kevin Kouzmanoff gave the Padres their first run with a home run in the first inning to left-center field. The Padres didn't get another hit until the sixth inning when Brian Giles knocked in Callix Crabbe -- who was hit by a pitch -- with a triple to left-center. Scott Hairston had an RBI double in the seventh inning while catcher Josh Bard knocked in a run with a single.

    Angels on the mound: Starting pitcher Joe Saunders, scheduled to be the Angels' third starter in their rotation this season, allowed the home run to Kouzmanoff but not a whole lot else. He allowed one hit over five innings with five strikeouts. Reliever Jason Bulger allowed a run and Alex Serrano allowed two runs.

    Padres on the mound: Greg Maddux certainly looked in midseason form Friday, as he needed just 24 pitches -- including 19 strikes -- over three scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit or a walk. Cla Meredith, Glendon Rusch, Joe Thatcher and Enrique Gonzalez each tossed one scoreless inning.

    Cactus League records: Padres 12-13-4, Angels 18-10-4.

    Up next for the Padres and Angels: Randy Wolf gets the start for the Padres in the final exhibition game of the spring at 6:05 p.m. PT on Saturday at Angel Stadium. Wolf is scheduled to be the Padres fourth starter in the rotation. He tossed six shutout innings against the Angels on Monday in Tempe. He'll be opposed by Ervin Santana, who will be the fourth starter in the Angels rotation.
     
  14. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    McAnulty relishes shot at redemption

    SAN DIEGO -- This won't be Paul McAnulty's first Opening Day, though it may very well feel like it.

    McAnulty, who is expected to start in left field on Monday against the Astros, was on the Padres' Opening Day roster a year ago, though he said making the team out of Spring Training feels considerably different this time around.

    "Last year, I got to go out there [during player introductions]," McAnulty said before Friday's exhibition game against the Angels at PETCO Park. "But I feel like I'm in a whole new situation this year. This year, I'm going to get a chance to play a lot more.

    "It's going to be great ... A good start to a great year."

    McAnulty, 27, made the team out of Spring Training based not only on his hot spring at the plate -- he hit .291 with four home runs and 13 RBIs -- but with his solid defense in the outfield.

    McAnulty's big spring got him back on the Padres' radar following a forgettable 2007 season in which he hit .262 after being sent to Triple-A Portland in April -- a far cry from his career .301 batting average in the Minor Leagues. He also missed about a month with a right quadriceps strain.

    McAnulty dedicated himself to getting in the best shape of his career in the offseason. He worked out three times a day, six days a week, adhering to a schedule of weight training and conditioning as well as baseball-related activities at his home in Oxnard, Calif.

    McAnulty lost about 20 pounds and reported to camp in the best shape of his career.

    "You never find out until you do it. I dedicated my whole offseason to working out and become the player these guys want me to be ... and the player I want to be, as well," he said. "Last year was just a down year, stuff like that happens. It's a question of if you can get back up or not."

    McAnulty has done that in the eyes of his manager, Bud Black. McAnulty won't just be an option off the bench as he was at the beginning of last season. He'll likely start in left field against right-handed pitchers, which should get him plenty of at-bats.

    "Coming into camp totally healthy ... he reaffirmed his place as a guy who believes he's ready to take on the challenge of being a Major League player," Black said. "We will see how it works out for him. It's well deserved."

    Now it's McAnulty's turn. He's ready to show the Padres that six years after they drafted him out of Long Beach State that he's arrived and for good.

    "I've been in this game too long to expect too many things. For me, I wanted to show these guys that last year was just one of those deals," McAnulty said. "I feel like I did that in Spring Training. I feel like they have the confidence in me. I showed I can play defense every day. I think good things are to come this year."
     
  15. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    New faces mark Padres' 2008 roster

    SAN DIEGO -- Imagine the setting: PETCO Park on March 31 and it's Opening Day and newcomer Tadahito Iguchi is starting at second base for the Padres.

    Over Iguchi's right shoulder, standing in left field, is Paul McAnulty, who wasn't on the roster most of last season. To McAnulty's immediate left is Scott Hairston, who wasn't with the team last April.

    Look inside the Padres' bullpen (Enrique Gonzalez and Glendon Rusch) or even the dugout (Callix Crabbe, Justin Huber, Tony Clark and Jody Gerut) and there are even more new faces to be seen. That might give the impression the team started over from scratch, though Bud Black, the Padres' second-year manager, says it's not like the team is completely rebuilt.

    "There's been turnover," Black said, "but not a massive turnover."

    No, the Padres didn't blow the team up in the offseason and commit to starting over, not after winning 89 games and narrowly missing the postseason. But the team didn't exactly embrace the status quo either.

    Gone from 2007 are center fielder Mike Cameron, utilityman Geoff Blum, left fielder Milton Bradley, second baseman Marcus Giles and relief pitcher Doug Brocail.

    Enter starting pitchers Randy Wolf and Mark Prior. Wolf is scheduled to pitch fourth in the Padres' rotation, with Prior, coming off shoulder surgery last April, possibly ready to return to the Major Leagues in May or June as the fifth starter.

    Then there's Iguchi and outfielder Jim Edmonds, who could begin the regular season on the disabled list with a strained right calf.

    The Padres, who ranked next-to-last in batting average (.250) in the National League last season, believe they will be a better offensive team with the additions of Iguchi, who will likely hit second in the order behind Brian Giles, and Edmonds.

    The bench figures to be much improved, as well, with either Josh Bard or Michael Barrett -- depending on who starts -- and veteran first baseman Clark, providing potential pop late in games and spelling Adrian Gonzalez on occasion.

    "You want good hitters on the bench, you want good defenders, you want some speed. You want some power. You want it all," Black said of his ideal bench composition. "... But it doesn't [always] happen."

    What the Padres will have, many regard, is one of the top pitching staffs in Major League Baseball, anchored by Opening Day starter Jake Peavy, who won the National League Cy Young Award after a wildly successful 2007 season.

    Peavy is coming off a season that saw him win the Cy Young Award in unanimous fashion, leading the league in ERA (2.54), victories (19) and strikeouts (240), which certainly went a long way toward a $52 million contract extension that will keep him in a Padres uniform through 2012 and possibly 2013.

    Should the Padres need to go to their bullpen for help against the Astros on Opening Day, they'll turn to one of the best relief corps in baseball from a year ago, a unit that didn't change all that much in the offseason.

    Opening Day
    Complete coverage >

    Reliever Cla Meredith is back to handle the seventh inning after enduring an occasionally rough second year where he might have been more snake-bit than bad in 2007, when his ERA rose from a scant 1.07 during his rookie year to 3.50 last season.

    "He might have been a little unlucky," Black said.

    Heath Bell will handle the eighth inning, giving the team a nice bridge between Meredith and closer Trevor Hoffman.

    Bell finished tied for fifth in the National League in games (81), second in holds (34) and first in innings pitched by a reliever (93 2/3) while becoming one of baseball's top setup men.

    "Without him, you know, we wouldn't have been in the position we were in September," Black said. "He was a valuable part of our bullpen, logged a lot of innings, almost from about the first of May on."

    Despite blowing saves in two of the Padres' final three games of the season, including the 13-inning loss to the Rockies in the Wild Card play-in game, Hoffman saved 42 games and has a healthy elbow after minor surgery in the offseason.
     
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  16. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    PADRES SEASON PREVIEW: Sweet San Diego home: A self-described Alabama redneck, Jake Peavy has been 'citified' playing for the Padres and living in a family-friendly North County community

    By DAN HAYES - Staff Writer | Sunday, March 30, 2008 3:20 PM PDT

    SAN DIEGO ---- Perhaps it has changed him some, dining in high society's finest establishments, working in towns with nary a dirt road and staying in opulent hotels he never could have imagined.

    But Jake Peavy feels he has never strayed far from his roots.
    He's had to adapt, no doubt, but Peavy contends he's just a "laid-back guy" from Semmes, Ala.

    Peavy is still fond of the mellow atmosphere in which he was raised, where an afternoon spent fishing is pure bliss and friends and family matter most. He appreciates the feel of a small town, where community is king. Most of all, he relishes the opportunity being home affords him to let loose, enjoy life and be himself.

    Never in a million years could this "old boy from Alabama," as Peavy often refers to himself, imagine he would find similar happiness in California.

    Sure enough, when he signed a $52 million contract extension last December that will keep him in San Diego at least through 2012, Peavy announced his family would be moving West full-time.

    After five full seasons here, some might argue that Peavy ---- who currently resides in a five-bedroom home in the Rancho Bernardo community of 4S Ranch ---- has become a little urbane.

    Just don't tell him.

    "(Houston Astros pitcher) Roy Oswalt calls me citified now ---- 'You used to be a redneck, and now you're citified,'" Peavy said. "But I think I can go both ways. I can go to the city and be with people, and I can go back home and be as big of a redneck as you've ever seen. ... I can go in the deepest of backwoods you could see and put on a pair of Wranglers and cowboy boots, or I can wear a suit and shake hands and do what I need to do on that end and not look like an idiot at a nice dinner. ... I could go fit in."

    Tony Gwynn has a pretty good idea why.

    Gwynn, who played in San Diego for 20 years, knows what it's like to be the focus of the Padres' attention. He understands the life, on and off the field, of a player here. And he knows Peavy.

    "Jake is a down-home country guy who enjoys what he does for a living, and it's not going to change him," Gwynn said. "He's still going to be Jake Peavy and he's doing it in a place where they're going to let him be Jake Peavy. He's not going to have people following him out to dinner and scrutinizing where he buys his groceries. That kind of stuff doesn't happen here. And to a lot of guys, those things have become a lot more important, especially because of the kind of money they're making. ...

    "You're going to be able to have your life away from baseball, and I think for a lot of guys that's important."

    Fish out of water

    Peavy said he often found himself frustrated as he learned to live in a city with 81 times as many people as his hometown.

    He was raised in Semmes ---- a place described by his best friend, 29-year-old Semmes firefighter Chad Sprinkle, as a "one-road-in, one-road-out town with the essentials."

    Located 13 miles from Mobile, Semmes had a population of 15,398 in 2000. Its central area consists of a post office, gas station, bank, a few restaurants and a Super Wal-Mart.

    Peavy said Semmes is the kind of place where the community's older men go to breakfast each morning and talk about Southeastern Conference football, tractors and farms; fishing and hunting are popular activities; and dinner is held promptly at 6:30 p.m.

    "It's an easy way of living," Peavy said. "It's pretty simple. People are very friendly, down to earth. It's just a good down-home feel."

    So imagine Peavy's surprise when he first set foot in the luxurious Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Or his first road trip to New York. And then there's that first high-end restaurant where he went for dinner.

    "There was a definite transition period, and I wasn't comfortable with a lot of stuff that goes on," Peavy said. "Just how we're treated is different. The places we get to go and eat, some of the hotels we stay in. I certainly wasn't accustomed to that because it's not where I came from."

    Peavy's wife also had to adjust. Katie Peavy, born in Semmes, has accompanied her husband of 6 1/2 years on several of the team's road trips. At times, she has felt very uncomfortable.

    "Sometimes I get a little embarrassed," she said. "You know? It does. It makes me feel a little awkward to be treated that nice. Let me just do this myself. I'm fine."

    Family first

    As last season wound down, Peavy experienced another first in California: His family had to return home without him.

    Jacob Jr., the Peavys' oldest son, was enrolled in kindergarten back in Alabama, so Katie, Jacob Jr. and youngest son Wyatt headed east for the start of school. It was a shift in routines for the family, which had lived together on a four-bedroom ranch in Semmes each offseason, then traveled west to San Diego each April.

    "It was tough for me," Peavy said. "You want to be with your family. You spend so much time away, and your kids at their age don't really understand why Daddy isn't around. That's certainly something that's not easy for a daddy."

    The scenario of his family living half a country away certainly complicated matters when the Padres came to Peavy with a contract extension offer this offseason. He was very excited, but the deal wasn't immediately a shoo-in because of the personal ramifications.

    Could Peavy handle playing in San Diego while his family lived in Alabama? How much time would he miss playing with his two boys? Was it all worth it to remain with the only organization he has played for, a team he loves dearly?

    Peavy went directly to Katie, who is expecting the couple's third child this fall.

    "I asked, 'Are you going to be willing to move the family? Because if not, I'm going to move closer to home,' " Peavy said. "And she was totally up for it."

    Fitting in

    Considering it was in California ---- a state she had never visited prior to Peavy's first big-league game in June 2002 ---- Katie Peavy found San Diego wasn't as all-encompassing as she imagined. It was very tame compared with Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Jake liked the area's geographic diversity, getting the "downtown feel" at the ballpark, with the beach only a few miles away and the mountains less than an hour in the other direction.

    The Peavys have since noticed a small-town feel in their Rancho Bernardo community.

    "It was so big, but it was all spread out, so it wasn't as intimidating," Katie said. "It's family-oriented, and the kids have a great time. We feel at home."

    That was one of Gwynn's points of emphasis when he spoke to Jake in Chicago last November before his contract extension.

    "If you're happy already, who says the grass is going to be greener somewhere else?" Gwynn said. "Some guys like to be the center of attention, but I don't think Jake does. I think he likes being one of the guys. ... He just wants to be one of 25 guys who want to win."

    When school ends in late April, Katie, Jacob and Wyatt will fly to San Diego immediately ---- perhaps on the first plane out of town, Katie said. The family plans to continue living in 4S Ranch for the time being, but Jake said he likes the idea of getting lost on an acre or two in Rancho Santa Fe.

    Aside from the open space and a somewhat rural feel, that exclusive community certainly bears few, if any, similarities to the Deep South. But if the Peavys ever need a reminder of where they came from, all they have to do is invite the relatives to town for a vacation.

    "I think me and my family, we've all come to grips and can act right," Jake said. "But when the extended family comes out, when the moms and dads and grandparents, aunts and uncles come out, there's no hiding it. It's straight fish out of water. We go to places like the All-Star Game with 15 or 16 people, and we're laughing watching them filing into the Westin Hotel with their oscillating fans and own pillows and coffee pots."
     
  17. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    I gotta picture of the Clampett's here :icon_eek: :icon_rofl:
     
  18. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Ya, Im sure they packed all their "necessities" and clothing into Piggly Wiggly bags, too.:tup::yes::lol:
     
  19. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    ...and loaded everything up in Ol Betsy :icon_eek: :tup:
     

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