Clark, Prior, Greene and more
Had a chance to attend the San Diego Hall of Champions lunch today at Balboa Park where manager Bud Black and general manager Kevin Towers were the guest speakers. It was the first time for me at the Hall of Champions. Some pretty cool stuff there.
It appears as if the Padres favor adding veteran Tony Clark over Mike Sweeney at this point, if for no other reason than Clark is a switch-hitter, familiar with National League pitching and that he more or less killed the Padres last season (four home runs in 26 at-bats).
OK, the last one I threw in there but it shows that the 35-year-old Clark, who had 17 home runs last season for the Diamondbacks, still has some life in his at-bat. If he does sign with the Padres then the team could have as many as five switch-hitters (Clark, Bard, Crabbe, Rodriguez and Headley) and possibly six if Jeff DaVanon makes the team. For what it’s worth, Clark is a great clubhouse guy from what I have heard from other players and reporters.
Also, it looks as though Mark Prior’s recovery is going along smoothly. Prior, recovering from right shoulder surgery last April, is throwing off a mound and is stretched out to 150 feet. Best of all for Padres fans is that Towers said he could be pitching for the Padres by May 1 if there’s no setbacks.
That’s better than the original time line that Towers has discussed previously, which put Prior back around late May to sometime in June.
Towers said that if all goes well that Prior could begin his Minor League rehabilitation assignment around the time the regular season starts (March 31). Until then, the Padres will use any number of pitchers in the fifth spot in the rotation, though veteran Shawn Estes might have the upper hand if you had to handicap someone before Spring Training. The Padres are encouraged by his recovery from elbow surgery in 2006.
One last thing, the deal for Khalil Greene will get done, possibly Friday. Towers said there a some "language issues" in the deal which isn’t uncommon for contracts. It’s still a two-year deal worth around $11 million, though the Padres pushed for deals covering three and fours years only to be rebuffed by Greene’s agent. A report Saturday that said the deal was complete was premature.
That’s it for now, my notes will be up later on the site.