Padres primer: 3/4/10

Good morning from Peoria.

Well, it’s finally here. Today is the start of games here in Arizona. After two-plus weeks of drills (for pitchers) and a week with position players in camp, the Padres will face the Mariners in the annual charity game at the Peoria Sports Complex.

First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. (12:05 p.m. PT).

The starting lineup …

1. Gwynn, CF
2. Hairston Jr, 2B
3. Gonzalez, 1B
4. Headley, 3B
5. Blanks, LF
6. Hairston, RF
7. Stairs, DH
8. Torrealba, C
9. Cabrera, SS

SP — Young (2 innings, Correia 2, Bell, Russell, Gregerson, Perdomo, Liz).

Your Padres news …

First, if you have done so already, check out the story on the Hairston brothers. Not just a brothers-being-reunited story, but some interesting background on their family.

Also, closer Heath Bell feels it’s important to add a third pitch. He was pretty good in 2009 as a fastball-curveball guy and, as a closer, not having a third pitch isn’t really a big deal. But Bell thinks it’s important to have a third pitch, in this case, a changeup, to show hitters, especially ones he might face more often than note.

Manager Bud Black said this morning that Bell’s changeup has shown signs of “being a viable pitch.” We’ll see how it goes. He will throw at least one today, he told me Wednesday.

Remember him? …

Guess who will be behind the plate today for the Mariners? Josh Bard. He’s trying to make the team, though I think he’ll end up with Triple-A Tacoma if Rob Johnson is at full strength. The Mariners really like young catcher Adam Moore. Bard, of course, was a catcher for San Diego from 2006-08.

From the training room …

Black said Thursday that a few pitchers who have been on the mend from small injuries — Wynn Pelzer (hamstring) and Joe Thatcher (tight arm), will throw bullpen sessions today. Ryan Webb (hip) is set to pitch on inning on Saturday. Also, Edward Mujica (quad strain) and Ernesto Frieri (groin) are progressing. No timetable for their return. Minor League infielder Lance Zawadzki (ankle) is getting better, Black said.

Pitch counts …

Black said that starting pitchers will throw two innings or roughly 30 pitches in their first start. That will gradually increase to 3/45, 4/60 and so on. Black said the 30 pitches isn’t a hard and fast number, that if a pitcher is close to getting out of an inning, he’ll let him go over 30. Just not by much, though.

Logan Forsythe on the move?

Also, Minor League third base prospect Logan Forsythe, who is in Major League camp, will see time at second base, as we’ve told you before. There was a report on Wednesday that indicated the Padres have decided to convert him to becoming a full-time second baseman.

That’s not the case. Randy Smith, the Padres director of player development, said Thursday that no decision has been made on a permanent move. Might not be a bad move eventually, especially since Forsythe is better equipped for such a move than James Darnell is. We will see how things shake out.

We’re on Facebook …

A reminder that you can now follow the Padres on Facebook. Simply do a search for Follow The Padres and become a fan. It’s your one stop for all things Padres.

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com, Twitter: FollowThePadres

 

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