Day 8: Rymer and Roxette: C’mon Join The Joyride
PEORIA, Ariz. — Happy Sunday everyone. We’re one week away from games here in Arizona. The Padres will face the Mariners in their annual charity game next Sunday at the Peoria Sports Complex. I’ve said it before and will say it again, if you’re a Padres fan, baseball fan or Nickelback fan, you really need to get over to see some games. It’s a great time. Monster truck not required though you would be in good company.
Well, we’ve wrapped up our first week of camp here in Peoria. I hope everyone is enjoying the blog. The sight views are great and everything but I hope I’m providing you with at least a little look behind the curtain — the inner workings and thought process of the team.
Again, we’re not privy to a lot of conversations that go on here. That wouldn’t be good business for the Padres, although the conversations with players, coaches, the manager and front office that we get or seek individually connect the dots here to some extent. Hopefully, I’ve been able to relay some of that to you.
OK, Corey. Shut up and get to the video. Yay, video! Here’s outfield prospect Rymer Liriano taking some hacks today. Good looking kid. Thick, but well put together. Ball comes off his bat with a little different sound. Saw some power and a lot of line drives. There’s certainly a lot to like about this kid. And he is a kid. Liriano won’t turn 22 until June 20. Yes, he was born in 1991. Holy Roxette! That makes me feel old.
Your Sunday nuggets:
— Outfielder Chris Denorfia is the first casualty of camp — sort of. The Padres are “slowing down” Denorfia for a bit as he has a sore lower back. He played catch, hit in the cage and continues to grown an awesome beard but wasn’t able to take BP on the field. Bud Black doesn’t seem too worried. “We’re confident he’s going to be fine.”
— Black was asked about how often/much he thinks about lineups. Sounds like he’s been doing it since the season ended in October. He had dinner Saturday with four coaches and they talked lineup. Remember, the Padres used 140 different lineups a year ago. There’s a lot that goes into making a lineup, as you know. I think some people get a little obsessed about the lineup. I don’t quite understand that. Anyway, whatever. “A lot of it is a function of how they’re going [offensively] and how they’re swinging the bat,” Black said.
— Black said he doesn’t have a crystal ball (regarding predictions). I mentioned you can probably get one on eBay. He picked up that saying from Mike Scioscia when he was with the Angels. Sounds like Mike doesn’t have one, either. So if you don’t mind, get one to FedEx (too soon?) — c/o Padres here in Spring Training. I’ll make sure it gets into the right hands.
— Mark Kotsay looked good in BP today, spraying line drives around the back field. One of his last swings results in a line drive down the right field line. He said that it looked like a triple. “Well, maybe seven years ago.” Kotsay is going to be a nice fit for the team. He’s fit right in here so far and he’s not afraid to show a little personality. He’s not a cut-up, though. He’s provide something this team missed a year ago — chemistry. And, most importantly, he’s still got some punch in his bat.
— Sounds like the Padres will Jesus Guzman plenty of looks in the outfield this spring. He played a lot there in winter ball and the Padres, being starved for offense, will try to get his bat in the lineup as much as possible. They’ll have to be creative about it to do so, but he’s going to play if he hits at all like he did a year ago.
“Guzie has a lot of winter ball play in the outfield,” Black said. “That’s good enough for us.”
— Also, infielder Everth Cabrera will get some looks at third base this spring. The Padres are trying to find their reserve infielder here and will likely take all of the six weeks in Arizona to make that decision. This play has to be able to play shortstop. That might give Cabrera the upper hand over Logan Forsythe and Andy Parrino. Forsythe will get looks at shortstop this spring to see if he can handle the position.
— I had a nice talk with Cameron Maybin. He gave me some good stuff that will be included in my story later today at Padres.com. Maybin had some things to say about his desire to remain in San Diego for a long time. Also, he talked about his relationship with former Major League OF Ken Griffey Jr. Maybin and Griffey have the same agent, Brian Goldberg.
“When I first came out [of the Draft], we talked a whole lot. He was great early in my career, telling me not to let this turn into a job. He told me that this is still baseball, but just at a different level,” Maybin said.
— The Padres staff (media relations, support staff, front office) defeated their Mariners counterparts Saturday in softball, 6-5 in 10 innings. Why should you care? Well, a year ago, the Padres lost with A.J. Hinch, Brad Ausmus and Mark Loretta in their lineup. On Saturday, they went old school and played with no pros — and won. My boys Warren Miller, Bret Picciolo and Josh Ishoo have a lot to be proud of. Drinks on you boys!
Corey Brock, MLB.com