Day 1: How high can you jump?
PEORIA, Ariz. —
Hey, been waiting to use that dateline for a long time. But here it is — the start of Spring Training (well, sort of). A total of 35 players (all of them pitchers or catchers) showed up at the Peoria Sports Complex today for a rousing round of physicals and tests. The first workout will be Monday.
What exactly did pitchers and catchers do Sunday?
— A routine physical, with blood and urine work.
— They had their height tested (no fudging for the program guys!)
— They had their weight, well, weighed.
— Their body-fat percentage was tested.
— There was a grip tested administered. This is done to established a baseline for strength that can be checked later if there’s an injury.
— A flexibility test.
— Vertical jump
What else happened?
— Veteran pitcher Jeff Suppan, trying to make the team as a non-roster invitee, showed up early –though not as early as he would have hoped. Suppan, who came in carrying a Giants workout bag, admitted to getting a little lost trying to find the complex.
— It’s was hard to tell who had the biggest smile on Sunday — first base coach Dave Roberts (who, honestly, is always) smiling or pitcher Ernesto Frieri. Seriously, this guy never has a bad day. He wants to be called “Big Ern” … and as the longest tenured Padre (remember, he signed with the Padres as a non-drafted free agent in 2003). OK, so ‘Big Ern’ it is.
— A few changes in uniform numbers: Yamani Grandal is now wearing No. 12 and Logan Forsythe is wearing No. 11. Suppan is wearing No. 38, which was Mat Latos old number. Also, Andrew Cashner is wearing No. 34. He apparently switched with hitting coach Alonzo Powell, who will now wear No. 32.
— The main locker in the corner of the room now belongs to outfielder Carlos Quentin. It previously housed Ryan Ludwick, Adrian Gonzalez, Jake Peavy and, from what Bill Center of UT San Diego tells me, Tony Gwynn and Phil Nevin.
— I talked to catchers John Baker and Nick Hundley today. Both very good talkers. I’ve always found catchers to be very introspective and very interesting. Baker had some good stuff that I’ll share at Padres.com in the next week or so. Hundley mentioned how excited he was to be here. He said being in camp makes everything feel more real. “It’s second to none,” he said.
— Everyone is here on time, according to manager Bud Black. It doesn’t appear anyone will have any restrictions either. It’s a happy, healthy clubhouse. That, of course, can and probably will change. But the Padres will begin their first workout on Monday with everyone cleared to participate.
— We’ll have much more later in the day at Padres.com and on Twitter at @FollowThePadres.
Corey Brock, MLB.com