Wednesday in Peoria and as we discussed on the air yesterday, Buddy Black is changing things up a little to guard against the late spring monotony.
Today his meeting with the players was pushed back an hour and the report time followed suit. Some though gathered in the clubhouse ahead of schedule and were gathered around the TV to watch the first MLB game of the year (albeit on tape delay) from Japan, as the Mariners beat the A's in 11 innings. I'm sure it gave the players comfort knowing that soon the spring will turn into the reality of the regular season.
For some today was packing up day, and not for a trip to San Diego. A couple of players found out that they aren't going to be on the major league roster, catcher Yasmani Grandal was optioned to Triple-A Tucson, and LHP Alex Hinshaw was reassigned to minor league camp.
Bud Black was very complimentary of the young catcher, who in the manager's words "had a good camp here". Black cited the work Grandal put in with Tucson manager Terry Kennedy and catching instructor Brad Ausmus as key to helping the catcher get better on the defensive side. Black said "they worked him hard on the mechanics" and other subtleties of the position. Black was impressed over the last 10 days with the power shown by Grandal at the plate as well. Grandal is progressing nicely, "it's a compliment to him, he's staying at a high level (triple-a) after being a 2010 draft choice", said Black.
Hinshaw was a tough cut. He showed a good live fastball and used his slider effectively. Hinshaw had some good moments and also some rough outings. "With Alex it's about consistency from outing to outing", said Black. Hinshaw's ball/strike ratio was something else that Black said, needs to "improve".
With today's moves, the Padres spring roster stands at 38 players.
- Black says that Orlando Hudson is still on schedule to play tomorrow. He's "close" to returning. Hudson has been out since March 21 with the reoccurrence of the groin injury that cost him 8 days earlier this spring.
- Kyle Blanks is scheduled to take batting practice today.
- Luke Gregerson's back is still sore and he won't throw today. He is listed as day to day.
Today's Lineup @ Glendale: (Ted Leitner/Bob Scanlan/Jerry Coleman, 1pm on ESPN 1700)
CF - Cameron Maybin
RF - Will Venable
3B - Chase Headley
DH- Jesus Guzman
1B - Yonder Alonso
LF - Jeremy Hermida
C - John Baker
SS- Jason Bartlett
2B - Andy Parrino
SP - Edinson Volquez
It will be the fifth start of the spring for the Padres right hander. Volquez last start was under the lights in Peoria against his former team the Reds. He went 5.2 innings, allowed 2 hits and 2 runs, along with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. He's penciled in as the #3 starter in the rotation for the Padres.
Alright, here's the quote of the day from Mariner's reliever Tom Wilhelmsen on the team's trip to Japan....
"I think I need a week to decompress and realize we really did this," Wilhelmsen told MLB.com. "We really went to Japan and played ball. But right now it's pretty overwhelming. Well, I don't know about overwhelming, but very special. Maybe just 'whelming.'"
Take care everybody...