Accolades Pouring In

From the bullpen to the catcher to the Manager, the San Diego Padres are understandably exuberant about the upcoming season. They believe that they have made significant strides in the NL West while other teams have remained stagnant. The confidence is so high, many are pointing to each other as reasons for potential success. This on the heels of a 9-4 victory on Friday. Also an apology was issued to Todd Helton by Bruce Bochy.

The San Diego Padres won their second consecutive game on Friday. Right-hander Jake Peavy pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on one hit in his spring debut on Friday. Peavy had been suffering from an oblique strain that kept him out of the first few outings this spring.

Mike Bynum continued his perfect spring with two innings of work. Bynum has pitched in three games going five innings without suffering a run against. He has allowed just two hits over the course of spring.

Brian Giles raised his average from .181 to .357 with a 3-3 night. Giles hit a home run, his first of the spring, in the fifth inning, drove in two and scored twice.

"(Giles) is the kind of guy that leads by example," said Manager Bruce Bochy. "I think other players will feed off him. He is only going to make you better."

Henri Stanley got his first hit of the spring, a home run in the sixth inning. Sean Burroughs and Khalil Greene lead the team in times struck out with five apiece. Jeff Cirillo, normally a third baseman, played second base on Friday. He contributed to two double plays and looked solid at second.

Trevor Hoffman is excited about the upcoming season after looking at previous seasons as "more or less a minor league tryout." He did mention that some of those guys were up with the Padres and helping them now, specifically naming Burroughs, Greene, and Xavier Nady. He also mentioned the pitchers are no longer rookies, but have experience on the mound and he cites that as a reason that the team will be in contention this season.

Hoffman also named Ramon Hernandez among those who will make a difference this year:

"Ramon is going to be a welcome sight. I think it anchors our staff. It has been neat to hear some of the things Oakland had to say about him and we are excited to have him."

The game must still be played and injuries remain a concern for the club. Should they remain relatively healthy, they could come out of the West.

Bruce Bochy admitted he felt bad about walking Todd Helton, leaving Helton with a .358490 average, second to the .358714 average of St. Louis' Albert Pujols in the closest batting race in NL history.

"I was watching on television (in the manager's office), and I felt horrible for Todd," said Bochy, who went to the Rockies dugout during that game to apologize to Helton. "Nobody (in the Padres dugout) knew what was going on. It happened so fast, I couldn't get down there (and stop it). That's why I went over (to the Rockies dugout).

"We were going to try to win the game, but it's not like that game was going to determine where we finished or they finished. I definitely would have pitched to him."

Minor League Notes:

The Mobile BayBears front office staff and grounds crew will be at Josephine Allen Homes Baseball Field on Saturday, March 13, to improve the youth league field. The BayBears staff has committed to renovating a local youth field every year. Representatives from the BayBears and the Mobile Housing Board visited many ballparks in the community and judged them based on field conditions and surroundings. The Josephine Allen Homes Field is currently the host of BayBears Rookie League games and practices.

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