Morning update, Feb. 16 …
Good morning from Peoria. Here’s a few things to get you caught up on what’s been going on here the last day or so.
— Closer Heath Bell is doing better after suffering a strained left calf Monday. He played catch Wednesday and was heading off to ride a stationary bike (lightly) for a bit. Bell is hoping to be cleared for more activity by the weekend. He doesn’t think it’s serious.
— The Padres have signed right-handed pitcher Geoff Geary to a Minor League contract. That deal doesn’t include a Major League invitation to camp, so he’ll report with the Minor League pitchers on March 4. Geary has a 3.92 ERA over seven Major League seasons. He’ll pitch for Triple-A Tucson.
— Also, the Padres have released infielder Gregorio Petit, who signed as a Minor League free agent in December. Petit, who was to report Friday as an NRI (non-roster invitee) apparently blew out his knee during winter ball and was lost for the upcoming season.
— Bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds is back in camp after missing Tuesday to be in San Diego for blood work and chemotherapy treatment as he continues his fight with pancreatic cancer. Akerfelds, to date, has had six treatments. He could miss subsequent days for treatments.
— Talked to pitcher Aaron Harang about returning to his native San Diego, his new twins and what happened in 2008 when he overtaxed his arm while with the Reds that led to messed up mechanics. He is looking forward to working with pitching coach Darren Balsley to get him back to where he was when he won 16 games in consecutive seasons with the Reds. The story has some video (shot my myself) with Harang talking about pitching for his hometown team.
— Also, despite the losses of five relief pitchers in trades that landed Cameron Maybin and Jason Bartlett, the Padres aren’t worried about what some might consider a lack of depth. Could Ernesto Frieri earn more important innings? What kind of impact will newcomer Chad Qualls have?