Day 20: Richard’s first game since July 1
Updated: 2:40 p.m. PT
PEORIA, Ariz. — Good morning from Peoria. We’re getting ready to make the trek to Tempe for a game against the Angels. Yes, Albert Pujols is in the lineup. He’ll get at least one look at Padres pitcher Clayton Richard, who is making is first appearance in a game (exhibition or otherwise) since July 1 of last season.
Richard, of course, had surgery on his left shoulder later in July and has passed all of his tests since, rehabilitation and everything here, including a simulated game last week to get him prepared for what should be a two-inning stint today.
“I’m happy for Clayton,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
We’ll have more details on Richard’s performance and other assorted goodies throughout the day here.
A reminder, make sure you scan down on the blog for updates.
San Diego (1-5) at LA Angels (3-1), 12:05 p.m. PT Tempe Diablo Stadium
Radio/TV: XX 1700 (Andy Masur, Jerry Coleman, Bob Scanlan). Tune in at noon.
The lineups: Maybin 8, Kotsay 7, Alonso 3, Quentin 0, Hundley 2, Venable 9, Gyorko 5, Valdez 6 and Cabrera 4.
The pitchers: Richard (2 innings), Hamren 1, Hinshaw 1, De Paula 2, Thayer 1, Mikolas 1, Brach 1, Reyes 1.
— Infielder Logan Forsythe had surgery Friday morning in San Diego to remove the sesamoid bone in his left foot. He’ll likely miss in upwards of eight weeks. That essentially means, of course, the backup infield job will come down to Everth Cabrera or Andy Parrino. Both guys have been playing nearly every day, with Cabrera seeing time in center field as well. He starts at second base today.
— The reports on reliever Brad Brach were good two days ago in Goodyear when he struck out the side in the Padres victory over the Reds. The online box score showed Brach needed just nine pitches to dispense with the Reds in order but he told me today it was actually 11. Still, this was a good outing for a reliever the Padres are taking a hard look at this spring.
— Reliever Andrew Cashner allowed a hit and two walks in his outing against the Reds on Wednesday but impressed the staff with the way that he worked out of a bases-loaded jam, getting a pop-up and a strikeout to avoid any damage. Like every other pitcher in camp, he’s working to find that consistent arm stroke and fine-tune his delivery.
— While other teams are starting to trim their roster — cuts or moving players to Minor League camp — Black said he has no plans to do so just yet. That’s subject to change, though and I’ll continue to ask that question every day until he throws coffee on me or something.
— On the injury front, third baseman Chase Headley (tight lower back) is “getting closer” as Black said. We could see him return sometime this weekend. Shortstop Jason Bartlett (sore right knee) could be in the lineup on Saturday when the Padres travel to Goodyear to face the Indians.
Updated: 1:38 p.m. PT
— Richard one run on two hits over two innings. He also picked off a run, which shouldn’t come as any surprise if you’ve watched him pitch since he’s been with the Padres.
— Carlos Quentin had an RBI double in the first inning and Yonder Alonso had an RBI single in the fifth inning for the Padres. Mark Kotsay had one hit and two walks.
— I liked the play of Padres shortstop Jeudy Valdez. He made a nice spinning stop of a ground ball early in the game and then made a nice play up the middle to get the force on a runner at second base. Young kids are bringing some good energy.
Updated: 2:40 p.m. PT
— Richard was really encouraged by his first start of the spring and said it was nice to face someone in a different jersey. Makes sense he hasn’t pitched in a game since July 1.“It was nice to finally get back on the mound against guys in a different jersey,” Richard said. “I was able to throw strikes, which at this point in spring is my priority. I didn’t really put guys away, which is something to work on during Spring Training but I felt good. That’s what we’re hoping for right now.”
— Center fielder Cameron Maybin departed the game in the fifth inning with a bruised right shin. He didn’t think much of the injury and said he’s expecting to play tomorrow. He did, however, say he understood the precautionary measure taken by the team. Maybin is still without a hit in nine at-bats this spring. Maybin said he suffered the bruise sliding into third base.
— Jaff Decker hit his second home run of spring and Matt Clark added a two-run home run as part of a three-run seventh inning Friday as the Padres took a 5-3 lead over the Angels. Decker later added an RBI double in the eighth inning to make it 6-3.
Corey Brock, MLB.com