MadFriars’ Spring Training 2015

PEORIA -- Yesterday was essentially a rain out but there was a simulated game with Andrew Cashner and Elliott Morris, who came over in the Angels trade for Huston Street pitched against him.

Cashner looked fairly sharp in the light rain, particularly with his slider. Morris flashed solid velocity and appears to be much more of a pitcher this year with an improving two-seam fastball and slider.

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Fernando Perez showed up at camp looking much leaner and more muscular than last season. In 2014 the Otay Mesa native hit 18 home runs and had over 200 total bases for the Low-A TinCaps. Despite us thinking he was going to be the everyday third baseman for the Storm the Padres, and Perez, seem determined to prove that he can handle second base defensively.

New Padres’ farm director Sam Geaney seems particularly impressed with Perez and said it is possible that he could have an outside shot at starting at AA San Antonio. However, Geaney reiterated that this is only the onset of the minor league camp and all decisions are far from final.

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SS Franchy Cordero looked not only much more comfortable but also much better defensively than ever he did in either Fort Wayne or Eugene last season. San Diego infield coordinator Eddie Rodriguez said that Cordero has been in Peoria since February 17 and seems to have overcome his primary throwing problem, which mainly had to do with the correct arm slot.

In the minor league game today Cordero played every inning and handled every defensive chance flawlessly while making hard contact at the plate. At the plate he doesn’t have as much movement as last year and has gotten stronger.

Because Cordero has the arm strength and the lateral quickness to play shortstop the organization seems determined to give him every opportunity to prove that he can. He’s a long way from PETCO, but if he can...

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In the early morning drills Michael Gettys was impressive showing a wide range of skills and appearing to not have the swing problems many minor league pundits have predicted. Up close Gettys looks like he should be going to the University of Georgia as a linebacker with the requisite closing speed.

Geaney noted that the skill sets that Gettys’ posses is truly unique and that the Padres have been very happy with what they have seen from him so far last year in the Arizona League and his improvement from last season.

“I have to admit that I did read about what some people said about me after the draft,” Gettys said after his morning workout. “But I also think the last year I showed that I could compete and am confident that I will continue to get better.”

So far Gettys seems like he will get the nod as the opening centerfielder in Fort Wayne, but with quite a few young talented outfielders in Auston Bousfield, Franmil Reyes, Yale Rosen, Nick Torres, Nick Schultz and Jordan Paroubeck - there will be some interesting choices at the Lake Elsinore and Fort Wayne levels.

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While the off-season trades have eroded much of the depth of the system, the organization is still pretty content with the young pitching that they will have at the AA/AAA levels along with the above-referenced outfield depth at the A-ball levels.

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Donovan Tate is in camp and hit a home run in the Triple-A intra-squad game a few days ago. Tate is fully healthy but its still unsure at 24 where he would fit in with the organization. However, Geaney strongly denied a report that came out in February that he had been released.

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Saturday will see the A ball teams in Peoria once again with the AA/AAA squads on Sunday.


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