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Padres Notebook - Game will put old faces in new places

Discussion in 'All Other San Diego Sports' started by wrbanwal, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    Click link for entire article


    PEORIA, Ariz. – Tomorrow, the Padres will play their first game of spring training, an intrasquad game at noon. Some developments since camp opened Feb. 13:

    Left-handed pitcher Glendon Rusch, a candidate for the No. 5 starting job, has been exceptionally accurate for this stage of spring training. Rusch sat out the 2007 season because of a blood clot in his lungs, yet when he auditioned in the offseason, 18 scouts watched. Rusch threw demanding bullpen sessions this winter in anticipation of earning a job as a nonroster invitee.

    “He is looking good,” pitching coach Darren Balsley said.

    Paul McAnulty is taking grounders at third base. Manager Bud Black said McAnulty's primary position this camp will be left field, but McAnulty could get more work at third than he did last spring training, when McAnulty earned a reserve left-field job.

    “Not bad,” McAnulty said after taking groundballs yesterday.

    Black said McAnulty is faster and more able defensively than generally recognized. In 2007, Black used a left-handed hitter, Russell Branyan, as a backup to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who bats right-handed. McAnulty is a left-handed hitter, but so are several utility players, including three infielders who are more advanced at third than McAnulty – Oscar Robles, Luis Rodriguez and Callix Crabbe.

    Chase Headley, the franchise's consensus top prospect, is taking a crash course in learning how to play left field and has literally thrown himself into the job. Yesterday, the longtime third baseman sprinted to his left and flung himself headfirst at a batting-practice flyball. “What's he doing?” asked a Padres coach. “He's trying to win a job,” replied one of the players.

    Center fielder Jim Edmonds is moving better than he did last season, when a pinched nerve in his back and the after-effects of foot surgery limited him. After running hills in Orange County under the supervision of a SWAT officer, Edmonds, 37, has impressed Black with his conditioning. “He is getting a lot of work done,” Black said.

    Closer Trevor Hoffman said an offseason elbow procedure to remove bone chips and shave a bone spur hasn't changed the quality of his throwing. But several observers said Hoffman, judging by his throwing this offseason and in spring training, can only be better for it.

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