Padres primer: 3/16/10

Happy Tuesday from Peoria, where we’re looking at sunny skies and 82 degrees today. This will be the warmest day (by far) that we’ve had out here since arriving on Feb. 17.

Anyway, small apology for no Padres Postscript last night. We had a night game and things ran late. I have some thoughts on the game below.

For today, the Padres are home against the Angels at 1:05 p.m. Andy, Ted and Jerry will have the call on AM 1700.

I’m off today, but I stopped by the facility for a few things. Here’s the starting lineup and a few links to get you by until game time.

The starting lineup …

1. Durango, CF
2. Eckstein, 2B
3. Venable, RF
4. Stairs, 1B
5. Torrealba, C
6. Denorfia, LF
7. Forsythe, 3B
8. Zawadzki, SS
9. Garland, SP

The pitchers: Garland will go four innings followed by Thatcher (1), Russell (1), Adams (1) and Stauffer (2).

Your Padres news …

The news from Monday was the impressive pitching performances by Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc in a 7-1 victory over a team that hardly resembled the Giants, who had a split-squad game.

Also, I got in touch with the scout who found/followed/signed Kyle Blanks out of a small town in New Mexico. Some pretty good stuff in here from the scout, Jake Wilson, who is now with the Rays. Their relationship was different than you’ll find with most players/scouts.

One more item of news: The Padres made their first cut of the spring. Nothing too exciting here, as none of the players who were moved to Minor League camp had a chance to make the team out of Spring Training.

A few tidbits …

As mentioned above, Latos looked really good last night. Honestly, and I know it’s March 16, I don’t know how this guy can’t be in the starting rotation. Not only is his stuff electric (I saw 96 mph at few times) but his secondary pitches continue to get better. “I thought Mat had really live stuff,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He came out and threw a ton of strikes.” …

Let’s not forget LeBlanc, who followed Latos with three scoreless innings of his own. Black said the fastball command has been good, which is especially important since he is not going to blow the ball by anyone. The changeup looked good and I saw a few nice curveballs. I still think LeBlanc is an outsider in the race for the No. 5 starter in the rotation but he looks more like the pitcher who finished the season with the Padres than the one who struggled last spring and in his early run with the Padres. 

Kyle Blanks
had a two-run double and Adrian Gonzalez was robbed in right field on a nice catch near the grass. He later added an RBI single. He came into the game hitting .125 but don’t read a lot into that. As Tony Gwynn told me the other day, he doesn’t want to be so locked in at this time of spring. He wants that swing ready by Opening Day. I think Gonzalez is the same way. See a lot of pitches early in camp, get comfortable and build toward the start of the season. “You can start to see some guys coming (offensively),” Black said.

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com

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