Mad Friar Wire

While the batters got a break of sorts on Friday when facing live pitching, they did not get that same break Saturday. The weather was better and Trevor Hoffman, Tim Stauffer, Kevin Walker and Akinori Otsuka were among those to take the mound. All performed well, with Walker garnering praise from Bruce Bochy and Jim Callis of Baseball America. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy reported an odd feeling in his olblidue and said it was sore after taking the mound. Rusty Tucker was also in town on Saturday.

Left-hander Kevin Walker, vying for one of the final roster spots in the bullpen garnered praise from Bruce Bochy today.

"Walker did very well," Bochy said. "He looked like the Walker of old."

"I've always like Kevin Walker, when he is healthy," Jim Callis said. And now it appears he is. Walker faces stiff competition in the bullpen fight.

It appears that one of Scott Linebrink and Jay Witasick, thought to be sure things in the bullpen, may be on the outside looking in at the end of this spring. The club would love to have a left-hander in the bullpen and are favoring Walker in the early stages and Witasick, specifically, the favorite to not make the squad.

Jake Peavy reported an odd sensation in his left olbique that bothered him last season. It wasn't anough to shut him down, but the coaching staff kept a close eye on him. Peavy threw all 30 of his pitches in his session to live hitters.

"There is a slight concern with Peavy," Bochy said. "He didn't really feel pain but he felt something in that oblique where he felt it last year."

"It's the same general area that it was last year, where I had some discomfort. Hopefully we can get on top of it," Peavy said. "I just felt it a little bit playing catch today. On the mound, I felt it just a tad bit, and afterward it was fairly sore. I've got plenty of time to be where I need to be. Hopefully it's nothing."

The Padres can ill-afford to lose Peavy so early in the season and will give him a little extra time to recoup. The hope is Peavy will not have to battle this injury all season long. He was the only starter last year to have more wins than losses.

Rusty Tucker was in town to take part in the annual photo shoot at the Peoria Sports complex. He is reportedly on schedule in his rehab from Tommy John Surgery.

Phil Nevin spent a good portion of the day working on his feet at first base. He fielded grounders, bunts and took throws in an effort to get better. Tony Muser spent the bulk of the time with him with his watchful eye. He spent a considerably amount of time talking to Nevin and giving him pointers.

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