1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!
    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers.
    We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season.

    You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Padres Spring Training 2009

Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by rexy2006, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    2009 SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW: Padres issue a call to arms in an effort to round out their rotation, bullpen

    Tom Krasovic (Contact)
    Friday, February 13, 2009

    [​IMG]

    Padres manager Bud Black has a pair of aces at the top of his rotation in Jake Peavy and Chris Young, but this spring he will have to resolve a lot of question marks on his pitching staff beyond those two.

    Darren Balsley had just driven into New Mexico after a stopover in Oklahoma en route from his home in Tennessee. Destination: spring training.

    Awaiting the Padres pitching coach in Arizona on Saturday will be a crowd of pitchers, enough to fill one of the tumbleweed towns Balsley rolled through.

    The group of 33 is unusually large. Balsley will be unusually busy over the next several weeks, when he will learn the delivery quirks of newcomers such as Ivan Nova, Jae Kuk Ryu and Mark Worrell.

    He'll have plenty of time. Opening Day isn't until April 6.

    Where pitchers are concerned, who knows what will happen in the months ahead? They are baseball's least predictable species, some no less flighty than the Florida osprey that Ryu fatally beaned six years ago as a Cubs minor leaguer.
    Balsley, though, expressed definitive ideas of what should unfold once the sifting is done.

    “I expect our pitching staff to bounce back and be one of the best pitching staffs in the National League, no matter how young and inexperienced it is,” said Balsley, who attended high school in Rancho Penasquitos and is entering his sixth full season as Padres pitching coach. “From what I have seen statistically, young pitchers can throw well in the major leagues. I am assuming these guys can do well sooner rather than later, and that's why I am excited to start working with them.”

    The sound of baseballs slapping against leather soon will resonate throughout spring camps in Arizona and Florida.

    At San Diego's site in Peoria, one might also hear the sound of mud splatting against the wall, a crude metaphor for what the front office did this past offseason in gathering so many pitchers in hopes some will stick, simultaneous with the John Moores-mandated payroll reduction of some 40 percent. Once again, most any pitcher looking to reinvent himself had the Padres high on his list. Welcome back, Mark Prior.

    Prior turned down a bigger offer from the Astros two offseasons ago, then blew out his surgical shoulder last spring and will give it another go.
    “Heard he looks fantastic,” Balsley said.



    2009 SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW
    Kevin Correia turned down larger offers to join the Padres this past offseason.

    Inducements typically include San Diego's weather, a Padres training staff rated by pitching great Greg Maddux as the best he's experienced, a home ballpark where doubles go to die and a division in which teams often seem to swing cardboard bats.

    Correia, a Giants castoff and San Diego resident, already has been touted by General Manager Kevin Towers as having a solid shot at a starting job. The GM, a former pitcher himself, also spoke optimistically of reliever Chris Britton, Yankees surplus signed to a minor-league contract. The sidewinder Worrell, a reliever obtained from the Cardinals in the Khalil Greene salary dump, also has drawn early praise.

    Opportunity also is being extended to several of the franchise's pitching prospects, such as reliever Michael Ekstrom, a Point Loma Nazarene alum given a chance to win a relief job.
    When prospect Mat Latos takes the mound, Towers and staffers will gather en masse behind the backstop. A Towers favorite, Latos was signed by Grady Fuson for $1.25 million two years ago, not long after Towers saw the 6-foot-5 right-hander overpower junior college hitters in Florida. Latos has yet to pitch above Single A.

    It's been said he doesn't always follow orders and certainly has caused Padres staffers a few headaches, but when asked about Latos' fastball, Fuson spoke giddily this week.

    “This is fuel,” he said. “It's downhill. And the breaking ball has bite. And when this guy gets on the mound, there's some fight in this guy.”

    Whether the Padres can rebound strongly from last year's 63-99 performance might hinge on whether a youthful bullpen and patchwork rotation can approach the high level of performance of Balsley's first four staffs.

    From 2004 to 2007, the Padres combined for a 3.93 ERA, best in the majors, which coincided with the franchise's only run of four consecutive winning seasons. The ERA soared last year to 4.41, 10th among the 16 teams in the NL.
    Along the way, the 2008 Padres lost ace Jake Peavy to an elbow injury, depriving them of the NL's reigning Cy Young winner for a month. No. 2 starter Chris Young, waylaid first by fractures to his nose and skull and then by a forearm strain, was limited to 18 starts. He had started 30 games in 2007, 31 in 2006 and 31 in 2005 (with Texas).

    “I was disappointed in our pitching staff's performance last year, even with the injuries,” Balsley said. “I, for sure, wasn't content with their performance.”

    Balsley declined to name a No. 3 starter yesterday, but the first candidate he mentioned was Cha Seung Baek, the South Korean who went 6-9 with a 4.62 ERA for the Padres last year after the last-place Mariners cut him.

    “He had streaks where he was throwing extremely well,” Balsley said. “He realizes now when he is on that he can dominate hitters. I think his confidence was boosted last year.”

    Balsley listed several other starting candidates, among them former Padres draftees Josh Geer, Wade LeBlanc and Cesar Ramos.

    The coach described Correia as intriguing. “I like power arms,” he added. “I like that he's durable and pitched in a lot of different roles over there with the Giants. I know the arm is there. It's just a matter of getting it out of him.”

    Manager Bud Black has described Heath Bell as the closer, a job that belonged to Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, for the better part of 15 years before he left for Milwaukee last month after failed contract negotiations.

    “Heath's the logical answer right now,” Balsley said. “He's capable. The way he throws, I'm expecting pretty big things out of Heath.”

    The Padres are auditioning eight pitchers for three starting jobs and maybe a dozen for up to six relief jobs. If Peavy is traded to meet payroll, expect the Padres to acquire a few pitchers in return.
    Barring a playoff berth that many would view as nearly miraculous, progress for Balsley's staff might be measured by whether young pitchers can soon forge a toehold on a major league career.

    Sometimes, opportunity on a grand scale yields long-term gain, such as when homegrown pitchers Peavy and Oliver Perez jumped from Double-A directly to mediocre or bad Padres clubs. Yet in years such as 2002 and 2003, mud that didn't stick produced more failed auditions than an episode of “American Idol” and morphed pitching coach Greg Booker into a sharp-tongued Simon Cowell.

    “You can prepare a donkey to run in the Preakness,” Booker said shortly after Towers fired him in May 2003, “but he probably won't run very well.”

    Said Balsley: “We'll have a lot of time, and this gives me a chance to get extremely familiar with guys. The sooner I learn a guy's comfort level and mechanics, the quicker we may be able to proceed.

    “It may not be the addition of another pitch. It may be more consistency with the pitches they throw. Right now, I'm just thinking fastball command with most of our guys.”
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Padres 2009 spring training roster

    Bill Center (Contact)
    Friday, February 13, 2009

    The Padres have invited 20-non-roster players to join 40 roster players in spring training.

    The total includes 33 pitchers, six catchers, 11 infielders and 10 outfielders.
    Pitchers and catchers report Friday to the Padres' Arizona complex in Peoria. Position players are due in camp Monday.

    The list:

    STARTING PITCHERS (15)

    Roster (7 RHP, 2 LHP)
    Jake Peavy (R)
    Chris Young (R)
    Cha Seung Baek (R)
    Josh Geer (R)
    Wade LeBlanc (L)
    Cesar Carrillo (R)
    Ivan Nova (R)
    Cesar Ramos (L)
    Chad Reineke (R)

    Non-roster (5 RHP, 1 LHP)
    Kevin Correia (R)
    Matt Buschmann (R)
    Will Inman (R)
    Matt Latos (R)
    Mark Prior (R)
    Nick Schmidt (L)

    RELIEF PITCHERS (18)

    Roster (10 RHP, 2 LHP)
    Mike Adams (R)
    Heath Bell (R)
    Michael Ekstrom (R)
    Ernesto Frieri (R)
    Justin Hampson (L)
    Wilton Lopez (R)
    Cla Meredith (R)
    Scott Patterson (R)
    Jackson Quezada (R)
    Jae-kuk Ryu (R)
    Joe Thatcher (L)
    Mark Worrell (R)

    Non-roster (5 RHP, 1 LHP)
    Chris Britton (R)
    Greg Burke (R)
    Gabe DeHoyos (R)
    Arturo Lopez (L)
    Edwin Moreno (R)
    Oneli Prior (R)

    CATCHERS (6)

    Roster (3)
    Nick Hundley
    Henry Blanco
    Jose Lobaton

    Non-roster (3)
    Eliezer Alfonzo
    Mitch Canham
    Colt Morton

    INFIELDERS (11)

    Roster (8)
    Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
    David Eckstein (2B)
    Luis Rodriguez (SS)
    Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B)
    Matt Antonelli (2B)
    Everth Cabrera (SS)
    Travis Denker (2B)
    Edgar Gonzalez (2B)

    Non-roster (3)
    Kyle Blanks (1B)
    Chris Burke (INF)
    Peter Ciofrone (1B-3B)

    OUTFIELDERS (10)

    Roster (8)
    Jody Gerut
    Brian Giles
    Chase Headley
    Cliff Floyd
    Scott Hairston
    Will Venable
    Luis Durango
    Drew Macias

    Non-roster (2)
    Chad Huffman
    Cedric Hunter
     
  3. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,707
    Ratings:
    +1,036
    Nice to see that Giles is the only 50 year old on the roster this year

    :tup:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    Dust off your glove, pour some linement on your arm, I'll meet'cha in Peoria!! :tup: :icon_party:
     
  5. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    'Preciate this report, Darlin!! :tup: :icon_toast:
     
  6. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Padres Team Report

    Yahoo! Sports 13 hours, 9 minutes ago
    [​IMG]

    Although he has had two major rounds of shoulder surgery since he last pitched in 2006, Mark Prior says he is “cautiously optimistic” his second attempt at a comeback with his hometown San Diego Padres will be successful.


    Prior reported to Peoria, Ariz., with other pitchers and catchers on Feb. 13.


    “I am far ahead of where I was last spring at this time,” said Prior. “I’m encouraged.”

    In 2007, Prior underwent what he described as a “three-in-one” round of shoulder surgery—including the repair of a split in the capsule—conducted by Dr. James Andrews in Alabama. Prior had more surgery last June 4 to re-attach the capsule to the bone.

    Prior admitted “it would have been easy to cash it in” after the second round of surgery.

    “Too easy,” he said. “The reality is that I could have thrown my last pitch in the major leagues. But I need to know that for me. And I don’t think it is over. I’ve always been a guy who likes to control my own environment. I want to control how I go out. I don’t want to give up. And the other reality is, I could pitch again.


    “Wouldn’t it be something to be back on the mound in a major league game?”

    Last year, the Padres paid Prior $1 million. This year, he’s accepted a minor league contract with San Diego—although he did have better offers elsewhere.


    “My first goal is to be healthy,” Prior told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “My second goal is to pitch. San Diego was the best place to do it. The Padres have been great with me during what I’ve been going through. I knew they cared. And the training staff has been great.

    “I have no crystal ball. I know what I want to do, but I am at the mercy of what my arm says I am. As to when, where and how, I don’t know, I don’t make promises. But my shoulder feels 95 percent again and it works properly.


    “In reality, the second surgery could have been a blessing in disguise. I bought some time. Last spring, I felt I was getting close. Looking back, it didn’t feel right … it didn’t feel like where I needed it to be.”

    Prior is one of eight pitchers seeking two berths at the back end of the rotation.


    Where, When: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria, Ariz. First exhibition game is Feb. 25 against the Mariners.


    Top Candidate To Surprise: C Nick Hundley stabilized a deteriorating catching situation at the end of last season and figures to improve with the help of veteran Henry Blanco this year. Hundley’s arm is strong, but he needs to develop his handling of pitchers and improve on his .278 on-base percentage.


    Top Candidate To Disappoint: RF Brian Giles has been one of the team’s steadiest players for the past five seasons. Because of his .387 on-base percentage as a Padre, the club picked up his $9 million contract for 2009 rather than buy out the option for $3 million. However, the Padres likely will try to trade Giles during the season despite his 10-and-5 status. Giles is also facing a $9 million suit from former fiancee Cheri Olvera, who has alleged physical and mental abuse. The pressure on Giles this season could be heavy.


    Authority Figures: Bud Black begins his third season as the Padres’ manager with a 152-173 record. Ted Simmons replaces Craig Colbert as bench coach. Jim Lefebvre replaces Wally Joyner as the hitting coach.

    Notes, Quotes


    The Padres officially ended one of the more controversial—plus embarrassing—chapters in franchise history on Feb. 10 when they traded Matt Bush, the first overall pick in the 2004 draft, to Toronto for a player to be named or cash considerations. Bush, a product of San Diego’s Mission Bay High, was drafted by the Padres over such players as Stephen Drew, Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander over questions of “signability.”

    Bush had a brush with the law just outside the Padres’ training camp in Peoria, Ariz., less than two weeks after he was drafted. Bush, who was converted to a relief pitcher after washing out as a shortstop, was designated for assignment Feb. 5, a day after an alleged altercation on an east San Diego County high school campus. Police were investigating reports that Bush had been drinking and assaulted two high school lacrosse players.


    RF Brian Giles has countersued Cheri Olvera, his former girlfriend who is suing for $10 million, alleging physical and metal abuse. In his suit, Giles claims it was Olvera who abused him, and he is also seeking the return of an engagement ring valued at $107,952.


    In his suit, Giles says Olvera struck him, pulled his hair, slapped him, hit him with a car and kicked him as well as disparaging him in front of other people by calling him names and screaming at him. Among her charges of domestic violence, Olvera claims Giles forced her to suffer a miscarriage.


    The Padres have signed former player John Vander Wal as a professional scout. Vander Wal, 42, was a pinch hitter on the 1998 Padres team that won the National League title. He will scout Florida during spring training, then scout the Southern League and four International League teams during the regular season.


    RHP Josh Geer is a candidate to win a berth in the rotation this spring, although he spent much of the winter wondering if he would need surgery after leaving his final start last September with tightness in his elbow. Geer was 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts with the Padres last September.


    RHP Livan Hernandez was drawing interest from the Padres in the weeks before the opening of spring training, but the Padres decided against further pursuing the free agent. Could positive reports about the health of RHPs Mark Prior and Josh Geer have factored into that decision?


    By The Numbers: 2—Rule 5 picks, SS Everth Cabrera and RHP Ivan Nova, on the Padres’ 40-man roster.


    Quote To Note: “If he is healthy, and thus far all the signs are encouraging, Mark Prior is my ace in the hole.”—Padres general manager Kevin Towers, on the comeback attempt of RHP Mark Prior.

    Roster Report


    The Padres probably won’t have many battles for positions this spring—providing 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff (shoulder surgery) and CF Jody Gerut (finger) are healthy. But two spots in the rotation and most of the bullpen are wide-open battles. The Padres are solid at first base (Adrian Gonzalez) and right field (Brian Giles) and at the top of the rotation (RHPs Jake Peavy and Chris Young) and have improved at second with the acquisition of David Eckstein. But there are questions at catcher and short. Plus, can Heath Bell survive the pressure of succeeding all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman as the closer?


    Arrivals: 2B David Eckstein (free agent from Diamondbacks), C Henry Blanco (free agent from Cubs), OF Cliff Floyd (free agent from Rays), RHP Mark Worrell (trade from Cardinals), SS Everth Cabrera (Rule 5 selection from Rockies), RHP Ivan Nova (Rule 5 selection from Yankees), 2B Travis Denker (waiver claim from Giants), INF/OF Chris Burke (minor league free agent from Diamondbacks), RHP Jae Kuk Ryu (waiver claim from Rays), RHP Kevin Correia (free agent from Giants).


    Departures: RHP Trevor Hoffman (free agent, signed with Brewers), SS Khalil Greene (traded to Cardinals), C Josh Bard (free agent, signed with Red Sox), C Michael Barrett (free agent, signed minor league deal with Blue Jays), RHP Clay Hensley (non-tendered, signed minor league deal with Astros), LHP Shawn Estes (free agent, signed minor league deal with Dodgers), OF Chip Ambres (free agent, signed minor league deal with Red Sox).


    Spring Focus: On the to-do list: Determining whether Luis Rodriguez is an everyday shortstop, filling the back two spots of the rotation, getting Heath Bell ready to succeed Trevor Hoffman as the closer, sorting out the bullpen and deciding whether Kevin Kouzmanoff or Chase Headley opens the season at third
     
  7. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Peavy fine to be staying with Padres

    7 minutes ago
    [​IMG]

    Jake Peavy sounded a bit surprised to be at spring training with the San Diego Padres. Not miffed or frustrated, just surprised.

    After an offseason filled with speculation he would be traded to the Chicago Cubs or Atlanta Braves, the ace was in Padres camp Saturday at Peoria, Ariz.

    “I thought it was going to happen with all of the talk and all of the speculation,” Peavy said. “I prepared myself that I’m going to be traded and life goes on. That’s why I didn’t choose to comment. Because everybody in their right mind thought I would be somewhere else right now.”

    For the record, Peavy is fine with playing for the Padres.
    “I never came forward and said I wanted to leave San Diego,” he said. “I signed a five-year contract and said I’m intent on being a Padre. This offseason wasn’t brought on by me asking for a trade. … My heart and soul has always been here and until the day I leave that’s going to be true.”

    Peavy was 10-11 with a 2.85 ERA last season. He is guaranteed $59 million through 2012. In the meantime, the 27-year-old Peavy is getting set to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

    “I showed up after a crazy winter as a San Diego Padre and I committed to be a San Diego Padre for as long as they’ll have me. There’s no hard feelings toward any group that was involved and I hope it’s the same way all around. I didn’t do anything. It just didn’t happen,” he said.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_y...F?slug=ap-springtrainingrdp&prov=ap&type=lgns
     
  8. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    First photos from ST, ALL Jake:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Reasons to believe: Peavy, Young are two of games's best

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    [​IMG]
    Call Nick at
    619-293-1397 E-mail Nick
    Bio Page

    Ah, spring training. The sound of bat on ball. The smell of the grass. The lure of the scratch and spit. The next Roy Hobbs batting .475 in the light desert air. Jerry Coleman getting more confused than usual. Players heading to the golf course after practice hoping their names don't show up on the next classified steroids list.
    At no time in the world is there more optimism. Stock markets may toboggan. Ponzi schemes may take Sandy Koufax deep. But once spring training begins, so many of the paper problems that hinder this screwy caravan of ours are shoved into the shredder.
    As Emily Dickenson wrote: “A little madness in the spring is wholesome even for the king.”
    Rarely am I referred to as an optimist, so go with the consensus and call me mad. The Padres meet for the first time this weekend at their Peoria, Ariz., spring training digs, and I believe they're going to be better than the cheap Bull Durhams everybody's cracking them up to be.

    Two words help explain it. Well, make it four: Jake Peavy, Chris Young.

    Try as they might, the penurious Pads were unable to trade Peavy during the offseason, and it's the best thing that's happened to this baseball franchise since Tom Werner sold it. So, unless something unforeseen occurs, Peavy and Young will be at the top of the rotation when the season begins.


    And I like that, like it plenty.

    If Peavy and Young can remain healthy, the Pads have two Cy Young-caliber starters at one and two and, really, few clubs can match it. If Peavy had been traded, one easily could see a repeat of a 99-loss season – or worse.

    Not that I envision the '27 Yankees, but Peavy's still around, at least for a while, although the mere thought of him being FedEx'ed to another port is enough to give me a mental wedgie.
    “It's highly unlikely Jake will be traded now,” says General Manager Kevin Towers (meaning any time soon). “It would be tough to make a move like that in spring training. To do something in spring training is different, because all you're likely to get back are prospects. I think he'll be on the rubber April 6 vs. the Dodgers.”
    That's one more reason to love spring.

    “People don't generally move players in the spring,” Towers adds. “That would be quite a distraction.”
    One thing the Padres – who must by now feel they're to blame for the Mother of All Divorce Tug-of-Wars between owners John and Becky Moores – don't need are any more distractions.
    What they do need are three more pitchers to fill out the starting rotation and bullpen help leading into the appearances of new closer Heath Bell, who will take over the role now that Trevor Hoffman has moved on to spend his dotage in Milwaukee.

    “Absolutely, our two top guys are as good as any 1-2 in the division (the NL West) – really, in the National League,” Towers says. “We have a chance to win each and every time they pitch. We can go against any team's 1-2 on paper.”
    Towers is a pitching guy, and he'll have much to look at in Peoria. The last time I checked the Padres' spring training roster had enough pitchers to help cast “The Ten Commandments.”

    “I think the pressure's going to be off some of our guys,” Towers says. “With (second baseman) David Eckstein here now in the two hole behind Jody Gerut, we don't have somebody giving at-bats away like Khalil (Greene) did last year. If you look at our projected lineup, Gerut, Eckstein, (Brian) Giles, (Adrian) Gonzalez, (Kevin) Kouzmanoff, (Chase) Headley, (Nick) Hundley and (Luis) Rodriguez, that's not a bad lineup, and I think it will improve as the season goes along.”

    Still, this is not a lineup that will produce runs like a champion hen lays eggs. The key to this team will be its ability to stay in games.
    Can Bell close? Will he have help in front of him? Can Cha Sueng Baek, Kevin Correia, Josh Geer, Wade LeBlanc and maybe even Mark Prior ably fill out the rotation after Peavy and Young? Can Giles and Kouzmanoff give teams something to worry about other than Gonzalez? Will anyone pitch to Gonzalez? Can Prior, one of baseball's best pitchers before arm and shoulder problems, make a comeback?

    “I'll hold off on that one,” Towers says, “but it would be a huge plus. “Even if Mark came back in June, that would give us three great starters.”

    These are all big questions, but that's what spring training is for. And the National League West, you know, isn't exactly Hitler's war machine.

    “I think the season boils down to the back end of the rotation and our bullpen,” Towers says. “It's more on the bullpen. I'm more concerned with our 6th-to-8th inning guys. Last year, we couldn't get to Hoffman. We just didn't play well.
    “The bar's not set very high at 63 wins. We've had worse teams that performed better than last year's. I never dreamed we'd almost have 100 losses.”

    Relax, Kevin. It's spring. You're 0-0.
     
  10. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Last modified Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:03 PM PST
    [​IMG]PADRES: Black happy to have Peavy in fold

    [​IMG]
    By DAN HAYES - Staff Writer, North County Times
    PEORIA, Ariz. ---- Even Padres manager Bud Black wasn't quite certain how the Jake Peavy trade talks would turn out this offseason. But with pitchers and catchers reporting on Saturday, Black said he's glad to have his ace in the mix for the 2009 season.

    "I think all of us in uniform were guarded in what was going to happen this winter," Black said. "We just didn't know. I think it's great that Jake is in camp. I think everybody concerned with the Padres feels the same way. We're glad he's here. There were some pressure points, obviously, at certain points this winter, but I think those have been relieved. ... We're ready to move forward with Jake in our rotation like it's always been."

    Relying on his own experiences, Black said he was able to detach himself from the talks even though they permeated the San Diego sports scene.

    "I've been in this game for a long time, and you hear a lot of things," Black said. "You become a little desensitized to the talk and don't know how far down the road the conversations are. In most cases, certain trade talks never come to fruition, which was the case here."

    Peavy was 10-11 with a 2.85 ERA in 27 starts last season.

    No delays

    Black said all 38 pitchers and catchers in camp would report on time. That includes right-handed pitchers Chris Britton and Heath Bell, both of whom participated in bullpen sessions on Saturday morning with Black and general manager Kevin Towers watching.

    Black said half of his pitching staff would throw a bullpen session on Sunday morning, and all 38 will take physicals. The pitching staff's first full workout is Monday. The team's remaining position players report to camp Tuesday and the team's first full-squad workout is Thursday.

    New approach

    After finishing third in the National League with 1,259 strikeouts and ending the season with a .317 on-base percentage ---- the club's lowest since 1993 ---- Black said the Padres would employ a different approach under new hitting coach Jim Lefebvre. That includes a new series of drills Lefebvre plans to instill.

    "And we're going to talk a little more about cutting down our strikeouts," Black said, specifically addressing the team's approach with two strikes.

    Walking wounded

    Black said most players have a clean bill of health, including right-hander Josh Geer.

    Geer, who experienced soreness in his elbow at the end of 2008, has already thrown off the mound three times and is moving forward without any limitations.

    Black said Mark Prior (shoulder) will be monitored closely. Prior might not participate in bullpen sessions as frequently as his teammates.

    Locker issued

    The most visible sign of Trevor Hoffman's absence was in the form of Joe Thatcher's nameplate replacing the departed closer's above his former corner locker. Nobody in big league camp has been assigned the No. 51 jersey formerly worn by Hoffman, who signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in January.

    edit: and no one will EVER get number 51!! I am sure that number is "retired"!
     
  11. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    Keep'em comin, Darlin!! :yes: :tup: :icon_toast:
     
  12. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    I find Josh Bard being signed by The Red Sox somewhat amusing!! :yes: :lol:
     
  13. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/15/09 8:50 PM EST
    Thatcher brings confidence to camp

    Padres reliever learned much from rough 2008 campaign

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Humility has never been a lost lesson for Joe Thatcher, the Padres relief pitcher who took the road less traveled to get to the Major Leagues after he was undrafted out of college and had to pitch in independent leagues just to get noticed.
    [​IMG]
    "My career, what it took to get here, it was a long path and I knew I would have struggles along the way," Thatcher said Sunday.

    He just didn't think they would all occur last season, one right after the other in what was a lost season for the left-hander who not only lost his spot as a prominent setup reliever in the Padres' bullpen mix but lost his confidence along the way.

    "It obviously wasn't the year I wanted to have. Last year, I started struggling and I never really struggled before in my professional career and I didn't handle it very well. It sort of snowballed on me," Thatcher said.

    Thatcher, 27, made the team out of Spring Training last season after an impressive run in September of 2007 when the Padres were fighting for a playoff spot. He had a 1.29 ERA over 22 games and positioned himself well for a job as a setup man in the bullpen.

    But Thatcher struggled in April, blowing two saves and losing two games while compiling a 7.24 ERA. He was subsequently sent to Triple-A Portland on May 11, his head, no doubt, still spinning from the unforeseen events of April.

    "I lost my confidence and started questioning what I was doing. That's the last thing you can have happen. I went down to Triple-A, worked on some stuff, got some confidence," said Thatcher, who had a 8.42 ERA in 25 games last season.

    Thatcher was generally a different pitcher in Portland, going 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA over 37 games, providing the Padres hope that he had turned things around. But Thatcher still struggled on subsequent promotions to San Diego, as he struggled to resolve confidence issues and embrace the realization he could get Major League hitters out.

    "You're sort of hoping for something to happen instead of trying to make it happen," he said.

    The bottom finally dropped out on Thatcher on July 23, when he yielded a grand slam to Cincinnati's Adam Dunn. He was optioned back to Portland after the game.
    "That was when I decided to look at myself in the mirror a little and decided to get back to the basics," Thatcher said.

    Thatcher returned to Portland and performed well, though he wasn't recalled when the Padres expanded their roster in September. He pitched during the Dominican Winter League and was generally happy with his performance.

    "I just got back to basics, keeping the ball down in the zone, fastball command, worked on the slider, fine-tuned that a little bit. Last year when I was out there, I didn't have the confidence I wanted to and sort of guided the ball up there. You can't do that," he said.

    Thatcher arrived in Peoria ready to recapture a role in a bullpen where there are many jobs that can be won. He's confident in himself, in his stuff. That much his pitching coach with Portland, Glenn Abbott, has already noticed this spring.

    "I think confidence is the major thing for him," Abbott said. "That's something that you have to keep reinforcing. I've talked to him a few times and I think he's in a good frame of mind. He's got good stuff but it's all about comfort.
    "You see guys struggle with confidence when they're trying to break into the big leagues. There's that added pressure there instead of just doing what you you've been doing to get you there."


    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  14. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/15/09 6:46 PM EST
    Padres prepared to winnow pitchers

    Black, coaches undaunted by number of arms in camp

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- San Diego manager Bud Black said Sunday that he's inclined to carry 12 pitchers this season, though arriving at the number could take Black and his staff every day and game of their stay in Arizona.
    [​IMG]
    Roughly half of the 32 healthy pitchers in camp -- 20 who are on the 40-man roster and 12 who are non-roster invitees -- pitched off the bullpen mound Sunday morning while Black, pitching coach Darren Balsley and general manager Kevin Towers watched.

    While Towers last month marveled at the number of pitchers who would be in camp for Spring Training, saying it was the most in his tenure, Black doesn't think evaluating the pitchers will be any more difficult than usual.

    "Evaluation is done on a daily basis, based on each and every bullpen they throw, how they performed during the pitchers' drills. We're watching everything," Black said. "... You can gain a lot from bullpen sessions combined with games."

    Pitchers and catchers will have their first full workout Monday in preparation for the annual charity game against Seattle on Feb. 25. That's the first of 34 spring games the Padres will play before breaking camp on April 2.

    "The guys who have a legitimate chance to make the team will get plenty of innings to be evaluated and show us what they can do," Black said. "There are a number of these guys who will be back to the Minor Leagues [camp]. We do not expect those guys to factor in."

    But that figures only to thin the herd some. Normally, non-roster invitees don't stand a good chance of making the team, but that's different this spring with newcomer Kevin Correia and Chris Britton considered strong contenders to make the staff.

    Black wouldn't rule out the possibility of a young pitcher with no Major League time making the team.

    "There's a lot of fellas who are going to get some innings who have no service time and maybe even some service time below Triple-A," Black said.

    Ivan Nova was picked in the Rule 5 Draft and hasn't pitched above the Class A level. He has to make the team and stay on the roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees.
    Matt Buschmann was 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA at Double-A San Antonio and is highly regarded in the system, as are relievers Greg Burke (2-7, 2.24 ERA at San Antonio) and Gabe DeHoyos (6-4, 2.69 at San Antonio).


    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  15. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Peavy's ink, Latos' fastball turn heads

    By Tom Krasovic Sunday, February 15, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. – Among the interesting arms on display at Padres camp Sunday was the left arm of ace Jake Peavy.

    Yes, Peavy is right-handed; however, when the pitcher got a tattoo in the offseason, it was his upper left arm and shoulder that he exposed to the tattooist's needle.

    The result was an artistic ode to Peavy's American Indian heritage – the cursive phrase “Hoka Hey” and decorative feathers now will accompany Peavy when he takes the mound.

    “It's an Indian saying that some might interpret as, 'Live life to the fullest,' ” said Peavy, who has Creek and Cherokee blood. “It's an Indian saying that was used going into battle. One interpretation was, 'If today is my die day to die, I've still had a great life.' ”

    Another tattooed pitcher is Mat Latos, but it was Latos' pitching arm and, more specifically, his fastball that attracted attention Sunday.
    When Latos began throwing off a mound, General Manager Kevin Towers and Executive Vice President Paul DePodesta moved closer to the 6-foot-5 right-hander.

    The fastball's hiss was easily heard as Towers excitedly briefed new bench coach Ted Simmons. “This kid can become a No. 1 starter,” Towers told Simmons, a former major league catcher.
    Latos has yet to pitch above Double-A. When the Padres signed him two years ago for $1.25 million, the agreement stipulated his presence in major league camp this year.

    A moot point, said Towers, who said Latos' potential would have put him in camp this month, regardless. In a San Diego Union-Tribune survey of evaluators last month, Latos was ranked the organization's No. 3 prospect and first overall by one veteran scout.

    Notes


    -- Manager Bud Black said he is open to using closer Heath Bell in the eighth inning, which he said wasn't an option with Trevor Hoffman, who was Black's closer the past two years. But Black said the Padres still are likely to go with 12 pitchers.

    -- Catcher Henry Blanco's arrival was postponed because of a family matter
     
  16. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Geer is encouraged by elbow

    Tom Krasovic (Contact)
    Saturday, February 14, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. – Josh Geer, the subject of offseason concerns that he might need Tommy John surgery, is encouraged by his three mound sessions going into spring training.

    “Hopefully I am out of the woods,” Geer said Saturday. “I am here and ready to go.”
    Geer started five games as a rookie last year and was 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA. The Padres reported that elbow tightness shut him down after his final game, a five-inning, one-run performance Sept. 26 against the Pirates.

    The club acknowledged concerns in November that Geer might need reconstructive surgery, but Geer fared well in long-toss sessions and recent mound outings. So far, the right-hander has thrown only fastballs and changeups.

    “I never thought (surgery) was going to happen, just because I had never had problems with my elbow,” he said.

    Padres manager Bud Black said he expects that all pitchers and catchers will be in camp Sunday for physical exams.

    Notes


    -- One season after the Padres hitters piled up more strikeouts than all but two of their fellow NL clubs, Black said he and new hitting coach Jim Lefebvre are “talking a little bit more about cutting down strikeouts, the importance of putting the ball in play, two-strike approach. Jimmy has a lot of different drills. That's really nothing out of the ordinary when you have new coaches.”

    -- Jake Peavy acknowledged that his candid remarks to reporters over the years have resulted in his getting called onto the carpet by Padres authority figures, including Black. “In years past, yeah, certainly,” Peavy said. “I have a hard time being cliche. Those who are around me a lot know that. I just try to tell the truth. I tell you guys how I'm feeling. I tell you not necessarily I guess what they want everybody to read in the paper.”

    -- Heath Bell said parenting his children this past offseason was effective exercise. Among their favorite activities together was yoga-like stretching that Bell said improved his flexibility. “He's lost a few pounds,” Black said of Trevor Hoffman's successor, who also is sporting a shorter haircut.

    -- Peavy was assigned a new clubhouse stall, formerly occupied by Greg Maddux and, a few years before him, Tony Gwynn. Chris Young was moved into Hoffman's longtime digs.
     
  17. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    From "Who's your Padre", a blog by MLB.com's Corey Brock, who is currently in AZ and following the Padres ST:

    The pitchers finally pitched...

    The first official workout for pitchers and catchers isn't schedule for Monday but the pitchers took a turn throwing off the bullpen mound on Sunday. It wasn't a whole lot to look at, as each pitcher threw up to 25 pitches before stopping. But, hey, it was a start.

    Don't get the wrong idea, this wasn't a lost day here in Peoria. It was a chance for some of the Padres coaches and manager Bud Black, as well as general manager Kevin Towers and a few front-office types to get a look at some new faces, like Kevin Correia, who is hoping to earn a spot in the starting rotation.

    I've included some video below of the pitchers throwing. I'll warn you, don't get to excited. But it's something I would like to use more on the blog as Spring Training rolls along and even in the regular season.

    The first two pitchers you'll see in the video are Chris Young and Jake Peavy. Then you'll see Correia followed by a few tosses at the end of Mark Prior, who is also trying to win a job in the starting rotation.




    • Posted on February 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM
     
  18. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    From The Honolulu Advertiser:

    February 15, 2009



    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]MLB: Slimmer Padre Bell credits his video game console[/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]
    Associated Press
    [/FONT]PEORIA, Ariz. — San Diego Padres reliever Heath Bell was initially bothered by comments from, of all things, a video game console.

    But now the heir apparent to Trevor Hoffman credits his Nintendo Wii Fit game for helping him lose 25 pounds. Bell, who has been given the first crack at taking over the closing role vacated by Hoffman, reported to camp at a svelte 245 pounds.

    After spending the previous 16 seasons in San Diego, Hoffman signed a one-year, $6 million contract with Milwaukee in January.

    The opportunity to take over for Hoffman, who is baseball's all-time saves leader, was more than enough motivation for Bell. But Bell, who was 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 74 games last season, received an extra boost when he began playing video games with his children this offseason. At the time, Bell weighed 270 pounds.

    "It said I was obese," Bell said. "If you're obese, it makes (your character on screen) obese. I was disappointed that I was that big. I literally took the game to heart. I did the work but I kind of credit the Wii Fit."

    After coming over to San Diego in a November 2006 trade from the New York Mets, Bell reported to camp in 2007 at 250 pounds. The 31-year-old posted a 6-4 record with a 2.02 ERA, striking out 102 hitters in 93 2-3 innings in 2007. Getting his weight down became one of Bell's primary goals and now he's feeling good as he prepares to become a closer.

    "It makes me feel good to hear the coaches say, 'Don't lose any more weight' because they don't want me to lose velocity," Bell said. "I look stronger."

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200990215039
     
  19. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    Wow, he lost 25 pounds!! :tup:
     
  20. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    41,645
    Ratings:
    +2,172
    :tup:
     
  21. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/16/09 1:12 PM EST
    Maddux to serve as spring instructor

    Recently retired hurler will make three trips to Padres camp

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Greg Maddux is coming back to the Padres -- as an instructor for Spring Training.


    San Diego manager Bud Black said Monday that Maddux, who retired in December after winning 355 games during a 23-year career, would join the staff on Wednesday.
    [​IMG]
    Black said the Chicago Cubs, a team Maddux pitched twice for in his career, also offered a similar deal to the 42-year-old, but he chose the Padres.

    "A lot of my conversations with Greg [last season] were about the future ... and what he wanted to do beyond baseball. [General manager] Kevin [Towers] and I approached him with the idea to come into camp as an additional staff member to learn about life on the other side. He was excited about the possibility."

    Black said Maddux's role is largely "undefined," though he'll work with players, as well as possibly shadow Towers and his staff in the first of what is expected to be three trips, each lasting about a week.

    "I can sort of relate it to when I retired in 1995, I went to camp with Cleveland [in 1996] I went to camp and just observed," Black said. "... I was part of Spring Training on the coaching side, then I picked the brains of [front-office types] Dan O'Dowd, John Hart and Mark Shapiro."

    Maddux announced his retirement in Las Vegas in December at the Winter Meetings. He spent last season with the Padres, going 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA before the team traded him to the Dodgers in August for two Minor League players.
    Maddux went 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA in seven starts with the Dodgers following the trade.

    "It gives me, the coaches, even Kevin, a new perspective of a recently retired player. A guy of Maddux's resume ... he's a great resource," Black said.
    Black said he was looking forward to having Maddux back, if for no other reason than that he hopes some of his work ethic rubs off on the players in camp.
    "His strongest asset was his consistency," Black said. "[Hopefully] he can impart that to the players ... the consistency, both physically and mentally, the little things. He was a great practice player. He took his bullpens serious, took his fielding drills serious, bunting, hitting, all that. Hopefully players who were around him saw that."

    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
    ________________________
    Great news! Take that, Cubbies!:yes:
     
  22. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    9,707
    Ratings:
    +1,036

    The Pads need to make him an assistant Pitching Coach


    ASAP!!!!
     
  23. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    From Corey Brock's blog:

    Camp Notes for Tuesday

    Welcome to Day 5 here in Peoria, and the second day for pitchers and catchers to workout. We got a little rain overnight but the sun is out. We'll have some video a little later today here, so be sure and check back.

    Here's a few notes from our morning session with manager Bud Black:

    The Padres have been linked with free agent Will Ohman as one of the three teams who have made an offer to the right-hander. I was told by a Padres team source late Monday that the chances of Ohman ending up in San Diego were a "long shot." There's a belief Ohman will sign elsewhere, perhaps Pittsburgh or Florida, for more money than the Padres want to spend.

    Catcher Henry Blanco is still not in camp and is not expect to arrive in Peoria until Thursday with his official arrival in camp set for Friday. Blanco is tending to some family issues and, honestly, will not have missed much if he arrives on Friday. Any later, though, and that could be an issue as he'll be learning an entire staff and that takes time and a lot of bullpen repitition.

    Minor League pitcher Jackson Quezada, who is on the 40-man roster but not expected to make a run at a spot on the team, is still sidelined with soreness in his right shoulder. No word on the extent of the injury. Black said no tests are currently planned, only rest.

    Position players report on Wednesday with physicals scheduled. The catchers, of course, are already here. Many more have shown up early -- Cliff Floyd, the Gonzalez brothers, Chase Headley, Chris Burke, Scott Hairston and several Minor Leaguers. The first full-squad workout is set for Thursday.

    We're a week away from the Feb. 24 announcement of the official rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Jake Peavy (USA), Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Hairston (Mexico) figure to be on the final rosters. We're still not sure about Edgar Gonzalez (Mexico) but hope to get some clarity on that today. Edgar Gonzalez put on a hitting clinic at the Caribbean World Series recently and you would think he would stand a good chance of making it on the final roster.

    Cheers, Corey
     
  24. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    He posted 2 new Youtubes. First one is a view of the ST admin office building, then PFP and after the first cut is Chris Britton(78)a NRI. Justin Hampson(45) is on his right, Cla Meredith(43) on his left. After the second cut, see a thinner Heath Bell pitching. Then Worrell, with his odd delivery. Behind them is Thatcher (50), Hampson, Britton, and Meredith. Mike Adams is on the bench watching, but has been cleared to start a throwing program on Sunday.

     
  25. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    Second youtube begins with an interview with starting catcher, Nick Hundley. After the cut, we get to see several of the starting pitchers throwing a bullpen session:

     
  26. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/17/09 3:17 PM EST
    Padres add outfielder Brown

    Veteran agrees to Minor League deal with spring invite

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres signed outfielder Emil Brown to a Minor League contract on Tuesday.


    Brown, 34, an everyday player the last three seasons with Kansas City and then Oakland a year ago, has a .258 career batting average and has twice driven in over 80 runs.
    [​IMG]
    Last season in Oakland, Brown hit .244 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs in 402 at-bats. He began the season in the starting lineup, but ended up in a platoon situation when the A's went with youth.

    Brown is expected to be in Peoria on Wednesday when position players report for their physicals.

    So what does this mean?

    The Padres figure to start the regular season with Chase Headley in left field, Jody Gerut in center field and Brian Giles in right field. Scott Hairston figures to be the fourth outfielder.

    "We felt we needed some [outfield] depth ... I would say he has an outside chance of making our club," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said.

    Hairston will join Team Mexico for the World Baseball Classic on March 1 and could be gone for a few weeks. That will give the Padres time to look at Brown in the outfield and to see how his bat plays.

    It's unlikely the Padres will keep five outfielders to begin the regular season, especially since Chris Burke, a non-roster invitee, can play the outfield in a pinch.
    Brown told Towers he's amendable to going to Triple-A, though there's a Japanese team that's potentially interested in Brown's services.

    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  27. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/17/09 5:44 PM EST
    Eckstein relishes move back to second

    Veteran chose Padres because of chance to play original position

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Geography, being able to choose a team you want, is important to some free agents. Monetary considerations, obviously, are another factor.
    [​IMG]
    But when David Eckstein hit the free-agent market this winter, his motivation was to find a place to play the position he grew up playing (second base) instead of the one (shortstop) he has mostly played in his nine-year Major League career.

    "Without a doubt, it was a position I've played my whole life ... since I was 12, that was all I played," he said. "It's something that came very natural. Talking with my agent, it's something I really wanted."

    The Padres have afforded himself such an opportunity, signing him to a one-year deal for $850,000 with another potential $150,000 in incentives. He'll be the everyday starter at second base and likely hit second in the batting order.

    Eckstein arrived in Peoria on Tuesday, a day before position players were to report, and unpacked his things. The 34-year-old was upbeat, buoyed by his opportunity to start and play the position that got away from him.

    Eckstein was drafted in 1997 by the Red Sox as a second baseman, and he played that position professionally in the Minor Leagues. It wasn't until reaching the Major Leagues in 2001 with the Angels that he was moved to shortstop.

    "They made the switch to shortstop to start the season when Adam Kennedy was going to miss the first week," said Eckstein, who later started at shortstop when Gary DiSarcina was injured.

    Eckstein, a career .284 hitter, didn't play a single game at second base from 2002 up until last season, when he appeared in 24 games between his time in Toronto and Arizona. That experience, more or less, allowed him to fall in love with the position again.

    "Playing over there [last year] ... it felt really comfortable. I really enjoyed it," Eckstein said.
    Manager Bud Black worked with Eckstein when each was with the Angels. He likes the little things Eckstein does to help a team.
    "He's a good player and he's going to bring an element to our club that we need," Black said. "Offensively, he has the knack of getting on base. He's a great handler of the bat. The way he goes about the daily grind of playing baseball is going to be great for our younger service-time players to watch."
    _______________________
    Although, we still need a shortstop!
     
  28. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    02/17/09 6:20 PM EST
    Correia living a dream with Friars

    Right-hander hopes to make rotation of boyhood team

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- You can summarize pitcher Kevin Correia's ties to San Diego in three easy words.


    "Born and raised," Correia said.
    [​IMG]
    This proved to be of utmost importance for the 28-year-old right-hander when he went looking for a team after not being offered a contract by San Francisco after last season.

    Correia turned down potentially more lucrative deals to sign a Minor League contract, one with no guarantees other than incentives if he made the team, to sign with the one team he followed growing up in El Cajon, Calif.

    "It was my dream growing up to play for my hometown team. This was a team I rooted for as a kid. A lot of my heroes were on that team," Correia said. "It has always been a team I've followed even while playing with the Giants."

    After a lost 2008 season with the Giants that included, really, the first serious injury of his career -- a left oblique muscle strain -- Correia is hoping to land a spot in the starting rotation in San Diego.

    "I like the arm. I like the arm slot that it's a little higher. We've seen a good slider and I like the delivery," Padres manager Bud Black said. "You look at his career and he got to the big leagues quick. Hopefully he's at the point in his career where he can settle in and make a significant contribution to a pitching staff."

    On paper, Correia certainly stands a good chance. The Padres are looking to fill the last two spots in the starting rotation behind Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Cha Seung Baek. None of the candidates in camp can boast a resume like his as well.

    Correia has a career record of 14-22 and a 4.59 ERA in 170 career appearances the last six seasons. His best season was in 2007 when Correia went 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 46 games.

    Last season, Correia was part of the Giants rotation but suffered the oblique injury in a start on April 26. He went on the disabled list and didn't return until June 15. Correia struggled with his consistency the rest of the way, finishing 3-8 with a 6.05 ERA.

    "I felt like I had some good years and was right where I thought I needed to be and then something would happen and I would take a step back," Correia said. "Last year I had the first injury of my career, so I had to deal with that.

    "I just felt like it was time to move on. I was spinning my wheels. I wasn't getting to the level where I wanted to be."

    Correia makes no bones about his preference: He wants to be a starter and has landed in what might be a perfect spot to do so, given the openings in the rotation. And if Correia can make the team, it would complete his dream of playing for his hometown team.
    "My senior year in high school [1998] was when the Padres played in the World Series and I remember [Trevor] Hoffman coming in to save the game at Qualcomm," Correia said.

    "That's the loudest I've ever heard a stadium. Watching Tony Gwynn and all the guys ... I learned baseball from watching the Padres."

    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  29. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    From Whos Your Padre?, Corey Brock's blog, February 18, 9:37am:

    Edgar Gonzalez to possibly skip the WBC

    I just talked to infielder Edgar Gonzalez and he said he's trying to figure out if he's going to be playing for Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Here's a few graphs from a story that will be posted later on Padres.com:


    PEORIA, Ariz. - Edgar Gonzalez is torn between playing for his native Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic and staying put in Peoria to train with the Padres in March.

    Gonzalez, the older brother of Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, said Wednesday that he is considering skipping playing for Mexico is he's not assured of a starting job playing second base.

    "I want to be assured of reasonable at-bats because I need them to get ready for when I come back [to Spring Training]," Gonzalez said. "If I'm over there sitting on the bench, that doesn't help me."

    Gonzalez said he has already had one conversation with Team Mexico manager Vinny Castilla about the situation and was told that "he [Castilla] was going to figure out who exactly is playing and that he would get back to me."

    The deadline for official rosters is Feb. 24, though Gonzalez hopes to hear from Castilla by Feb. 21. Gonzalez is hopeful Castilla calls with good news.

    "I want to represent my country and this only happens every four years. It's a big thing for everyone in Mexico. I would love to play. But if not ... I'll gladly stay here and have fun," said Gonzalez, who represented Mexico earlier this month in the Caribbean World Series in Mexicali.

    Adrian Gonzalez is still planning on playing in the World Baseball Classic.

    Cheers, Corey
     
  30. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    10,622
    Ratings:
    +1,842
    From signonsandiego.com:

    If there's a dark side to Giles, you'd never guess by his on-field demeanor

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    [​IMG]

    PEORIA, Ariz. – Brian Giles does not fit the profile. Not even a little bit.

    If the Padres outfielder has an issue with anger management, he has kept it carefully concealed over 1,786 big league ballgames.

    He doesn't fling his batting helmets in frustration. He doesn't vent by breaking bats. According to the dogged researcher, David Vincent, Giles has been ejected exactly once in a career that dates to 1995.
    He would not seem a likely suspect for domestic abuse.
    “I have never seen that side of him,” Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said Tuesday. “I have never seen that volatile personality, if there is one. This guy shows very little emotion as a player, even when he's going through tough times. I've never seen him in any altercations among players (or) teammates. I have not seen it.”

    What spectators see of ballplayers is but a series of snapshots, and those images carry only limited insight. What celebrity athletes do in private is not always consistent with their public image, and sometimes it is exactly the opposite.

    What Giles did to Cheri Olvera on Aug. 27, 2006, as captured on videotape and as cinematic centerpiece of her $10 million palimony suit, was reprehensible and indefensible, and that much worse if she was pregnant at the time and miscarried.

    With his tongue tied Tuesday by legal advice, Giles could not contribute much to his cause in an interview upon reporting to the Padres' spring training camp.

    An excerpt:
    Question: “What is your attitude about domestic abuse?”
    Answer: “What do you mean?”
    Question: “Do you have a personal opinion about it? Are you repelled by it?”
    Answer: “I don't really have an opinion on it. If you look at any relationships, there are always arguments, and that's just part of relationships. There are ups and downs.”
    Question: “There's a difference between an argument and physical contact. Are you embarrassed by (the videotaped incident)? Was it a one-time situation?”
    Answer: “In time, it will all come out. It will all come out.”

    The gist of Giles' countersuit is that he was more victim than villain, and in time a court may consider much more of this story than a few moments of grainy videotape. There is certainly more than can be sorted out in time for the start of the 2009 baseball season or, in all probability, by the end of it. Whatever you might think of Brian Giles, he's probably not going anywhere until (at the earliest) the midseason trade market congeals.

    The Padres and Major League Baseball effectively abdicated their authority to sanction Giles when they failed to react promptly in the face of the original police report and subsequent plea agreement. Though Towers was aware of the couple's original confrontation, he says he never saw the videotape until it reached wide distribution this winter.

    “The information that I had gotten at that time was that there was an altercation at the Merc Bar,” Towers said. “I'd heard also that they might have caught some things on video, but that basically – and this has been some time – evidently when they got back after the event had taken place, they were on good terms.

    “It sounded like something took place, but they kind of worked it out. That's really the last I heard of it.”

    Perhaps the Padres were negligent in not investigating the incident more thoroughly. Perhaps management would have declined to exercise Giles' $9 million option for 2009 had they anticipated the adverse publicity that followed Olvera's December filing. Yet in light of a limited fan backlash, and in need of a reliable bat near the top of their lineup, the Home Team might have a harder time reconciling the loss of Giles than the risk of keeping him.

    “He had one of his better years for us last year after getting healthy and getting his knee repaired,” Towers said. “He's certainly not going to put up the power-type numbers that he did in Pittsburgh. A lot of that has to do with Petco (Park). A lot of it has to do with his age. But he still plays the game as hard as anybody, taking guys out (on double plays), running the basepaths, grinding out an at-bat. He's not an easy guy to strike out.

    “I think he's still going to be a very productive top-of-the-order type hitter and a very good right fielder. I think he's a championship player. If you've got good guys around him, you win championships with guys like Brian Giles.”

    Because the Padres have slashed payroll in the wake of a last-place season, the prospect of Giles winning a championship in San Diego now appears remote. Should the Padres fall out of contention by midseason, Towers says the trade market for Giles should not be constricted by his legal issues.

    “I'm sure a lot of clubs have probably forgotten about it,” Towers said. “I can't speak for them, but I would imagine come July, in the middle of the trade deadline, if nothing (else) takes place with Giles off the field, I can't imagine that ballclubs would be concerned. But who knows?”

    Giles' goal should be to be judged by his behavior on the field. There, his conduct has always been exemplary.
    “When I make an out, you don't see me going in the dugout and throwing bats,” he said. “I'm even-keel. That's how I was brought up in this game and I try to apply it in my life the same way I do my job.

    “There are going to be peaks and valleys in my life, in everybody's life. People who stay even-keel are the ones that persevere and end up being successful.”

    That's the Brian Giles we know. The question before the court is whether there is another Brian Giles we don't know.
     

Share This Page