Archive for the ‘ Spring Training ’ Category

MLB Network to feature Padres camp today

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).

Missing bats

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.

Live from….SURPRISE!

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.

Robbie Erlin fires a strike during his outing today in Surprise.

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.

Breaking down Buddy’s playing career

Bud Black enters his sixth season as manager of the Padres this year. His coaching/managing career follows a 15-year playing career with the Seattle Mariners (1981), Kansas City Royals (1982-88), Cleveland Indians (1988-90, 95), Toronto Blue Jays (1990) and San Francisco Giants (1991-94).

He compiled a 121-116 career record with 32 complete games, 12 shutouts, 11 saves and a 3.84 ERA (876 ER/2053.1 IP) in 398 Major League games (296 starts). His career included two American League championships with the Royals, including a World Series championship in 1985.

When he was named manager of the Padres, he became only the third individual over the last 40 years to have won 100 games as a pitcher and serve as a Major League manager.

But enough of all that, let’s see who hit him and who didn’t…

Let’s start with the current Padres staff, including all members of the Padres Big League, front office, minor league and scouting staff. Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield were the only players to tally double-digit at-bats against the left-hander, with Winfield taking him deep three times. On the flip side, third base coach Glenn Hoffman collected six at-bats, striking out in half of them. Overall, the current Padres staff was pretty succussful, hitting at a .296 clip against Black. Click the picture below to see a full-sized grid of their numbers vs. the Padres manager:

Onto the current Major League managers and their struggle to hit our fearless leader. They posted a collective .160 average (29-for-181) along with a .214 on-base percentage. Among that group are fellow NL West managers and former MVPs Kirk Gibson and Don Mattingly. The two combined to go 13-for-60 (.217) with three home runs and nine strikeouts. Click below for a full-sized view of all current Major League managers’ numbers vs. Buddy:

Padres lock up Maybin through 2017

The Padres announced today that they have locked up Cameron Maybin, signing him to an extension that keeps him in San Diego through 2016 with a club option for 2017. The extension buys out Maybin’s arbitration years and gives Padres fans (that’s you) a big reason to celebrate.

Maybin had a breakout year in 2011, establishing new career highs in nearly every offensive category, including games, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI and stolen bases, en route to being unanimously chosen as the Padres 2011 MVP by the San Diego Chapter of the BBWAA. He started 132 games in center field and led the team in runs, triples, stolen bases and multi-hit games.

On the year, he hit .264 (136-for-516) with 24 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs, 40 RBI and 82 runs scored. Maybin also stole 40 bases in 48 attempts, posting an 83.3 percent success rate that ranked 12th in the National League. He was successful in 21 consecutive attempts from May 18-August 8, including stolen bases in a franchise-record six straight games from July 19-24.

Originally signed by Detroit as the 10th overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Maybin made his Big League debut with the Tigers in 2007 and was traded to the Marlins prior to the 2008 season. He spent parts of three seasons with the Marlins before being acquired by the Padres in exchange for right-handed pitchers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica on November 13, 2010.

In summary, the whole thing gives Padres fans a good reason to join Cam’s son Trent in a little celebration dance (video via http://shenanniegans.com/)

Who are you excited to see in 2012?

The Padres have added several established Big Leaguers along with a few youngsters to the roster this offseason. Let us know which of the new pitchers and position players currently projected to make the 25-man roster you are most excited to see in 2012. And while you are in the poll-taking mood, head over to padres.com and vote for which jerseys the Friars should wear for each of the three retro nights scheduled for 2012. Voting ends Sunday night.

The back end

One of the major differences between the 2011 and 2012 Padres will be the way the back-end of the bullpen lines up. This year’s squad welcomes new closer Huston Street along with the likes of flame-throwing Andrew Cashner.

Street comes to the Padres from Colorado, where he served as closer for the last three seasons, finishing third on the Rockies all-time list with 84 saves. Prior to the Rockies, Street pitched in relief for the A’s, who drafted him with the 40th overall pick in the 2004 Draft. He flew through the minors, making his Big League debut in 2005 and winning AL Rookie of the Year honors.

Huston Street tosses live batting practice with pitching Coach Darren Balsley looking on.

Since making his Big League debut in 2005, Street ranks among the top ML relievers in saves (10th), strikeouts (T-14th) and wins (T-7th). He has made at least 60 appearances in five of his seven Major League seasons, reaching 70.0 innings pitched on three occasions.

With 97 of his 417 career appearances coming at Coors Field, there is a feeling that his numbers (strong as they are) may even be inflated due to his home pitching environment. Over his seven-year career, Street has posted a 2.83 ERA (107 ER/340.0 IP) away from Denver, compared to a 4.11 mark (44 ER/96.1 IP) at Coors Field that has nudged his lifetime ERA to 3.11 (151 ER/436.1 IP).

Cashner, 25, was acquired by the the Padres from the Cubs in exchange for Anthony Rizzo. Projected to fill a bullpen void in the eighth inning this season, many think it won’t be long before he is slotted into the starting rotation. The right-hander features a fastball that has been known to touch triple-digits, giving him a high ceiling and providing plenty of excitement for Padres fans.

Andrew Cashner unleashing one of his blistering fastballs in live batting practice this morning.

He made his Big League debut for the Cubs in 2010, pitching exclusively out of the bullpen. Cashner made 53 relief appearances that year, posting a 4.80 ERA (29 ER/54.1 IP) that was largely affected by back-to-back outings in which he surrendered six runs. Without those appearances, his ERA on the season would have been 2.89 (17 ER/53.0 IP).

Cashner was placed into the starting rotation for the Cubs in 2011, making one appearance before going down with a right rotator cuff strain. He returned on 9/5 and worked in six relief outings, tossing scoreless ball in five of those appearances.

For more on Cashner and the Padres expectations, check out this story by MLB.com’s Corey Brock.

A strong return

In acquiring outfielder Carlos Quentin this offseason, GM Josh Byrnes made a big step towards addressing the Padres need for a legitimate power threat in 2012. Originally signed by the Diamondbacks in the first round (29th overall) of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Quentin has displayed consistent pop at the plate over his 616 Major League games.

Since joining the White Sox for the 2008 campaign, the slugging outfielder has hit 20 home runs in each of his last four seasons, averaging 26.75/year. During his career, Quentin has averaged a home run every 17.36 at-bats, ranking 17th among all active players with at least 2,000 plate appearances. He has averaged an RBI every 5.48 at-bats, ranking 18th among active players.

While spending the majority of his career in the outfield, Quentin has also seen time as a DH (45 starts). Over his six-year career, he has made 526 starts in the outfield, with his team going 282-224 (.536) in those games.

Quentin joins the Padres following three years of consistent improvement in batting average (.236>.243>.254), slugging percentage (.456>.479>.499) and OPS (.779>.821>.838). In 2011 he was rewarded for his performance by being named to his second All-Star team (also 2008).

The right-hander boasts a .346 career on-base percentage that is helped by his incredible knack for getting hit by pitches. Entering the 2012 season, he has been hit by 211 pitches over 1,009 games in an eight-year professional career (counts minor league games). He ranks tied for 13th among active Major Leaguers with 97 HBP’s, despite having over 900 fewer at bats than anyone else in the top 20.

A local boy, Quentin graduated from University of San Diego High School, where he set school records in home runs and RBI. In addition, he was named the league Defensive Player of the Year in football and was a member of the state champion basketball team. Quentin then attended Stanford University, where he played in three consecutive College World Series from 2001-03 and was a finalist for the 2003 Golden Spikes Award.

I hope you’re a morning person, because lots of people will see this

A necessary evil…organized chaos…both terms fit when it comes to Photo Day.

Each year, player headshots are used all over the country. You’ll see them on all your favorite sports websites, in magazines, in media guides, on TV, on scoresheets, in video games and on scoreboards. Unfortunately, there is only one time when all players who can potentially make a Big League team are in the same place at the same time. That time is at Spring Training before a workout.

Hence the creation of the dreaded Photo Day: With workouts starting early each morning, all of the 60 players in Big League camp along with all coaches, bullpen catchers, trainers and clubhouse staff need to get their headshots taken prior to 9:00 AM.

Today, the players had to hit nine photography stations to complete their Photo Day. The stations included (in order): Padres headshot, MLB, Getty headshot, Getty full-body photo, AP, UT San Diego, Padres portrait photographer, Topps and green screen video for the scoreboard.

Here’s a look at some of the sights from this morning’s Photo Day:

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A day at Spring Training with Cameron Maybin

Each day at Spring Training can be a whirlwind of activity. Bouncing from station to station, working either in the cage or off the mound, hitting the weight room, team meetings and interviews…all before noon.

This morning, Cameron Maybin was kind enough to let us follow him around to document his day. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what it’s like to be a Major League player as you spend six weeks in the desert, preparing your body for the 162 game season ahead.

For Maybin, like most players, his day starts around 7:00 a.m. as he arrives at the Peoria Sports Complex. On a typical day, he’ll grab a quick breakfast before heading off to the weight room to warm up around 7:30. By 8:00 he is in the batting cage taking some early cuts prior to the daily 9:00 team meeting. What happens next depends on the daily schedule posted in the clubhouse.

On most days (like today), Maybin will join his teammates for running, stretching, then throwing. As the pitchers and infielders break off for fielding practice, the outfielders meet up for some defensive work of their own.  The team then breaks into small groups of about 4-5 and cycles through stations for the rest of the afternoon, fitting in some time for the batting cages, BP on Field 1, baserunning drills and outfield work.

The formal workout is over by 11:30 each day, leaving time for players to get in some extra work in the cage or a lift in the weight room.

Click through the slide show below to check out Maybin’s day, and thanks again to Cameron for letting us harass follow him all day. Click HERE for some video of Maybin taking BP this morning:

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