Eight games into the Cactus League season, the Padres are starting to heat up, winning three of their last five. 10 pitchers have yet to surrender and earned run this Spring, including Andrew Cashner (3.0 IP), Erik Hamren (3.0 IP), Alex Hinshaw (3.0 IP), Casey Kelly (2.0 IP), Cory Luebke (2.0 IP), Josh Spence (0.2 IP), Jeff Suppan (3.0 IP), Joe Thatcher (1.0 IP), Dale Thayer (3.0 IP) and Nick Vincent (3.0 IP). Leubke joins Dustin Moseley, Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer and Edinson Volquez in what has become a Spring Training rotation and could project to be the clubs’ starting staff come Opening Day. Those five have combined to post a 3.46 ERA, surrendering five earned runs in 13.0 innings of work while striking out 10.
On offense, the Padres are hitting at a .276 clip with a .332 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage. Leading the way are 10 Friars who are hitting .300 or better with at least five games played: Yonder Alonso, Matt Clark, Jaff Decker, Jonathan Galvez, Jeremy Hermida, Rymer Liriano, Carlos Quentin, Edinson Rincon, Blake Tekotte and Will Venable. Decker is the only Padre with multiple home runs, having gone deep twice while driving in a club-high four runs.
So that’s how camp is shaping up so far. With 28 games between now and Opening Day, there is still plenty of time for things to change. I’ll leave you today with some trick shots, compliments of Padres minor leaguer Connor Powers:
As part of their annual 30 Clubs in 30 Days series, the MLB Network will feature the San Diego Padres today at 2:00 p.m. PT. The crew was out at the Peoria Sports Complex over the last few days, shooting interviews and special segments for this afternoon’s episode.
Be sure to set your DVRs and watch the program. It is a great way to get an overview of the team and prep yourself for the upcoming season.
As for the team, the Padres are heading to Tempe this afternoon to take on the Angels. The two clubs will also meet in the regular season in 2012, with the Angels traveling south on I-5 for their first-ever trip to Petco Park (May18-20). Clayton Richard takes the hill today, making his 2012 Cactus League debut. The pitching rotation over the next few days lines up like this: Dustin Moseley (3/10 at CLE), Tim Stauffer (3/11 vs. ARI), Corey Luebke (3/12 at COL) and Edinson Volquez (3/13 vs. CWS).
While the home squad was battling Yu Darvish and the media frenzy that accompanied him in Peoria, half of the Padres were in Goodyear to take on the Reds yesterday. Led by starter Cory Luebke, the Friars tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out 13 over the course of the afternoon.
Luebke paved the way, striking out four while allowing one hit and one walk over his 2.0 frames. Casey Kelly followed with 2.0 perfect innings and two strikeouts of his own. Relievers Andrew Cashner, Dale Thayer, Matt Palmer, Erik Hamren and Brad Brach shutout the Reds over the final 5.0 frames, striking out seven. Brach put on a show in the ninth, striking out the side to close out the game.
After yesterday’s games, the Padres have now struck out 39 in 43.0 innings of work, averaging 8.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. San Diego’s relievers are averaging a strikeout per inning with 33 in their 33.0 innings this Spring.
The Padres jumped on the bus for their “second” road game today (first away from the Peoria Sports Complex). Tim Stauffer started, making his Spring debut with 2.0 innings of one-run ball. He allowed two-hits, throwing 24 pitches (16 strikes) during his outing this afternoon. Last year’s Opening Day starter, Stauffer had a strong year in 2011, setting career highs in wins, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts and quality starts.
Following Stauffer was newcomer Robbie Erlin. A highly-touted lefty prospect, he was acquired as part of the deal that sent Mike Adams to Texas at the 2011 trade deadline.
Erlin enters the season rated by Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the Padres organization, having gone 9-4 with a 2.99 ERA (49 ER/147.1 IP) in 26 minor league games last year, including a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA (4 ER/26.0 IP) in six starts after joining Double-A San Antonio. Like Stauffer, he also worked 2.0 innings in his Spring debut today.