Friday, February 20, 2009

Full Squad

Everyone has reported to camp, and we're currently in the indulgent stage: all of the pitchers look great on the side, our hitters smack homer after homer during batting practice, and (knock on wood) nobody has been injured. Nevertheless, I'm not satisfied.

All winter we wait for the day that pitchers and catchers report. After months of being in the office and trying to acquire players through many different channels, we finally get back out on the field and see these various players side-by-side. The problem is that it takes about a day or two of watching pitchers fielding practice (pfp) and bullpen sessions to start itching for the rest of the position players.

Once the position players do arrive we have a big team meeting before the first full squad workout (this happened yesterday), and then early in the workout I realize yet again that the action really doesn't start until live bp (which happens tomorrow). Live bp is when our hitters dig in against our pitchers, and the staff and front office assume the umpire's spot to get a close up view.

I enjoy live bp, because it forces me to appreciate every year just how good these guys really are. Quite frankly, you can get a little numb watching on tv and even in the stands - it can look so easy. However, when you're right there, just a few feet from the batter's box, the velocity, the bite, the command... it always reminds me why I stopped playing a long time ago.

Of course, after about a day or two of live bp I want to start playing games. Then after about a week of those, I want to start playing games that count. And so it goes when spring training whets the appetite.

Nevertheless, I'm still looking forward to live bp.


Clint said...

Excellent post. I will never get tired of the insight you provide. I will also never lose my jealousy for you and in others in your position! Thanks.

Aaron said...

Paul, does being on the field with the players ever make that "playing itch" start acting up again, even if it's just bp or shagging?

Matt said...

Hey Paul, can you give us a flavor of what was said at the start-of-the-season team meeting yesterday? I'm honestly not sure if it's strictly for club ears only of what the decorum for it is, but I'd love to hear at least the gist of what you guys, the front office, are planning on for the season, especially in a way that's geared toward your players themselves (as opposed to media soundbites) who are going to be tasked with carrying out those goals.

Walks Don't Get You Dirty said...

Hey Paul! I am a huge fan of yours, and it's great what you're doing with this blog. I am dialed in and I am excited to see where the Padres end up in the not-so-distant future.

Good luck, and have a fun, fast-moving Spring training. See you in Florida late this summer !

-Nick Petakas
Coral Springs, Florida

You Know Me! said...


Keep us up to date!

You think Latos has any chance of making the team?

How about Inman as a reliever?

Padman42 said...

Hey Paul,

You said no injuries, but we have heard that Jackson Quezada has been shut down due to shoulder problems. How serious is it? I have him penciled in as the Lake Elsinore closer this year (Im sure Oland can step into the role, but I'd rather see both 8th and 9th innings be perfect)

I think it was really interesting that the Padres invited Latos, Inman, Carillo, Quezada, etc... to big league camp. Will we actually get to see (or I guess hear) these guys play in the Cactus League?

Slightly off topic but I read that the Padres had interest in Will Ohmen. Speaking of FA pitchers still available, any chance the Padres sign Mulder or Aki to a minor league deal? I cant find anything on Aki (his last blog entry was early Jan) aside from him having a workout and the Padres were going to attend. And I dont see why not sign a guy like Mulder to a minor league deal. It seems like a no lose situation for the Padres.

Also if you run into Corey Brock please give him our thanks for his daily video entries on Padres ST, its been really cool to watch.

Paul DePodesta said...


Absolutely! I actually threw bp for years and would also go out and shag during early bp on the road when I worked for the A's. I haven't done it as much recently, but the urge never leaves.

Paul DePodesta said...

You Know Me,

There is really no expectation for Latos to make the team coming out of spring training (he hasn't even pitched in High-A yet), but we think it's good for him to be in these surroundings. Hopefully it will help to speed up his development.

Paul DePodesta said...


We knew Jackson had some shoulder stiffness before he reported to camp, so that wasn't something that happened here. Fortunately, he's been getting plenty of attention and seems to be responding favorably to treatment.

By the way, I like the fact that you have the Elsinore pen slotted already! Well done!

Mark said...

I can not wait until my trip down for my birthday in two weeks!

It is funny. As a Mariner fan I always go to the M's side of Peoria Sports Complex. Not once in my in three years have I walk over to the Padres' side. After reading your blog the last few months, I will have to go over this year.

I would ask you for your thoughts on the Mariners, but I wouldn't want you to get into trouble talking about another club. I seem to remember hearing that Front Office guys can't say too much about another club.

Anyways, here's to both teams having a successful Spring Training!

Mark Sobba

thrylos98 said...

unrelated, but great signing on Silva today. This guy can really give you some help

Jake said...

Awesome post, Paul.
I've been honored with the opportunity of first-hand bp like this before and its exactly how you described it.

I can't wait for baseball to start start.

Take care!

Btw, I was wondering if I could get a hold of you for some Q&A for my blog.

D Wizzle said...

Hey Paul, great blog. I don't think any other GM has a blog like this. Like giants fans in SF will think the hated Brian Sabean will blog lol? HAHA
We had a fanfest for the Giants with Bochy and various players a week or so ago.

ElSrBueno said...

It's always interesting in Spring Training to hear about a certain guy changing his diet in the off season or how player x really worked hard and came into camp looking great... but more often than not these guys (regardless of their spring stories) usually end up returning to their established performance levels.

This may be a loaded question, but what do you look for in Spring Training when evaluating players?

Thanks for contributing!

Steve24 said...

Never been to spring training.

I'm an Indians fan and have been thinking about making the drive out to Goodyear but it just so happens the Tribe play the Pads in Peoria on the 14th so I'll probably be there instead. I've followed the Pads since I worked on Petco so I'll be in heaven.

Any suggestions from those who have been there on places to stay, go, see?

I was thinking about making the drive out on that Friday... is that a bad idea?

Anonymous said...

Paul, maybe you can answer this as a baseball fan rather than a suit. Is the clubhouse/spring training different without #51. Do you sense a difference, and how in your opinion will be looked at to fill that void with their "mentor rating."

Itay said...

Any updates before the games start?