Day 18: Yu should be here to see this
Updated: 3:40 p.m. PT
PEORIA, Ariz. — Hey friends, we’re in for an interesting wrinkle today here in Peoria. Japanese import Yu Darvish will make his Rangers debut against the Padres, which means the pressbox and photo areas by the field should be brimming with reporters and photographers.
For any other game, there are about 15 or so reporters and media types for a game here. This will be quite different.
From what I understand, the Padres and Rangers have credentialed over 100 (revised: told it’s closer to 150) members of the media for today. This is sort of like when Ichiro made his debut for the Mariners, or at least I think that’s what it will be like. We’ll see.
As always, I’ll try to get you some updates during the game and after. Scan down for those.
Anyway, here are the particulars on today’s games:
Texas (1-2) at San Diego (0-3), 12 p.m. PT Peoria Sports Complex
San Diego (0-3) at Cincinnati (2-1), 12 p.m. PT Goodyear Stadium
Radio/TV: XX 1090 (Ted Leitner, Jerry Coleman, Bob Scanlan) — the game in Peoria vs. the Rangers.
The lineup (vs. Texas): Maybin 8, Hudson 4, Guzman 3, Quentin 7, Venable 9, Kotsay 0, Darnell 5, Baker 2, Cabrera 6.
The lineup (vs. Cincinnati): Decker 8, Hermida 9, Alonso 3, Blanks 7, Hundley 2, Grandal DH, Gyorko 5, Valdez, 6, Parrino 4.
The pitchers (vs. Texas): Suppan 2, Wieland 2, Street 1, Gregerson 1, Thatcher 1, Hinshaw 1, Vincent 1.
The pitchers (vs. Cincinnati): Luebke 2, Kelly 2, Cashner 1, Hamren 1, Thayer 1 or 2, Burns 1 or 2, Palmer 1 or 2.
Updated: 9:20 a.m. PT
— Sounds like Chase Headley (tight lower back) and Jason Bartlett (sore right knee) are on the road to getting better. Headley might be close to returning to practice/games, perhaps in a few days. Bud Black said Bartlett might not be far off as well. In the meantime, you’re seeing a lot of the James Darnell/Jedd Gyorko/Edinson Rincon mix at third base and Andy Parrino/Everth Cabrera/Juedy Valdez mix at shortstop. On March 7, this isn’t a bad thing. But you want your regulars ready to go later in the month.
— The Padres have made seven errors in their first three games but Black doesn’t seem too alarmed. “You’re seeing some errors as guys are getting used to playing again. These things will clean up a bit,” he said. It should be noted that you’re seeing most of the errors come from younger players on the roster. Again, that’s not atypical either.
— Black was asked if he would consider carrying two left-handers in the bullpen. He didn’t rule it out, though in my experience covering his teams, he’s more intent on carrying the best seven relievers. As for having two situational left-handers, Black said it creates more of a work load on the others in the bullpen if you have relievers who are charged with facing just one batter.
— Here’s a blast from the past: The Padres have signed pitcher Dennis Tankersley to a Minor League contract. Not sure what will become of it, though he last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2004 — with the Padres, who were in their first season at Petco Park. According to Baseball Reference, Tankersley hasn’t pitched in the Minor Leagues since 2008.
Updated: 12:55 p.m. PT
— The Padres got two doubles in two innings against Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who struck out three and fielded his position well in his short stint today. Will Venable and Orlando Hudson each had doubles. Venable, with a stiff wind blowing out to right-center field, hit a ball some 30 feet up the wall. Darvish’s secondary pitches have an awful lot of life and caused the Padres problems on occasion.
Updated: 3:40 p.m. ET
— Well, that’s a wrap from Peoria. The Padres lose to the Rangers, 6-2. But in Goodyear, the Padres topped the Reds, 5-0. Good pitching in Goodyear, as Padres pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts in the shutout. Sounds like Cory Luebke and Casey Kelly each pitched well in their two-inning stints. Jeremy Hermida and Nick Hundley each had home runs in that game. Hey, and Drew Cumberland played. He walked as a pinch-hitter. Remember, Cumberland missed all of last year with a rare neurological condition.
— Lost in the Ya Darvish stuff was a nice outing from Padres pitcher Jeff Suppan, who changed speeds well and kept the ball down over his two-inning stint. Again, Suppan is a long shot to make the team but it’s nice to see him pitch well and get outs. Good guy. He would make a great mentor for guys like Robbie Erlin, Casey Kelly and Joe Wieland in Tucson. Here’s the story from the game here in Peoria.
— Speaking of Darvish, Padres catcher John Baker had some interesting things to say. This was Baker’s first game of the spring, as he’s been sidelined for a few days after coming down with a nasty virus. He said this about his strikeout in the second inning against Darvish. More on Padres.com later.
“I saw five different pitches in my at-bat … that’s something you don’t usually see,” Baker said. “I got a sinker, a cutter, a curveball and a split [split-finger fastball]. You don’t usually see that right off the bat for your first at-bat of Spring Training. That was kind of like getting thrown into the fire.”
— And some great non-baseball information. I’ve found out that the Padres have entered a marketing partnership with Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego. I’m a big craft beer snob and consider myself very lucky to live in an area and region where craft beer is booming. Ballast Point has several outstanding beers, especially their IPA (Sculpin) and, if you’re ever lucky enough to have it, their Habanero Sculpin. This is a no-lose deal for the Padres, Ballast Point and baseball fans.
— As part of MLB.com’s series of stories about new general managers in the game, I caught up with Josh Byrnes. Read about what he had to say here.
Corey Brock, MLB.com