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Padres Spring Training 2009

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

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Different Position, Different Throws

    I had the chance to talk to Chase Headley today about playing the outfield, a topic that was sure a hot one a year ago at this time when Headley was making the conversion from third base -- his original position -- to left field.

    One of the many things Headley had to deal with in making such a move was training himself to make a completely different throw. I have some video below of Headley talking about the not-so subtle differences.

    This is interesting because Headley threw out Seattle's Russell Branyan at the plate on a single to left field in Wednesday's charity game.

    Granted, Russell Branyan will never confused with a, say, Willy Tavaras or any other player with plus-speed, but that's not really the point. He got to the ball, got in position to field it and came up with a strong throw to catcher Nick Hundley.

    A year ago, this wouldn't have been quite as easy for Headley. Really, it's still not, though he appears to be getting more comfortable with the position and the nuances that go with it.

    Cheers, Corey

    Posted on February 26, 2009 at 12:12 PM

     
  2. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    From Friar Johns blog:

    Hot Links for Thursday, February 26

    Kyle Blanks had the game-winning hit in the 10th inning as the Padres posted a 4-3 victory over the Mariners in the annual charity game. ...

    RHP Jake Peavy tuned up nicely. ... His workout after the start was tougher than the game action. ...

    RHP Mark Prior still is pushing hard to make it back to action. ...

    RHP Heath Bell is working on a change-up, which he featured in his first spring outing Wednesday. ...

    MLB.com's Corey Brock went months without a blog entry, but he's making up for it with volume this spring. He has today's lineup posted, as well as several camp notes in the entries below. ...

    Padres executive/blogger Paul DePodesta will see three ballgames today. Good gig. Note in his entries below the first one that he is doing in-game updates. ...

    Manager Bud Black was to meet with C Henry Blanco today about whether he will play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. ...

    Union-Tribune columnist Nick Canepa files his annual Tony Gwynn column. ...

    Former Padres minor league 3B David Freese could be the Cardinals Opening Day third baseman. But he has been limited by a foot injury that now has been revealed as the result of an auto accident. There's another Padres connection: Freese was driving to a charity bowling tournament hosted by former Padres RHP Brian Boehringer. ...

    Former Padres C Josh Bard doesn't break into a cold sweat at the sight of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

    Really.

    FJ

    • Posted on February 26, 2009 at 10:05 AM
     
  3. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    02/26/09 6:23 PM EST
    Blanco has a blast against M's

    Catcher goes deep as Padres snag Cactus League tie

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    MARINERS 4, PADRES 4
    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Thursday, Feb. 26


    Padres at the plate: Newcomer, catcher Henry Blanco, hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat in the second inning. Blanco would later add a single before calling it a day. Emil Brown added a double in two at-bats and threw a runner out at the plate. Jody Gerut had two walks from the leadoff spot. Chad Huffman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to force in a run. Drew Macias tied the game in the ninth inning with an RBI double.
    [​IMG]
    Mariners at the plate: Newcomer Chris Shelton hit a wind-aided home run to left field in the second inning and Chris Woodward later added a run-scoring double and even stole a base. Mike Morse, starting at third base, had an RBI double. Michael Wilson had a double in three at-bats.

    Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Chris Young worked a 1-2-3 first inning, getting two routine fly balls. Justin Hampson allowed two earned runs over two-thirds of an inning and allowed the home run to Shelton. Matt Buschmann had two strikeouts over a scoreless inning. Nick Schmidt, the Padres' first-round pick in 2007, threw a scoreless inning.

    Mariners on the mound: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez cruised through the first inning, but allowed two runs in the second inning on four hits with the big blow being the Blanco home run. Jarrod Washburn followed by tossing a scoreless, hitless third inning. Reliever Mark Lowe and Shawn Kelly each threw 1-2-3 innings. Reliever Eric Hull preserved a one-run lead with a strikeout with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.

    Cactus League records: Mariners 0-0-1; Padres 0-0-1.
    Up next: The Padres travel to Goodyear to face the Cleveland Indians at 12:05 p.m. PT on Friday. Cha Seung Baek will make his Cactus League debut and will throw one inning. The Mariners are home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers at 12:05 p.m. Erik Bedard makes his Cactus League debut.
     
  4. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot Links for Friday, February 27

    Judging from his comments in a media conference call, it's obvious 1B Adrian Gonzalez has given the World Baseball Classic a lot of thought. ...

    C Henry Blanco is on Venezuela's roster. After some deliberation, he indicated Friday that he will play in the WBC. ... Blanco made his presence felt in the Padres' 4-4 tie against the Mariners on Thursday. ...

    New RHP Henry Silva had a long bullpen session under the watchful eye of manager Bud Black. ...

    RHP Chris Young has a goal: 35 starts. ...

    LF Chase Headley is more comfortable at the position. ...

    Corey Brock has video from that Headley interview and today's lineups up on his blog. ...

    There's early encouragement about how Padres batters fared leading off an inning. ...

    New TV broadcaster Mark Neely will pinch-hit on radio Saturday. ...

    Former Padres RHP Adam Eaton was released by the Phillies. ...(no, we dont want him)

    They played "Hells Bells" before RHP Trevor Hoffman's first appearance with the Brewers ...(and was very uncomfortable and hopes they dont do it again)

    Former Padres announcer Rick Sutcliffe was a guest manager for the Cubs on Thursday. ...

    Former Padres OF Milton Bradley tweaked his hamstring in that game. ...

    Former Padres 3B/C Dave Roberts will be part of the first pitch ceremony before the revived University of Oregon baseball team's home opener today.

    FJ

    Posted on February 27, 2009 at 9:33 AM
     
  5. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    From Friar John's Blog:

    Padres risk carpal tunnel syndrome, sign 29 players

    It's a largely procedural matter when a Major League team signs its younger players, the ones who aren't yet eligible for salary arbitration. But it's still a good thing.

    The Padres got that procedure done with 29 players. The team announced Friday that it has agreed to 2009 contract terms with the following players:

    Mike Adams, RHP
    Matt Antonelli, 2B
    Cha Seung Baek, RHP
    Everth Cabrera, SS
    Cesar Carrillo, RHP
    Travis Denker, 2B
    Luis Durango, OF
    Mike Ekstrom, RHP
    Ernesto Frieri, RHP
    Josh Geer, RHP
    Edgar Gonzalez, INF
    Justin Hampson, LHP
    Chase Headley, OF
    Nick Hundley, C
    Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
    Wade LeBlanc, LHP
    Jose Lobaton, C
    Wilton Lopez, RHP
    Drew Macias, OF
    Cla Meredith, RHP
    Ivan Nova, RHP
    Scott Patterson, RHP
    Jackson Quezada, RHP
    Cesar Ramos, LHP
    Chad Reineke, RHP
    Jae Kuk Ryu, RHP
    Joe Thatcher, LHP
    Will Venable, OF
    Mark Worrell, RHP

    Every player on the 40-man roster is under contract.

    FJ

    Posted on February 27, 2009 at 11:06 AM
     
  6. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot Links for Saturday, February 28

    Kevin Kouzmanoff homered against his original club, but the Padres fell 5-3 to the Cleveland Indians in exhibition play Friday. ...

    JMI Sports built the Indians' new spring training facilty in Goodyear. ... Former Padres executive Erik Judson headed the project. ..

    Highly touted RHP Mat Latos got hit hard in the game. ...
    Latos admitted to being a little nervous. ... Indians slugger Victor Martinez made Latos pay for a 3-0 fastball down the pipe. ...

    LHP Wade LeBlanc is more confident in 2009 after getting a taste of the Majors last season. ...

    C Henry Blanco will play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, after all. ...

    The Padres on Friday announced they got 29 players under contract. ...

    Corey Brock's blog has today's lineup and tidbits from this morning. ...

    Available seats for the first game in the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps' new ballark sold out in 28 minutes...
    And that's even though the ballpark is dry for the time being; it doesn't have a liquor license. ...

    Former Padres 2B Tadahito Iguchi had two hits in his first game back in Japan, an exhibition for the Chiba Lotte Marines...

    Former Padres RHP Matt Clement had an encouraging outing in his comeback bid with the Blue Jays.

    FJ

    Posted on February 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM
     
  7. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    02/28/09 6:59 PM EST
    Correia making most of his opportunity

    Righty looks sharp in first spring outing, despite allowing homer

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Opportunity brought Kevin Correia home, and now the right-hander is hoping his success on the mound for the Padres this spring will land him a permanent spot in the starting rotation.


    Correia took a positive step in that direction on Saturday when he allowed one run in two innings against the Royals at Surprise Stadium in his first start of the spring.
    [​IMG]
    Correia allowed one hit, an opposite-field home run to Josh Guillen in his second inning of work, the lone hit he would allow, and had one walk and one strikeout as he became the first Padres pitcher this spring to work more than one inning.

    Correia signed a Minor League deal in the offseason, bypassing offers that were more lucrative, to get the chance to start for his hometown team.

    "It's a great opportunity for me," Correia said. "There's some open spots in the rotation and that's mainly what I was looking for in a situation coming into a new team, was to get the opportunity to compete for a stating job."

    So far, so good, as the reports from pitching coach Darren Balsley have been positive so far. On Saturday, Correia benefitted from the rediscovery of his changeup, a pitch which he struggled to find a feel for a year ago in San Francisco.

    "My changeup was pretty good. In the past, it was one of my better pitches. Last year, I just kind of lost it. I've been really working on it this year. It nice to see that it's back to where it was already," Correia said.

    "It's not a pitch I try to do a lot with, I just try to take my grip and throw it. It feels pretty comfortable right now."

    Said Padres manager Bud Black: "I really like the use of the changeups. I think he needs that to offset his slider. Overall, it was a tremendous outing for Kevin."

    Of the home run to Guillen, Correia said, "I threw worse pitches than that. That's kind of the approach he has. But at this point, with 40 days before the season starts, I felt pretty good for as much time as we have left to get ready."

    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.
    Correia signed a Minor League contract with the Padres in the December. He can earn $750,000 if he makes the team with another $350,000 in potential incentives.

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

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    02/28/09 6:24 PM EST
    Bell and his fellow Friars get stingy in tie

    Reliever tosses scoreless frame; A. Gonzalez collects RBI double

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    PADRES 2, ROYALS 2 (10)
    at Surprise, Ariz.
    Feb. 28


    Padres at the plate: Adrian Gonzalez and Cliff Floyd had consecutive RBI doubles in the fourth inning as the Padres erased a 1-0 deficit.

    Jody Gerut and Chad Huffman each had singles. Will Venable had a single in the eighth inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
    [​IMG]
    Royals at the plate: Jose Guillen hit an opposite-field home run in the second inning off San Diego pitcher Kevin Correia. Guillen, who leaves Sunday to participate in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic, added a double into the gap in left-center field in the sixth inning. Leadoff hitter Coco Crisp walked three times. Mark Teahen, who leaves Sunday to play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, had a triple in the seventh inning. Ross Gload tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run.

    Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Kevin Correia, who is trying to win a job in the rotation, allowed one run in two innings, the longest stint by a Padres pitcher this spring. He allowed the home run to Guillen but otherwise threw well and got a lot of mileage out of his changeup. Cla Meredith worked his second scoreless inning of the spring. Closer Heath Bell worked a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk. Scott Patterson allowed a leadoff triple in the seventh inning but stranded the runner there.

    Royals on the mound: Starting pitcher Brian Bannister looked sharp in his two-inning stint. He got three outs on the ground and three through the air. Luke Hochevar allowed two runs over two inning with a walk. Lenny DiNardo walked two and had four strikeouts over his two innings of work.

    Cactus League records: Royals 2-1-1; Padres 0-1-2.

    Up next: The Padres return to Peoria at 12:05 p.m. PT on Sunday to face the Cubs. Jake Peavy, who, depending on what you read or heard was nearly traded to the Cubs in the offseason, makes his second and last start for the Padres before leaving for Florida later in the day to join Team USA in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Peavy will go two innings and will be followed by lefty Wade LeBlanc, a contender for a spot in the rotation. LeBlanc will also go two innings.
    Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  9. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Peavy and the Cubs...all over again

    It should be an interesting day here in Peoria as Padres pitcher Jake Peavy makes his last start before leaving for Florida later today to train with Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. He will throw two innings today against the Cubs, one of the teams Peavy was linked to during the off-season and, depending on what you heard or read, was close to heading to the Windy City.

    Peavy talked on the first day of camp about the off-season and hasn't had to revisit it much to this point. He might have to today, though I don't get the feeling it bothers him too much. He's made peace with what happened -- or didn't happen -- in the off-season and is moving forward.

    Anyway, here's the lineup for today:

    CF, Scott Hairston
    2B, David Eckstein
    LF, Chase Headley
    1B, Kyle Blanks
    RF, Will Venable
    3B, Travis Denker
    C, Nick Hundley
    SS, Luis Rodriguez
    SP, Jake Peavy

    Today's pitchers: Peavy 2, Wade LeBlanc 2, Justin Hampson, Greg Burke, Arturo Lopez, Edwin Moreno, Ernesto Frieri.

    We'll have some notes up later after we talked to manager Bud Black.

    Cheers, Corey

    • Posted on March 1, 2009 at 8:29 AM
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    From The North Country Times:

    Last modified Saturday, February 28, 2009 7:07 PM PST[​IMG]

    PADRES: Bench quandary: Black faces tough decision on final two roster spots
    [​IMG]
    By JOHN MAFFEI - Staff Writer

    SURPRISE, Ariz. ---- Three days into spring training games, Padres manager Bud Black has a pretty good idea how his 25-man roster will play out.

    Black plans to carry 12 pitchers, two catchers and five outfielders. With four starting infielders (Adrian Gonzalez, David Eckstein, Luis Rodriguez and Kevin Kouzmanoff), that leaves two open spots.

    "You have to assume (outfielders) Scott Hairston and Cliff Floyd will be part of the club, part of our bench" Black said. "Add a second catcher, the starting infielders and 12 pitchers, that means we need two more guys."

    Those two guys will probably be infielders. And the candidates are Edgar Gonzalez, Chris Burke, Travis Denker and rookies Everth Cabrera and Matt Antonelli.

    Following is a breakdown of each player:

    -- Burke ---- The most experienced of the group, Burke was a college shortstop but has played only 17 of his 445 big-league games at shortstop. He's versatile, though, having played all three outfield spots as well as all four infield positions.

    "We'll give him a lot of time at shortstop," Black said.

    "We really don't have a shortstop behind Rodriguez, either here in camp or in the minors. So his ability to play shortstop will be a big factor."

    Burke has a .241 career average with 22 home runs and 106 RBIs for the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks.


    -- Denker ---- He played 24 games with the San Francisco Giants as a rookie last season, seeing action in 13 games at second base and one at third.

    "He's more or less a second-third guy," Black said. "He has a pretty good arm. His chances depend on just how the bench situation works out."


    -- Cabrera ---- The Padres selected him in the Rule 5 draft, so they have to keep him all season or offer him back to his original team, the Colorado Rockies.

    He has played 221 professional games, but none above Single-A. And while the Padres are auditioning him as a shortstop, he has played 171 of his minor-league games at second base and only 45 at shortstop. He's a .280 career hitter and has great speed, stealing 73 bases last year at Single-A Asheville of the South Atlantic League.

    "He looks comfortable in the field, has a little flash," Black said. "He has a good arm and his feet work well.

    "He has an idea. He's a good, hard worker, and we're going to watch everything he does very closely."


    -- Gonzalez ---- As a 29-year-old rookie with the Padres last season, he hit .279 with 15 doubles, seven homers and 33 RBIs. Plus, he played all over the infield and even started a few games in the outfield.

    "He can hit at any level," Black said. "He has some versatility. He can play second, third and short, but like all these guys, his best spot is second. We'd like to have a true shortstop, but we don't have one."

    Gonzalez will leave Padres camp on Sunday to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, but Black said that won't hurt his chances with the Padres.

    "We know what Edgar can do," Black said.


    -- Antonelli ---- He struggled last year, both at Triple-A Portland and in the big leagues. Another second baseman, he hit .215 in Triple-A and .193 in 21 games in the big leagues.

    "We still have high hopes for Matt," Black said. "You can see what our scouts saw when they drafted him. But right now, we're not talking about him like we are with the other guys.

    "I think Matt needs to play every day. I don't know if we want a young prospect in a backup role."

    Ultimately, Black said, the final two roster spots could be a very difficult decision.

    "We've talked about maybe keeping a guy who could be the emergency catcher," Black said. "But none of these guys has every caught. So the only time we'd need a third catcher is in an extreme emergency.

    "We're evaluating the total game of every player. We're looking at everything these guys do. We need a strong bench with versatile players.

    "So this isn't going to be an easy decision."
     
  11. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    'Put the ball in play' : New hitting coach Jim Lefebvre has some ideas to make the Padres more productive at the plate

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/feb/28/s1padres183524/?padres



    Over the past three seasons, the Padres have ousted three hitting coaches: Dave Magadan in 2006, Merv Rettenmund in 2007 and Wally Joyner in 2008 (Joyner, anticipating he would be fired, resigned last September). Now, in comes longtime hitting instructor Jim Lefebvre, who will be charged with helping the team improve on its woeful offensive numbers from 2008, when it was last in the majors in runs per game (3.93) and on-base percentage (.317) and third-worst in strikeouts (1,259). The Union-Tribune's Tom Krasovic this week had a chance to talk with Lefebvre about his new job: QUESTION: What is your hitting philosophy?

    ANSWER: It's not my hitting philosophy. I want to get that straight. It's about good hitting philosophy and introducing them to what good offenses do.

    What do those offenses do?

    They don't give a lot of at-bats away. They constantly put the ball in play. They focus in on a line drive/down kind of ball flight, and if you can do that you're going to be a productive hitter.

    What do you mean by “line drive/down” ball flight?

    Line drives. Hard ground balls.

    How do you accomplish that?

    We really focus on staying over the ball and looking for a good ball to hit, early in the count, I don't care when it is, and when you get it, hit it. Put it in play. Hard. If not, work the count. Don't be afraid to get deep in the count. But the key is to look for a ball to hit and put the ball in play.

    What's your first priority in teaching these hitters?

    Ball in play. Cut down on the strikeouts.

    How do you get that done?

    First of all, you've got to stay over the ball. Gotta stay over the ball. You don't just sit there and swing uphill. You stay on it. You think about driving the ball on a line. If you go up there with the idea that you've gotta cut your strikeouts down, that's not a very aggressive thought. You've got to go up there with a positive thought. We're not up there to put the ball in play with no aggressiveness, tap a little ground ball. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about staying back and letting the ball come to you, and stay over it, and drive the ball hard, on a line, and the ball down.

    Coors Field is tough on pitching coaches. Petco Park is a graveyard for hitting coaches. What are your thoughts on Petco and what the Padres must do to score more runs there?

    Petco is not a fly-ball ballpark, per se. So we want to work on getting the ball on a line drive/down plane. That's what we want to do. And the numbers prove that.

    What numbers?

    I took major league batting average for ball flight. I'm a big ball-flight guy.

    Pop-ups in the major leagues, the batting average is .089. Petco, it's .062. Not much comparison. Line drives in the big leagues, the batting average is .738. In Petco, it's .722. Ground balls in the major leagues, it's .238. At Petco, it's. 232.

    Now, this is where it really changes: A hard ground ball in the major leagues, the batting average is .431. At Petco, it's .433. Hard ground balls. OK? Line drive/down – the batting average in the major leagues is .672. OK? Petco, it's .657. OK?

    Check this out: Any fly ball in the majors that goes out there at least 325 feet, even counting home runs, the batting average in the big leagues is .405. In Petco, it's .278. See what I'm saying?

    You get a line drive/down, you can hit in Petco. Yankee Stadium. Atlanta. Seattle. Chicago. L.A. Pittsburgh. St. Louis. You can hit anywhere in the world. So it's going to be no excuses. 'Cause all we hear is, “You can't hit in Petco. It's a graveyard, graveyard, graveyard.”

    But when you look at our statistics, we strike out a lot. So that's the No. 1 thing. We're not putting the ball in play. And when we do, it's popping up and just lazy fly balls. So we have to get away from that. We've got to practice it. We've got to work on it and work on it and work on it. It's the way Buddy Black wants to play the game, and it's the way Kevin Towers wants to play the game in Petco.

    Put the ball in play. Keep the ball out of the air. That's all. Don't try to kill the ball. This is not rocket science.

    How talented are your Padres hitters?

    There's a lot of talent. When you talk about Brian Giles, you're talking about one of the real, legitimate, year-after-year, professional-quality players. Adrian Gonzalez – rising star, power, average. (Kevin) Kouzmanoff, he's in his third year, has some things to learn, but he has power. Scotty Hairston, we're trying to stay away from the breaking ball, but he's got pop in his bat.

    Who among the young hitters impresses you?

    I know Chase Headley. He's got talent. I look at batting average when you take all of the strikeouts out. Chase Headley, when he put the ball in play last year, hit .392. That's a very high batting average. So we know it's pitch selection. He's got to understand the strike zone better. It's a learning curve, a process. Same thing with Nick Hundley. He's a kid who can catch and throw, and he's got some life to his bat. Once he starts understanding the strike zone and about using the big part of the field, he's going to be a good player. Will Venable – this guy is an athlete. He needs to get the at-bats and get the time to develop his skills. He has huge upside.

    It just takes time for them to develop. We've got a lot of work to do here before we start seeing the fruits, but we do have good pieces, starting with Giles and Gonzalez.

    You had Padres statisticians research the team's problems with situational hitting. What did you discover?

    When you get 100 guys on, how many guys score? What's the conversion rate? Who was the best in baseball last year? Texas Rangers, 39.6 percent. We were at the bottom, 32.5 percent. Why? We struck out a lot in those situations.

    You also are emphasizing getting leadoff guys on base, right?

    We've got to be better in leadoff situations. We've got nine innings, so we have nine leadoff opportunities. Taking Giles out, I wanted to know what our on-base percentage was for the second inning, leading off, through the ninth inning – and ours was .288. That was significantly lower than anybody else in baseball. The average is .324.

    The most significant factor in scoring runs is the on-base percentage of the leadoff hitter, regardless of the lineup. We have to bring to the attention of our team what we need to do to be successful. We have to get the leadoff guy on.

    You oversaw China's baseball program for five years. What's the level of baseball talent in China?

    Not very good. Very low level. The Chinese really focus on sports that are going to bring them Olympic medals. There's not going to be baseball in the Olympics. They just don't commit to baseball in China the way they do in Japan and Korea.

    What do you expect from Chinese baseball in years ahead?

    It's going to be 15 years before they start showing up in the minor leagues. It's a young sport in China, a very young sport. I was hired by MLB to go over and develop baseball in China. We were trying to find that one Yao Ming that was going to jump-start it. The Chinese have the resources, but right now they choose not to commit to it.

    Your son, Ryan, is a play-by-play broadcaster for the Royals. Who's better at talking baseball, you or Ryan?

    When it comes down to radio, not even close (laughs). When it comes down to managing, I would say I have an edge over him. I am so proud of him. It would be interesting someday if we could work together. He is really, really talented. He is a student of the game.

    Word among the Padres is that you look like Jack Nicholson, and that's a good thing. They like your intensity. Ever heard that comparison before?

    I've actually had people say, somewhat, my look, I kind of resemble him. I have heard that before. I guess I have a look about myself that's very intense at times. But inside, I think I am very calm. I've been in this game a long time. Nothing happens overnight. You've got to stay there and be there for them and you've gotta get them out there to compete.

    Do you like Nicholson?

    I do. I like the movie (“A Few Good Men”) where he gets up and talks in court, and he says, “You can't handle the truth.” It was very dramatic.

    You also appeared as an extra on “Gilligan's Island.” What was your role?

    I played the part of a cannibal.

    A cannibal?

    A cannibal, yes.

    Did you go hungry?

    Yeah, sort of (laughs).

    Were you more impressed by Ginger or Mary Ann?

    Both of them (laughs). They were both impressive (laughs).

    What kind of feedback did you get for your acting?

    People said, “Man, you're a bad actor.” I didn't know what they meant, but I know I never got a job after that.

    You also appeared on the TV show “Batman.” How did you get those jobs?

    Being from L.A., you meet a lot of people in the movie industry, and they enjoyed baseball. During the Dodgers offseason, I needed a job, we weren't making any money. I met an agent involved with casting guys, and he said, “I'll get you some work.”

    What was your role on “Batman?”

    I was one of The Riddler's henchmen. John Astin became the new Riddler after Frank Gorshin. So they asked me if I wanted to be one of his henchmen. So I was one of his goons. It was a lot of fun. “Batman” was a big series at the time.
     
  12. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Peavy Breezes through three, Cubs...

    Pitcher Jake Peavy just finished off three quick innings here in Peoria against the Cubs in his second and final Cactus League start before flying to Florida today to train with Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

    Peavy allowed one hit, got a double-play ball and faced the minimum of nine hitters.
    He didn't have to labor on what's becoming a warm day here and the Padres scored three runs while he was in the game -- something that didn't always happen in 2008 when run support was pretty scare.

    At any rate, here's some video of Peavy's last inning when he retired Richie Robnett (don't worry, I don't know who he is either), Paul Bako and pinch-hitter Steve Clevenger. Again, no idea there.

    Cheers, Corey

    Posted on March 1, 2009 at 1:12 PM

     
  13. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    PADRES: Young, family try to put scary injury in past

    By DAN HAYES - Staff Writer,North County Times | Sunday, March 1, 2009 6:25 PM PST


    [​IMG]

    Padres starter Chris Young is helped from the field by trainer Todd Hutchinson, left,
    and teammate Tony Clark after being struck in the face by a batted ball hit by St. Louis
    Cardinals Albert Pujols in the third inning of their game on May 21. Photo by Lenny Ignelzi - Associated Press.
    [​IMG]

    Liz Young had a sense of calmness despite seeing her husband struck in the head by a line drive.

    St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols smashed a ball that hit Padres pitcher Chris Young, Liz's husband, in the face on May 21 at Petco Park.

    "It was freaky, scary," said Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. "It was heartstopping."

    Liz only attended the game after finding a last-minute babysitter for the couple's infant daughter, Catherine. Liz was in a daze as Chris sat on the ground bleeding from the head. Panic set in as she tried to figure out what to do, finally going down to the clubhouse at the urging of another player's wife.

    But calmness set in when she finally saw Chris.

    "Chris was so amazingly calm that I wasn't freaked out because he was handling it well," Liz said by phone from Peoria, Ariz., recently. "At first, he was mad that he couldn't stay in the game. ... And later he was giving the ambulance driver directions to the hospital. It didn't hit me or Chris until the next day."

    But any tranquility was shattered the following day when a CT scan revealed a small crack in Chris' skull.

    The Youngs, who celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary in October, thought they were dealing with a deviated septum, fractured nose and a broken orbital bone. They knew there would be pain, black eyes and swelling, but there was a sense that things could have been far worse.

    Liz said Chris was disappointed about having to miss time until the swelling went down, but making a quick return was at the forefront of his mind.

    Then came the diagnosis of the crack in his skull.

    "That's when we got emotional," Liz said. "The doctor said if the fluid leaks, there's a chance of infection. He said 'If you have to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open because of the pressure in your head.' That was when (Chris) was like 'Wow.' It took away any of his competitive side."

    The chance of infection was so high, doctors said, that Chris was told he couldn't do physical activity of any kind until the crack healed. Doctors expected the entire process to take eight weeks minimum, with at least several weeks needed for the crack to heal.

    "I couldn't do cardio, I couldn't lift, nothing," Chris said. "I had to put everything on hold. ... I had never been so sedentary in my life just sitting around for seven or eight weeks."

    Chris was relegated to watching the Padres from the couch of his La Jolla home. His sight and breathing were heavily affected. Young could attend home games, but road trips were impossible.

    The one saving grace, Chris said, was spending time with Catherine, who turns 1 on Wednesday.

    "It was a blessing in disguise to spend that time with her and see her grow," Chris said. "It's something I'm extremely thankful for. But I think my wife will tell you I wasn't much fun to watch a baseball game with. Especially the way we were playing. It was tough, and I was really getting down on things. It hurt me mentally that I couldn't be out there helping the guys."

    Liz said Chris was a "good patient" who never complained. She knew he felt disconnected from his teammates and was getting antsy, but having Catherine around was the perfect remedy.

    "He's like any dad with a daughter," Liz said. "He's so in love. It was guaranteed to change his mood. It was great he got to be home with her."

    By the end of June, the crack had healed sufficiently and Young was back at work. He returned to game action in a rehab start July 12 at Single-A Lake Elsinore and returned to the Padres on July 29.

    "You never know until you get back up on the mound and face that hitter again," said Young, who was 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA in eight starts after the injury. "But the first time up there it didn't cross my mind. It was good. It eliminated that uncertainty, that doubt."

    Ten months later, Young has some residual affects from the injury, including severe allergies amplified by the dry desert air in Arizona. But the uncertainty is gone and his competitive fire has once again kicked into overdrive.

    Things are back to normal for Liz, too, with one exception. She is no longer nervous about how her husband's performance on the field. Just getting off the field is the most important part.

    "It changed my perspective at games, for sure," Liz said. "I used to be nervous (about the outcome). ... At this point, I'm thankful if he gets through the game healthy."



    Contact staff writer Dan Hayes at dhayes@nctimes.com.
     
  14. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    PADRES: WBC you later: Club bids farewell to Peavy, nine others playing in World Baseball Classic

    By JOHN MAFFEI - Staff Writer, North County Times | Monday, March 2, 2009 8:59 AM PST


    PEORIA, Ariz. ---- It was a little bit of trains, planes and automobiles for a handful of Padres on Sunday, as the organization's 10 World Baseball Classic participants prepared to head to their respective teams.

    After a workout Monday morning, pitcher Jake Peavy (United States) will leave for Clearwater, Fla., where the Philadelphia Phillies will host the U.S. team in an exhibition. Peavy will start for the Americans on March 7 against Canada in Toronto.

    Catcher Henry Blanco (Venezuela) left early Sunday for Lakeland, Fla., where the Detroit Tigers are the host.

    Infielder Pete Ciafrone and pitcher Philip Barzilla (Italy) headed to Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the New York Mets will host the Italians.

    Infielders Adrian and Edgar Gonzalez as well as outfielder Scott Hairston (Mexico) drove 120 miles to Tucson, where the Arizona Diamondbacks are the host team.

    Outfielder Luis Durango (Panama) was headed for Kissimmee, Fla., where the Houston Astros are hosting.

    Pitcher Alessio Angelucci (South Africa) made the short drive to Phoenix, where the Oakland A's are the host.

    The Australian team arrived last weekend in Peoria, where the Seattle Mariners are the host club for infielder Michael Collins.

    Peavy made his last start of spring training for the Padres on Sunday, throwing 33 pitches over three shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs in a 4-2 Padres win.

    "We hit our mark," said Peavy, who was scheduled for two innings or 30-35 pitches. "Innings don't wear me out as much as pitches.

    "Usually, I'm not this efficient, but there was a lot of first-ball swinging."

    Peavy allowed one hit, didn't walk a batter and didn't have a strikeout in his three innings.

    With so many players leaving camp, Padres manager Bud Black said he didn't want to get caught shorthanded.

    "We're going to need some reinforcements," Black said. "Ten guys are going, seven of those from the major-league side. And our minor leaguers haven't reported yet, so we're bringing a couple of guys in and moving some guys around so we don't get caught shorthanded in a game."

    Infielders Sean Kazmar and Brett Dowdy have joined big-league camp. Kazmar batted .205 in 19 games with the Padres last season after being called up from Double-A San Antonio. His first big-league hit was off C.C. Sabathia.

    Dowdy hit .280 in 91 games for Triple-A Portland last season.

    "We need a little infield depth, so they got the call," Black said.

    Because Adrian Gonzalez plays almost every day, the Padres have just one other first baseman in camp: rookie Kyle Blanks.

    "This is a great opportunity." Blanks said. "Adrian was here long enough for me to learn some things from him; now I get to play a bunch.

    "That can only help me."

    With Gonzalez a fixture at first base for the foreseeable future, there has been talk of moving the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Blanks to the outfield.

    "I think I do a pretty good job at first base, but there is a great player in front of me," Blanks said. "No one has said anything about changing positions yet.

    "If they do, I'll do what they ask."

    Black said Blanks will get the bulk of the work there in Gonzalez's absence.

    "This is a great opportunity for him," Black said. "He has climbed the minor-league ladder, had a great Double-A season (.325 average with 20 home runs and 107 RBIs), and is projected to play Triple-A this season.

    "He's approaching the major leagues quickly. He'll get a lot of big-league exposure with Adrian gone."

    To help out at first base, outfielders Drew Macias and Chad Huffman have been asked to learn the position. Macias, a left-handed thrower, looked fairly comfortable there in drills. Huffman, a right-handed thrower, played some first base at Texas Christian before the Padres drafted him in the second round in 2006.

    Plus, catchers Mitch Canham and Colt Morton will be used at first base. The 6-5 Morton has resisted a permanent switch to first base, but has played the position before and is willing to help out.

    "Some guys are going to get some playing time they might not ordinarily get," Black said. "With Blanco gone, the catchers are going to get a chance to play ---- either catch or play first.

    "We're only going to carry two catchers (Nick Hundley and Blanco), but there is a chance to make an impression if we need someone during the season."
     
  15. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    PADRES NOTES: LeBlanc learned a lesson as rookie

    By JOHN MAFFEI - Staff Writer, North County Times | Monday, March 2, 2009 8:59 AM PST

    PEORIA, Ariz. ---- Wade LeBlanc earned his way to the big leagues last season with a strong season at Triple-A Portland.

    The rookie left-hander struggled when he reached the big leagues, however, going 1-3 with an 8.02 ERA in five September appearances (four starts).

    "I think it was a combination of a lot of things for Wade in September," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The big-league season is a month longer than the minor-league guys are used to. I think he wore down. His velocity was down.

    "But it showed him how critical it is to rest and exercise in the offseason to get ready for the rigors of a big-league season. It's a longer season and the hitters are better, so you can't get way with not locating pitches.

    "When his velocity was down, he started overthrowing to get some extra velocity and he lost location."

    LeBlanc walked 15 batters in 21 1/3 big-league innings after walking just 42 in 138 2/3 innings at Portland.

    In a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, he pitched two innings in relief of starter Jake Peavy and surrendered two runs in the fifth inning. He should have escaped unfazed, but center fielder Scott Hairston and right fielder Will Venable misplayed Mike Fontenot's fly ball into a double.

    Black on the mend

    Black reported that his swollen right wrist was much improved. He took a flying bat thrown by catcher Eliezer Alfonso off the wrist in Friday's game.

    On Sunday, however, Black was fighting his annual spring cold.

    "It has been a rough few days," Black said.

    Game notes

    -- Venable and Travis Denker drove in first-innings runs Sunday with a double and single, respectively.

    -- Black was especially impressed with two-strike hits by Venable and Chase Headley.

    -- Second baseman David Eckstein reached base three times ---- twice on errors, once on a single to right.

    -- Reliever Greg Burke, who was a sensation at Double-A San Antonio last season, continued to impress, striking out two in a shutout inning. "He had a lot of strikeouts in Double-A (92 in 82 1/3 innings)," Black said. "We want to see if it translates to us."

    Et cetera

    RHP Josh Geer, who's fighting for a spot in the rotation, is scheduled to start Monday's game against Milwaukee. Hard-throwing rookie RHP Mat Latos is slated to pitch along with former first-round picks Nick Schmidt and Cesar Carrillo.

    ... With relaxed spring-training rules, the Padres will use a designated hitter Monday against the Brewers and Tuesday against the Dodgers.
     
  16. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    From Friar John's Blog

    Hot Links for Sunday, March 1

    RHP Kevin Correia looked good in his first outing of the spring. ... His changeup helped.

    A handful of Padres are dispersing today to go to World Baseball Classic camps. ...

    That will give 1B Kyle Blanks and other youngsters more exhibition playing time. ...
    Hitting coach Jim Lefebvre discusses his passion, hitting, and his brief acting career. ...

    The Padres played to their second tie of the spring, 2-2 against the Royals at Surprise on Saturday. ...
    There's competition for the infield bench spots. ...

    Corey Brock, always on the ball, has posted today's lineup. ...

    Manager Bud Black made it onto the injury list. ...

    The Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps have plenty of candidates after a busy job fair. ...

    Former Padres manager Jim Riggleman is bench coach of the Nationals this year. ...


    Strange column here that tries to contrast former Padres RHP Trevor Hoffman's offseason with that of OF Manny Ramirez.
    FJ

    • Posted on March 1, 2009 at 9:06 AM
     
  17. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Up next: The True Blue Brew Crew ...

    Another sun-splashed day in Peoria today where the Milwaukee Brewers face the Padres and will do so, apparently, with a lineup that includes such regulars as Corey Hart, Prince Fielder and Jason Kendall.

    In case you're wondering, former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, now with the Brewers, is not scheduled to pitch today and, from what I understand, won't make many road trips away from Maryvale. Jeff Suppan starts for the Brewers.

    As always, I'll have some notes from our morning gathering with manager Bud Black a little bit later but for now, here are those lineups:

    CF, Jody Gerut
    2B, Chris Burke
    DH, Cliff Floyd
    LF, Emil Brown
    1B, Kyle Blanks
    RF, Drew Macias (filling in for Brian Giles, strained left quad)
    C, Eliezer Alfonzo
    3B, Travis Denker
    SS, Everth Cabrera
    SP, Josh Geer (two innings)

    Today's pitchers: Geer 2, Latos 1, Ramos 1, Schmidt 1, Ryu 1, Carrillo 1, Nova 1 and Buschmann 1.

    Morning notes: Brian Giles was scratched this morning due to a strained left quad. Manager Bud Black said he's not concerned and that there's no reason to push things with still one month of Cactus League play.

    Cheers, Corey

    • Posted on March 2, 2009 at 7:30 AM
     
  18. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Sis, a girlfriend and I are finalizing our plans to go to Spring Training the 3rd week of March. It will be lots of fun.

    We will see 2 Padre games and 2 White Sox games, visiting 3 ballparks. These are the Peoria Ballpark, and the new Camelback Ranch Ballpark, home of the White Sox and the Dodgers, in Glendale and the new Goodyear Ballpark, home of the Indians, in Goodyear.

    I will bring back tons of photos and any reports I can make.

    I can't wait.:tup: :icon_toast: :icon_banana:
     
  19. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    03/02/09 5:40 PM EST
    Brown homers as Padres top Crew

    Outfielder's three-run blast in first sets tone for spring victory

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com


    PADRES 4, BREWERS 3

    at Peoria, Ariz.
    Monday, March 2


    Padres at the plate: Emil Brown, trying to make the team as a reserve outfielder, had a three-run home run in the first inning. Brown finished with two hits. Travis Denker had an RBI double, and Cliff Floyd also had a double.
    [​IMG]
    Brewers at the plate: Corey Hart raised his average to .700 with three more hits on Monday. He had a two-run home run in the third inning. Brad Nelson, who is out of options, added an RBI single.

    Padres on the mound: Starting pitcher Josh Geer allowed one run on three hits over two innings of work, his first action this spring. He had one strikeout and got three ground-ball outs. Mat Latos allowed a two-run home run to Hart, the third home run Latos has allowed in two games. Cesar Ramos, Nick Schmidt, Jae Kuk Ryu and Cesar Carillo each tossed scoreless innings.

    Brewers on the mound: Starting pitcher Jeff Suppan allowed three runs in the first inning, all on Brown's homer. The home run was proceeded by two walks.

    Suppan didn't allow a run over his last two innings. Todd Coffey allowed a run in the fourth inning. Tim Dillard looked sharp, tossing two scoreless innings.

    Cactus League records: Padres 2-1-2; Brewers 2-3-1.

    Up next: The Padres have their first meeting with the dirty, stinking Dodgers on Tuesday in Peoria. Game time is 12:05 p.m. PT. Chris Young, projected to be the No. 2 starter in the rotation, makes his second Cactus League appearance. Young threw a shutout inning in his only other appearance.

    Heath Bell, Cla Meredith and Chris Britton are set to follow Young.
    Righty Yovani Gallardo is scheduled for his second Cactus League start on Tuesday when the Brewers host the Rockies at Maryvale Baseball Park in Milwaukee's final game before the first off-day of Spring Training.

    Closer Trevor Hoffman, who skipped his last scheduled appearance in favor of a bullpen session, is back on the schedule for Tuesday, and so is Carlos Villanueva, Hoffman's possible setup man.

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

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Aw, crap. This is a nice honor and all, but Heath needed more seasoning and bonding with the team and "his" bullpen...

    03/02/09 6:50 PM EST
    Team USA calls on Padres' Bell

    Reliever ecstatic about joining national team for Classic

    By Corey Brock / MLB.com

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- San Diego relief pitcher Heath Bell is headed to the World Baseball Classic as a late addition to Team USA, which has lost two closers to injuries in the last two days.


    Bell was pulled aside by general manager Kevin Towers 10 minutes before the start of Monday's Cactus League game against Milwaukee and was told that a Team USA official had asked if he was willing to play.

    "The only hesitation I had was if it was OK with [manager] Bud Black and if it was OK with Bals [Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley]. ... I wanted to know if they were OK with everything," Bell said.

    The Padres gave Bell, who has inherited the job as closer from Trevor Hoffman, the OK to fly to Florida late Monday to join Team USA. Bell has been told that he will pitch on Wednesday in a scrimmage.

    On Sunday, Twins closer Joe Nathan pulled out of the Classic with what was described as shoulder discomfort. Then on Monday, B.J. Ryan of the Blue Jays said that he was pulling out because he wanted to remain in camp to work on his mechanics.

    That opened the door for Bell, who indicated he always wanted to represent his country. In fact, Bell sent in three different applications just to get the point across that he was indeed serious about playing.

    "It's like a 5-year-old on Christmas Eve, who can't go to bed because Santa Claus is coming tomorrow," Bell said. "I've wanted to play for the U.S. team -- my whole life I've wanted to represent our country in a sport.

    "For this to come out of the blue, it's awesome." Bell has appeared in two games this spring, though only one was official. He allowed two runs in a charity game against the Mariners. Then on Saturday against Kansas City, Bell worked a scoreless inning and felt good about the number of changeups he tossed.

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

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Monday, March 2

    RHP Jake Peavy already looks ready to go. ... That's good news for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic. ...

    Sunday was a travel day for the Padres' numerous WBC participants. ...

    The fact Peavy pitched against the Cubs was a good excuse for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times to do some rumor mongering in the wake of the offseason trade rumors. ...

    Speaking of rumors, one report has outgoing Padres CEO Sandy Alderson as a candidate to be the next Pac-10 commissioner. ...

    The long wait has proved fruitful for INF Edgar Gonzalez. ...

    Corey Brock has posted today's lineup and a note about a minor injury to RF Brian Giles. ...

    The Padres posted a 4-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League play Sunday. ...

    RHP Chris Young is looking forward, not backward. ...
    It was a learning year for LHP Wade LeBlanc in 2008. ...

    Padres castoff Matt Bush gets a writeup in a Toronto paper. ...

    The Union-Tribune's sports centerpiece was about former Padres SS Khalil Greene. It was written by a freelancer. ...

    Former Padres RHP Adam Eaton has landed with the Orioles after being released by Philadelphia. ...

    The Associated Press checks in on former Padres RHP Kevin Cameron, now battling for a job with the Athletics. ...

    Former Padres 2B Marcus Giles had a good day in his bid to crack the Phillies roster. ...

    Brewers OF Tony Gwynn Jr., son of the Padres legend, will have an MRI on his aching shoulder.

    FJ


    • Posted on March 2, 2009 at 10:10 AM
     
  22. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Tuesday, March 3

    RHP Heath Bell has joined Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. ...

    RHP Josh Geer is showing better health than was expected during the offseason. ...

    Emil Brown's home run helped the Padres to a 4-3 spring training victory over Milwaukee on Monday. ...

    Yahoo! national baseball writer Tim Brown took a spin through Padres camp. ...

    Is Padres CEO Sandy Alderson a candiate to become Pac-10 commissioner? ...

    The Chicago Sun-Times has another note on RHP Jake Peavy. Friar John has read it but does not understand it. ...

    The Padres worked out top talent at their Dominican Republic facility under the direction of international scouting director Randy Smith. ...

    Padres executives take issue with Baseball America's assessment of their farm system. ...

    Former Padres farmhand Brendan Sullivan has built a career in baseball instruction since his playing days ended. ...

    The L.A. Times profiles former Padres LHP Randy Wolf.

    FJ

    • Posted on March 3, 2009 at 8:02 AM
     
  23. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Wednesday, March 4

    Lower Padres ticket prices and concession values are making headlines. ...

    Channel 10 and the San Diego Business Journal also have coverage of the Padres Value Lineup. ...

    RHP Chris Young allowed one hit in two innings against the Dodgers on Monday. ... He reiterated that there are no lingering effects from his injuries of 2008. ...

    The Dodgers pulled out a 5-4 spring training victory in the game at Peoria Stadium. ...

    RHP Jake Peavy is seeking redemption for Team USA in the second World Baseball Classic. ... RHP Heath Bell already has made a splash with Team USA. ...

    Pinch-hitting will be an adjustment for OF Cliff Floyd. ...

    3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, on the mend from shoulder surgery, could play defense in about a week. (It's one of the last notes on that link.) ...

    A task force OK'd a plan to build a new ballpark for the Triple-A Portland Beavers as part of a plan to lure a Major League Soccer team to PGE Park. ...

    The San Antonio Express-News has a feature on sports chaplains, including that of the Double-A San Antonio Missions. ...

    Former Padres announcer Matt Vasgersian will be doing play-by-play again on MLB Network's coverage of the World Baseball Classic. ...

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a story about White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's days as a shortstop in the Padres farm system. Yes, he was fiery then, too. ... The White Sox website also travels down memory lane with Guillen. ...

    Here's another feature on former Padres 2B Marcus Giles and his comeback with the Phillies.

    FJ

    • Posted on March 4, 2009 at 7:26 AM
     
  24. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Burke seeing results of new approach


    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090304&content_id=3915484&vkey=news_sd&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd




    PEORIA, Ariz. -- When Greg Burke received a letter in the mail inviting him to a tryout hosted by San Diego in 2006, he was understandably excited but certainly realistic about his chances.

    "I was thinking this was my last hurrah," said Burke, who wasn't drafted out of Duke in 2005 and resorted to playing in an independent league. "I thought that if I made it, they would pay for me. If not, I was on my own."

    As it turns out, Burke performed so well that he got a contract and a subsequent invitation to Spring Training a few weeks later as his career, one that didn't seem possible just a few weeks earlier, was suddenly under way.

    Now, three years later, and despite being 26, Burke is considered one of the Padres' top advanced arms in their system, especially after a breakout season with Double-A San Antonio in 2008 as well as a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

    Burke has been impressive in his first two Cactus League appearances thus far, tossing two shutout innings with two hits allowed and two strikeouts. He's in the mix of relief pitchers being considered for the staff, though he might end up with Triple-A Portland.

    "First and foremost, I like his mound presence," Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley said. "He's calm out there, works the strike zone and throws three pitches for strike. ... He's throwing 88, 89 mph right now but he's got 92, 92 in there."

    Burke showed uncanny control last season in San Antonio, walking 17 batters in 84 1/3 innings with 92 strikeouts and a 2.24 ERA in 59 games. Burke followed that up with a 2.51 ERA in the Arizona Fall League.

    Balsley said Burke might be something of a late bloomer, something Burke, wouldn't entirely disagree with. He pitched parts of five seasons at Duke and had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He posted ERA's of 9.00, 5.18, 6.00, 4.73 and 5.90.

    "I'm a totally different pitcher now. In college I threw a big, loopy curveball and was throwing four-seam fastballs, getting hit around," Burke said. "It's a dramatic change from where I was then to where I'm at now."

    Burke has more or less remade himself since his days at Duke, starting with his body, something he's taken to heart in subsequent years.

    "I didn't have that good a year in 2007, so it was do or die again," Burke said of his 4-4, 5.23 ERA campaign at Class A Lake Elsinore. "I went into the offseason, got in great shape, lifted weights and came back to Spring Training, being able to throw throwing a little harder. My stuff was a little crisper. It's a good feeling. The hard work paid off."
     
  25. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Veteran Floyd finding way with Friars


    http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090303&content_id=3912240&vkey=news_sd&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd



    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Cliff Floyd has been a Padre less than a month, one of those disenfranchised free agents not signed until Feb. 6.

    Soon after, he checked into San Diego's camp bearing his left-handed bat, as well as his four-leaf clover.

    This is a 36-year-old veteran who has helped three different teams into the past three postseasons -- the 2006 Mets, the 2007 Cubs and the 2008 Rays.

    Next, the 2009 Padres? Don't dismiss another strike of the Floyd lightning just because the Friars lost 99 games last season. Both the Cubs and the Rays had lost 96 the season before Floyd's presence helped turn them around dramatically.

    Exercising his veteran influence with last season's overall young Rays "was cool," Floyd said.

    "I wanted to give those guys some knowledge of what I've gone through in my career," he said. "To let them understand it's not easy to win, but very easy to lose.

    "You want to win, and put yourself on the map. And you've got to stop all the 'hope' talk. If you're hoping to win, chances are you won't."

    Right now, Floyd is hoping to be a quick study in the Padres' plans for him: Primarily a long-ball threat off the bench.

    Facetiously discounting the possibility of the Padres answering Barry Bonds' latest search for a team rescuing him from retirement, San Diego manager Bud Black said, "I don't think Barry would be happy pinch-hitting."

    Floyd may do it joyously, but he hasn't done it successfully.

    Lifetime, he is a .171 hitter in the pinch, with five homers and 23 RBIs in 140 at-bats. In his busiest season as a pinch-hitter, Floyd went 3-for-22 with the 2007 Cubs. From 2003-06, he actually went hitless in 15 pinch at-bats.

    "I haven't done it a lot, and I haven't been good at it," Floyd conceded. "That's the big challenge for me, to find a way to prepare for that role."

    He has consulted with a couple of retired players who excelled in that capacity.

    "I've talked to John Vander Wal [536 lifetime pinch at-bats, producing 126 hits, 17 homers and 95 RBIs] and a little with Lenny Harris [record 212 pinch-hits] about how you prepare yourself. But to each his own," Floyd said.

    "You have to figure out what's good for you. It's not an easy task -- but the team is counting on you, and you want to come through."

    "It's early, but he's been hitting the ball hard," Black said of the veteran who essentially is the 2009 model of Tony Clark.

    Clark batted .239 with one homer and 11 RBIs -- all of it coming in 64 at-bats as a pinch-hitter -- for the Padres last season before being dealt back to the D-backs.

    "We'll use Floyd the same way, as a player off the bench. He's a proven left-handed hitter with extra-base capability," Black said. "And he's certainly a nice presence on the bench. He's got leadership qualities. He's someone our young guys can lean on."

    One of the things the young Padres will learn by watching Floyd is what veterans must do to extend their stay in the big leagues.

    "It's a different challenge," Floyd said of the transition from outfield regular to spot player. "But I'm still playing the game, I'm still part of it. You have to make sure to give yourself every opportunity to be ready to play, to be ready to jump in if someone gets hurt.

    "Even if you don't play, at least you're mentally in the moment.

    "I'm working harder in this part of my career. I'm making sure I'm doing the things necessary to stay on the field."
     
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  26. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Padres say the NL West is wide open

    Players deflect predictions of a rock-bottom repeat

    By Tom Krasovic Thursday, March 5, 2009


    PEORIA, Ariz. — Call it mediocrity.
    Call it parity.
    Better yet, call it opportunity.

    Welcome to the National League West, the friendliest neighborhood in the majors last year and the only division not to produce a World Series champion over the past seven years.

    The Padres may not say it, but they are glad they live in the NL West, even if they finished 21 games short last year. On average, only two games have separated the NL West winner from its runner-up over the past five seasons.

    “I think it's going to be wide open, just like it was last year,” said reliever Cla Meredith.

    Said pitcher Chris Young: “We think it's going to be the same as it's been in the last few years. You are going to see a lot of ups and downs, a lot of teams switching back and forth from fourth to first place, and then in September it's going to be who gets hot.”

    It's widely expected that the Padres, coming off a 99-defeat season, will finish last or near it, though Young and teammates say otherwise.

    The Dodgers probably are the favorites, especially with Manny Ramirez's return to the club yesterday. Yet even after Ramirez fell into their laps last summer and contributed 53 RBI in his 53 games with them, the Dodgers finished with only 84 wins, the lowest total of the six division winners and two wild-card teams.

    Whether L.A. can offset the loss of ace Derek Lowe will have to be seen.

    Padres players see little or no improvement among their NL West rivals, save San Francisco.

    “I think the Giants improved,” said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. “I think the Diamondbacks are going to be just as good, with their pitching. I think the Rockies are going to be competitive. I think the Dodgers have a good squad.

    They've lost a little pitching.
    “I think it's going to be competitive. If we can get the young guys to play to their abilities and round up the team, I think we're going to be right in the middle of everything and we can make a run for it.”

    A less bullish view of the Padres comes from an NL West expert of sorts – Shawn Estes, who has pitched for the Giants, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Padres and is now auditioning for the Dodgers.

    “You can't give up on a season,” said Estes, who spent parts of the past two seasons with the Padres. “As players, you've got to give yourselves a chance going into it. But there's definitely going to be some growing pains. Even though many of their (Padres) kids have a year or two under their belt now, it's going to be a long year, I think.”

    Estes said that with Ramirez, the Dodgers are “on a different level” from the rest of the West. Ramirez, regarded by Padres manager Bud Black as the best right-handed hitter of his generation, slugged five home runs off five Padres pitchers last season, amassing 14 RBI in just nine games against San Diego.

    “Obviously the Dodgers, with what they did last year, they came on strong in the second half, you have to put them up there as the favorite,” Young said.

    The Padres can be thankful they aren't in the American League East, whose champion of 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays, rode a star-studded youth movement to the World Series, then saw the rival Yankees spend more than $400 million on free agents this offseason. The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 without losing a game to the NL champion. The Blue Jays won 86 games last year, yet finished fourth in the AL East. Jays castoff Josh Banks, a pitcher claimed off waivers by the Padres last spring, became one of the NL West's better pitchers in the first half.

    “In this division, everyone has a chance, including us,” Meredith said. “You'd think somebody would say, get this player or that player to separate themselves. With the exception of Manny, looking at what went on in our division this offseason, not too many things raised my eyebrows, put it that way.”
     
  27. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Last modified Tuesday, March 3, 2009 9:26 PM PST

    [​IMG]PADRES NOTES: Young nears his restless stage

    [​IMG]
    By JOHN MAFFEI - Staff Writer, North County Times

    PEORIA, Ariz. ---- It happens every spring. And every spring, Chris Young panics.

    "I feel real good right now," Young said after working two innings for the Padres in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    "I built up my pitch count a little bit, went two innings and will go three next time."

    But Young knows the dead-arm stage is coming.

    "It usually hits me around the third start or the third week of camp," Young said. "And there is always a little panic.
    "At that point, there are only two weeks before games start for real, and you wonder if you'll be OK.

    "But I always am."

    This spring is a little different, though.

    Because of the World Baseball Classic, spring camps are a week longer and teams have multiple days off. The pace is a little slower.

    "Normally, my first start is two innings and my second is three," said Young, who noted he also hits a dead-arm stage in June or July.
    "Each pitcher is different. Everybody's pace is different."

    Jake Peavy explained that he bases his progress on pitch count. Young bases progress on the number of innings he throws.

    "For me, it's the up and down between innings," Young said. "I need the heat and cold. This is the first time since last year that I've pitched after sitting down.
    "It's not about pitch count right now, but that up and down, hot and cold.

    "Eventually, we'll do that five, six, seven times before we start the season, and we'll be ready to go."

    Ring that Bell

    Padres manager Bud Black isn't upset that closer Heath Bell left the team to join Team USA's roster for the World Baseball Classic.

    "It's a great opportunity for Heath to rub shoulders with those guys," Black said. "It's a feather in his cap as well as the Padres'."

    Asked if he was afraid the excitable Bell would over-exert himself if he's called into a game in a tight situation, Black said, "We're used to Heath going overboard.

    "Honestly, though, he has done all his work here, made all his training sessions, done everything asked of him.

    "I have great faith in the WBC coaching staff and (pitching coach) Marcel Lachemann to do what's right for the USA team as well as our team."

    After taking an overnight flight to Florida on Monday, Bell struck out the side Tuesday for Team USA in a 6-5 win over the Yankees in Tampa.

    TV debut

    Mark Neely makes his debut as Channel 4's TV voice of the Padres on Saturday afternoon.

    The 12:05 p.m. game is the first of five Padres spring games Channel 4 will broadcast.

    The MLB Network has two Padres games ---- March 20 against the Cubs and March 30 against the Indians.

    Game notes

    < The Dodgers got home runs from Mitch Jones and Blake DeWitt on Tuesday.

    DeWitt, who played third and second for the Dodgers last season, started at shortstop against the Padres.

    < Former Padre Mark Loretta started at second base for the Dodgers and had an RBI single. Loretta figures to be a backup infielder.

    < Matt Antonelli had an infield single, a walk and two runs scored for the Padres. Kyle Blanks had a single and a double.

    < Three of the Dodgers' runs, including DeWitt's homer, came in the sixth inning against rookie right-hander Gabe DeHoyos.

    < Cla Meredith, Chris Britton, Ernesto Frieri, Will Inman and Mike Ekstrom threw a shutout inning apiece for the Padres.

    Et cetera

    RHP Matt Silva, who was invited to camp from the Mexican League, has a sore ankle and will be out five or six days, according to Black. Silva will throw a side session and a bullpen session before he makes his spring debut, Black said.

    ... OF Brian Giles has a sore quad and probably won't play until at least the weekend. ... 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who is coming off shoulder surgery, could start playing in the field within a week, Black said. ... The Padres are off Wednesday. The team resumes play Thursday against the Rangers in Surprise.
     
  28. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Back to blogging ...

    Hey, it's nice to be back after getting my first days off since arriving in Arizona. Good times, got some laundry done, took the dog to the dog park and got gas at Costco. I know, wild times for the married guy.

    I did manage to talk a little baseball with Coach Kentera. Here's the link for that if you're interested. I also talked to a couple of Padres yesterday about having Dodgers' outfielder Manny Ramirez back in the National League West. Take a look at what he did against the Padres in nine games.

    Anyway, back to baseball today.

    The Padres are headed to Surprise today to face Texas. Cha Seung Baek gets the start today and will face Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Hank Blalock.

    That doesn't sound fun, especially in that bandbox.

    Morning notes: Right fielder Brian Giles (left quad strain) will run this morning to test out his hamstring. Manager Bud Black said he would know more by the end of today's game. There is a good chance Giles could play Friday. ...

    Pitcher Walter Silva (ankle sprain) is still having pain issues and might be looked at by team physicians on Friday. There's no timetable as to when he'll be able to resume pitching bullpen sessions.

    Here's the lineup for today:

    CF, Will Venable
    2B, David Eckstein
    DH, Cliff Floyd
    3B, Kevin Kouzmanoff (first start in the field this spring)
    LF, Chase Headley
    RF, Emil Brown
    1B, Kyle Blanks
    C, Eliezer Alfonzo
    SS, Luis Rodriguez
    SP, Cha Seung Baek

    Cheers, Corey

    • Posted on March 5, 2009 at 7:34 AM
     
  29. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Hot links for Thursday, March 5

    RHP Greg Burke has gone from having to attend tryouts to getting invitations to Big League camp. ...

    Rule 5 draftees Everth Cabrera and Ivan Nova are far more than camp fodder. ...

    OF Scott Hairston had a three-run home run as Mexico tuned up for the World Baseball Classic with a 19-4 victory over the Diamondbacks at Tucson Electric Park. ...

    Manny Ramirez return to the Dodgers isn't exactly good news throughout the NL West. ...

    Yet Padres personnel think the NL West is there for the taking. ...

    RHP Jake Peavy is cited as an example of pitchers who struggled in 2006 after appearing in the World Baseball Classic. ...

    Former Padres LF Rickey Henderson might be the first to use his Hall of Fame speech to look for a place to play. ...

    He's now an ex-Padre, but we're still going to let you know when Dirk Hayhurst files one of his entertaining journal pieces for Baseball America. ...

    Sports business writer Darren Rovell weighs in on the Padres' reduction in concession prices. ...

    Weather permitting, a car wash at San Diego State will raise funds for Engineers Without Borders. That group has joined the Padres' efforts in the Dominican Republic, among other good deeds.
    FJ

    • Posted on March 5, 2009 at 7:21 AM
     
  30. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    03/05/09 6:00 PM EST
    Rodriguez shows speed in Padres' loss

    San Diego drops Cactus League contest to host Texas

    By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com

    RANGERS 4, PADRES 3
    at Surprise, Ariz.
    Thursday, March 5

    Rangers at the plate: Ian Kinsler led off the first inning with a double and scored on a single by Hank Blalock. Kinsler followed that up with a two-run home run in the fifth. It was his first home run of the spring. Josh Hamilton also had a two-hit game.

    Padres at the plate: Luis Rodriguez got his first hit of the spring with a sixth-inning single. He stole both second and third and then scored on Will Venable's grounder to shortstop.
    [​IMG]
    Rangers on the mound: Scott Feldman breezed through two innings, retiring six straight hitters. Kris Benson, who had been sidelined by back spasms, followed with two scoreless frames. Benson allowed one hit and walked one. Both Feldman and Benson went up to the bullpen and did more throwing after they were finished in the game.

    Padres on the mound: Cha Seung Baek allowed one run in two innings and now is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his first two Cactus League starts. Justin Hampson, who is trying to win a job as a long reliever, pitched a scoreless inning.

    Cactus League records: Rangers 5-3; Padres 2-3

    Up next: The Padres will host the Rockies at 12:05 p.m. PT in Peoria. Kevin Correia and Wade LeBlanc, two candidates for the starting rotation, both will pitch.
     

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