While the El Paso and San Antonio working groups went on the road, the Single-A teams hosted the Texas Rangers in Peoria. Because there are still so many guys in big league camp, most of the minor leaguers are working at least one level above where they would most likely open the season.
Playing with the Elsinore group, Rod Boykin demonstrated that he still owns some of the best speed in the organization, easily legging out a bunt single and flying around to score the game's final run and put a merciful end to a game that dragged on well past three hours. Now in his third spring training camp, the 20-year-old added more muscle in the offseason and has some impressive physical tools. However, he continues to struggle to make consistent contact.
While Austin Allen will still be a project behind the plate, his development since instructs is noticeable. He shed some weight over the winter and spent much of the offseason working in Florida to improve both his receiving and throwing. He had several opportunities early on to show his arm, with mixed results. His best effort came in the second inning when he gunned down a runner at second base with a quick pop and short arm action on his throw. The 2015 fourth-rounder's bat continues to lead his defense, but he's made real progress quickly.
On the mound, Gerardo Reyes, the forgotten third man in the Wil Myers trade, looked sharp working from a high three-quarters arm slot in relief. The 22-year-old righty, who missed all of last season with an injury, sat around 93-94 MPH, and showed a nasty slider. Though he only pitched in short-season ball for the Rays in 2014, he could jump to Elsinore depending on how rosters shake out.
Meanwhile, Yimmi Brasoban and Colby Blueberg, who were exceptional at the back end of the Fort Wayne bullpen in 2015, labored through their innings. It's early enough in camp that nobody is worried about production, but it did necessitate a last-minute appearance by Grant Zawadzki, who was not initially on the throw list for the day. The 23-year-old righty, who ithe s the younger brother of former Padres farmhand Lance, signed late this winter after spending the last two years as an infielder in the independent leagues.
On the opposite field, the TinCaps working group featured 17-year-old shortstop Reinaldo Ilarraza, the most advanced of the three Venezuelan shortstops the Padres signed last July, and barely-18-year-old catcher Jose Lezama (pictured above) along with a mix of 2015 draftees and Dominican League veterans. With Josh Magee in right field and Aldemar Burgos in center, not much was going to fall in the outfield. The pair, who were selected in the fifth and seventh rounds respectively out of high school last year, can both go get it.
Walker Lockett made quick work of his two innings. The big righty, whose 2015 campaign was cut short by a rules violation in Tri-City, had good velocity and looked ready to stake a claim in the tight competition for rotation spots in Fort Wayne.
Odds and ends:
The first minor league cuts were made on Tuesday. Zach Risedorf, the club's sixth-rounder out of a Connecticut high school in 2014, was the most notable of the position players, which also included veteran utility infielders Rey Bruguera and Mitch Morales and outfielder Kyle Gaedele. Risedorf never got his feet under himself professionally, collecting only 107 at-bats in two summers in the Arizona League. The club also released right-handed pitchers Jace Chancellor, Adonis Diaz, Luis Hernandez, Joel Linares and Starling Ynfante and lefties Brandon Fry, Joel Garcia and Griffin Russell.
On the rehab front, Seth Streich is back to throwing on flat ground, but does not have an immediate timeline for getting back on a mound. Walker Weickel threw a bullpen session yesterday and was being watched today for any signs of soreness.