Padres primer: 3/29/10

Happy Monday from Peoria, where the Padres will face their National League West rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks, tonight at 7:05 p.m. here in Peoria.

You can catch the game on Chan. 4 television back in San Diego and on radio, where Andy, Ted and Jerry will call all the action.

One week until Opening Day. How about that? Six weeks of Spring Training nearly finished.

What have we learned?

1. People in Arizona really like Nickelback and those monster truck things.

2. It does rain here. A lot sometimes. We even had a rainout.

3. When the Mariners and Padres play, it’s almost always a full house.

4. When the Mariners and Padres play, nearly all the fans are from Seattle

5. Tilted Kilt is Irish, I believe, for keep on driving by.

6. You can get good sushi in Phoenix. Forget that land-locked nonsense.  It’s here.

Oh, you mean baseball?

1. We learned that the pitching depth is better than it’s been in years. Wade LeBlanc won’t make this staff. In other years, after his spring, he easily would have.

2. Shawn Hill and Walter Silva are answers to a really bad trivia question.

3. The Padres will push the issue on the bases this year, though not to the degree they did in spring where getting picked off doesn’t matter. This won’t just mean more steals (that will happen, too) but taking bigger leads, trying to take the extra base, etc.

4. The offense has the potential to be better. This is spring, but Chase Headley looks good at the plate. I think moving back to third base will put him generally at ease. This could well lead to some nice things offensively.

5. Kyle Blanks is the real deal. I don’t know how his raw power will play out over a 162-game season but I think he’ll hit for average (meaning .270ish), with a lot of doubles. I don’t know if this guy is a superstar in the making but I don’t think his ’09 debut was a tease either.

6. Jerry Hairston Jr., when it’s all said and done, will be the most important off-season pickup for this team (apologies to Jon Garland, etc.). The guy can play everywhere and play it well and his bat is very good. I think fans will be very happy with his production.

I could go on, but there’s a few nuggets for now.

The starting lineup …

1. Gwynn, CF
2. Eckstein, 2B
3. Gonzalez, 1B
4. Blanks, LF
5. Venable, RF
6. Hairston Jr., 3B
7. Hundley, C
8. Cabrera, SS
9. Luebke, SP
 
About that roster …

Unless I’m missing something, the Padres roster is nearly set. There’s 29 players in camp and the team will need to get to 25 before Sunday. How does this look?

— LeBlanc, Chris Stewart, Chris Denorfia to Triple-A Portland

Joe Thatcher to the disabled list

Uh, that should do it, right?

Remember, though, the Padres need to add Matt Stairs to the 40-man roster. That means taking someone off the 40-man roster. There’s not a ton of fat to trim on the 40-man roster, which, in the grand scheme, isn’t a bad thing. We’ll see who goes.

That’s it for now.

Corey Brock, MLB.com, Padres.com

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