Day Two: Pitchers pitched, catchers caught …
Well, that essentially sums up the morning session here in Peoria, where pitchers and catchers — fresh off their physicals — took part in this first workout.
That entailed PFP (pitchers fielding practice), other assorted drills and pitchers throwing off the mound for the first time. I watched a group that included Simon Castro, Aaron Harang and Mat Latos. I wish I could tell you about their session, but, honestly for the first day, it all looked the same to me.
Speaking of Latos, I cornered him in the morning to talk about how he won’t be watched quite as much as far as workload this season. Remember how we talked all spring and into the regular season about how many innings he was going to pitch? I won’t miss that.
Also, I watched Casey Kelly throw. Looks like a smooth, effortless delivery. Again, these guys aren’t ramping things up on the first day. That’s smart. There’s a long ways to go and since the six weeks here is all for the pitchers (trust me … position players don’t need six weeks to prepare for the seasons).
In other news, I saw Chris Denorfia here. He’s reported early. I even saw a “Go Go Gadget” t-shirt hanging in his locker. Denorfia is a good guy and a good old-fashioned success story, having missed an entire season after having elbow surgery. He had a nice year and will again be the fourth outfielder.
Also, we got a chance to talk to bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds about his pancreatic cancer. In fact, after morning workouts Monday, Ak flew back to San Diego for his sixth round of chemotherapy. He’s hoping the tumor has shrunk to the point where he can have surgery to remove it. He’ll likely miss a day or two this spring for treatments or to rest. But he said his strength is good now and he’s had few side effects from chemotherapy.
If you’re worried that the Padres traded away too many relief pitchers to land Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin, well, manager Bud Black isn’t. “I think we’re going to be fine,” Black said. “I don’t view that as being a vulnerable area.” There are 32 total pitchers in camp and Black thinks there’s good depth within that group, pitchers who will not only make the 25-man Opening Day roster but quality depth in Triple-A in case the Padres need an arm.
— Corey Brock