GM Kevin Towers said the Padres wouldn't have moved RHP Jason Szuminski when they did if RHP Antonio Osuna had strained his groin five hours earlier. Osuna suffered the injury the night after the Padres returned Szuminski to the Cubs.
The Padres had been trying to put together a trade package -- that included restricted SS Rey Ordonez -- for the Cubs when they ran out of time. The Padres then waived Ordonez from their restricted list so that the Cubs could sign the four-time Gold Glover to a minor league contract.
"I would have loved to have had more time to work out a deal," said Towers, who added that the Cubs were driving a harder bargain than the Padres could accept.
The sketchy reports available from the Padres' extended spring training camp are not encouraging. Beck's velocity is said to be 78-80 mph, and he recently gave up three runs in an inning to the Padres minor leaguers at extended spring training.
Said Bochy: "Without having seen him, I can't say there's not some concern. But what happened last year, we're looking forward to his return."
Scouting reports on Beck were much the same last year when the Padres signed him. He responded by going 20-for-20 in save opportunities.
When Beck rejoins the Padres, he will be no higher than the No. 4 man in the bullpen to start. Beck's status is a reflection of the success the Padres are having with their present bullpen rotation in winnable games. RHP Scott Linebrink works the seventh, RHP Akinori Otsuka works the eighth and RHP Trevor Hoffman closes out the win. The trio has appeared in that order in nine of the Padres' 21 wins. Not only do they have glowing statistics, they have quite different styles. Linebrink, whose run of scoreless innings ended at 15 on Sunday (May 16), has a 95-96 mph fastball. He has a 1.57 ERA and has pitched in 13 of the club's wins. Japanese import Otsuka likes to say he throws a "slider sinker." Whatever, the pitch and his unorthodox delivery have helped Otsuka to a 0.95 ERA and at least one strikeout in 15 straight appearances. Hoffman has 10 saves and a 1.38 ERA.
"I don't know if I've ever been this frustrated before," Eaton said. "I'm not pitching as bad as the numbers are saying I am."
"That's what is frustrating," said Loretta. "Every liner, hard grounder is right at someone. Usually these things don't last that long. They say good hitting is contagious. Well, bad hitting can be, too. It's a funny game. Right now, it's hard to feel that there is any reward. You start wondering, 'What do you have to do?'"