Day 2: Finally, some action
PEORIA, Ariz. — For those of you long-suffering baseball fans who have gone without a Padres game to watch since the end of last season … well, you have to wait a little longer for some game action.
But Monday was the start of something substantial, as pitchers and catchers went through their first workout of the spring here in Peoria under sunny skies with a slight breeze.
Rather than gush about how wonderful it was to see baseball again — well, pitchers throwing off a bullpen mound and also taking PFP — let’s get to some highlights from the first full workout.
– First, be sure to check back on Padres.com tonight for a story on veteran pitcher Jeff Suppan, who is a non-roster invitee in camp. He’s got an interesting story. Long time Major League pitcher, played all of last season in the Minor Leagues and is still at it. Also, he owns a restaurant in Woodland Hills, Calif. Fun story.
— I talked to Joe Thatcher (story to appear soon on Padres.com) about having a healthy left shoulder and being able to go through came with sound health — something he couldn’t do in 2010 and 2011 because of the shoulder. He had surgery on it last May and returned in August and said that he’s ready to win a job on the staff. The team will curtail his throwing program to some extent early, but there’s no other restrictions.
— Speaking of restrictions, left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard — who had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder in July — doesn’t have anything working against him health-wise. He’s on a normal routine and will throw off a mound with the rest of the starting pitchers on Tuesday. If you’re wondering, pitchers are throwing between 8-10 minutes, throwing only fastballs and change-ups for now.
— I got a chance to watch new relief pitcher Cory Burns today (see picture below). Burns, as you might remember, was obtained from the Indians in the deal that sent outfielder Aaron Cunningham to Cleveland. Burns will likely start the season in the Minor Leagues but he’s certainly interesting to watch. He’s got this Luis Tiant/Hideo Nomo twist of a delivery that’s sort of funky.
— There’s a television crew from ESPN, led by Tom Friend, here trailing Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Wrote about Akerfelds here yesterday. Not sure when the segment is going to air but I’m sure it will be good. If you didn’t get a chance to read the story Friend did on Akerfelds in December, you really need to.
— Had a nice talk with Micah Owings today. He’ll be featured in my notes on Padres.com today. He told me about the comfort level he has here because of all the familiar faces around — some from his time in Arizona, Cincinnati and his days as an amateur, pitching with Huston Street on Team USA in 2003. Ten minutes after I sent that story in to be edited/published, Owings came into the media workroom to tell me he thought of another players — Jeremy Hermida, who was a teammate of his in 2001 when East Cobb won the Connie Mack World Series.
— Fun with numbers. There’s a total of 36 players in camp, 29 pitchers, seven catchers. Ten of the pitchers weren’t with the organization at the end of last season and 12 of them weren’t with the organization a year ago at this time. Also, five of the seven catchers in camp are new with just Nick Hundley and Jason Hagerty as the incumbents.
Corey Brock, MLB.com