Padres Instructional League Day IV

The nuances of baseball are much greater than most people imagine. They see a game based on instinct and athleticism. A game they used to play as kids and think they know it all. Very few realize the work done behind the scenes – before the games, in the heat of the midsummer sun. Those nuances have been evident at the San Diego Padres Instructional League.

While they do play a game everyday in Arizona, the work being done beforehand is paramount.

Case and point on Tuesday:

Tom Gamboa, the Padres roving outfield coordinator, worked intimately with the infielders on this day. His charted course dealt with the position of the sun.

It seems so simple but oftentimes you see a player lose the ball in the sun and use their mitt to cover the head as it falls in for a double.

The philosophy behind isn't astronomy. It is simple logic. You just wish you thought of it first.

"Use sunglasses. Change Priorities. Gravitate away from the ball to take the sun out of the equation. Make an imaginary line of the bad area."

The first one is simple to comprehend. No explanation needed, right?

The second one is a bit more complex, especially for infielders. The ball is hit to the second baseman but he sees nothing but sun. Normally, based on what we know, it is still his responsibility. But – what if the first baseman has a beat on the ball and can make a play? If the second baseman is fighting the sun it would stand to reason that the first baseman isn't. Broken down it makes perfect sense.

The third one made complete sense even if words don't do it justice. Essentially, Gamboa revealed a secret that he attributed to Garrett Anderson. What Anderson does when he knows he will have to fight the sun is round on the ball. In other words he moves away from the area where the ball will be hit to change the angle that he will make the catch – thus eliminating the sun.

Lastly, if you know where the sun will most affect you it will be easier to work around it. The whole point was to not have to shield the eyes using a glove and, well, being smart.

Baseball is so simple, isn't it?

  • The San Diego Padres remained confident in moving their Double-A team from Mobile of the Southern League to San Antonio of the Texas League.

    "Things look good," Grady Fuson commented. He added that he should know more within the next 24 hours as things come to a head. The Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks are also believed to be in the running with West Tenn, Mobile and San Antonio the three Double-A towns remaining on the market.

  • Pete LaForest was out in Peoria on Tuesday. The big catcher looks healthy and took swings on his own in the back cages.

    LaForest is looking to find a spot in Mexico to catch or play first. The market for imports to play in winter ball down south has been slim, however.

  • There was also a game on Tuesday. The Padres hosted the Rangers squad, matching zeroes through six innings. In the top of the seventh, Richie Daigle three straight hits, including a double to push two across. John Madden would give up a run in the ninth inning, the only other run to score in a 3-0 loss.

    Craig Cooper accounted for two of the four hits the Padres squad would amass on the day. Clint Naylor was the only other player to reach base twice, drawing two walks.

    Drew Miller ran off three scoreless innings to open the game, allowing one hit, picking off a runner, walking one and striking out three.

    The efficient Matt Buschmann followed Miller. The right-hander needed just 20 pitches to get through two hitless innings, nine in his first frame and 11 in the second. Daigle's perfect sixth inning meant the Texas club had just one hit to date and two baserunners.

    R.J. Rodriguez gave up one hit in his scoreless inning before giving way to Madden. The sidearming righty allowed a leadoff single and hit a batter with one out before giving up a two-out base knock to make it 3-0.


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