Report from Padres spring training
INF Everth Cabrera, if he wins the last spot on the Padres’ Opening Day roster as the reserve middle infielder, Logan Forsythe and James Darnell could form the left side of the infield at Class AAA Tucson. Both third basemen out of college, Forsythe and Darnell were, respectively, the 46th and 69th overall picks in the 2008 draft. In the 3 1/2 seasons since, the Padres have moved the pair around, seeking ways to get both promising hitters into the lineup. For the second time in three springs, Forsythe is learning a new position. The third baseman-turned-second baseman is now fielding grounders at short while bidding for the 25th roster spot as the Padres utility infielder. Meanwhile, Darnell is becoming primarily a third baseman again. “He’s a third baseman who can play left,” said Padres manager Bud Black. While both 25-year-olds are bidding for spots on the Padres Opening Day roster, they more likely will form the left side of the infield at Class AAA Tucson for at least the start of the season — Darnell at third and Forsythe alternating with Andy Parrino.
Forsythe said the surgery to his left knee at the end of last season is no longer a concern. “There’s no problem, nothing to think about,” said Logan, who has had surgery on the same knee at the end of two straight seasons.
OF Chris Denorfia (lower back tightness) was the lone Padre who showed up on the daily injury report during the first two weeks of spring training. “The overall health of the team is very good,” said Padres manager Bud Black.
RHP Andrew Cashner, who came to the Padres from the Cubs in a trade for 1B Anthony Rizzo, caught the eye of his new teammates during the first rounds of live batting practice. “It looked like he was throwing a hundred,” offered CF Cameron Maybin, who, jokingly, said he was thankful not to be in the group facing Cashner for their first swings of spring training. “I couldn’t see it.”
INF Drew Cumberland has looked sharp at the Padres advanced minor league camp during the first days of his comeback. Cumberland hasn’t played since the middle of the 2010 season due to vertigo-like symptoms.
LHP Joe Thatcher scored the first hole-in-one of his Feb. 24 on the par-three, 176-yard 17th hole at the Boulder Golf Club in Scottsdale. “I saw it all the way into the hole on the third bounce,” said Thatcher, a “15-handicapper,” who used a four-iron. Padres RHP Luke Gregerson witnessed the ace.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 Padres on the 40-man roster who have common roots in the University of Miami. The four are 1B Yonder Alonso (2006-2008), Cs Eddy Rodriguez (2004-2006), Jason Hagerty (2007-2009) and Yasmani Grandal (2008-2010) and OF Blake Tekotte (2006-2008).
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s good for the game, but we should have had this rule five years ago.” Padres manager Bud Black after Major League Baseball announced adding a second wild-card team to the playoffs starting with this season. The Padres would have qualified as the National League’s second wild card team in both 2007 and 2010.