Padres Instructional League roundup

The problems continue for one San Diego Padre prospect, as the injury bug hits again. A position change in the works? The team welcomes another player to Peoria. De-fence.

  • The news could be heard with a groan. "You have to be kidding me" was a real quote.

    Shortstop Matt Bush, who came back from a broken leg only to battle hamstring injuries throughout the rest of the season, was shelved again with tightness in his hamstring.

    Bush had felt some tightness the day before and was felled by the hamstring the following day after batting practice.

    The team is unsure of the timetable of his return. Bush has been granted leave Arizona for the week to attend a family matter and will be reevaluated when he returns.

    Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development, didn't think it was too serious.

    "It was just some tightness and not the hamstring problems that have plagued him this year."

    After missing most of the season, Bush was hoping to get back on track during the Instructional League but the lost year of development continues.

  • First round pick Matt Antonelli has been working out at second base at the Padres' Instructional League.

    While he did play a few games at second near the end of the year for Fort Wayne, Antonelli has been used exclusively there in Peoria. With Felix Carrasco and David Freese entrenched at third in Arizona, and Rayner Contreras moving over to shortstop, along with his second base duties, to make up for the loss of Bush, Antonelli and Tom King are manning second.

    The Wake Forest alumni has taken to the new position and has picked up some of the more technical aspects that are new to him – such as turning the double play and placing the ball at the right angle to help the shortstop not get killed.

  • With Brian Hernandez out for the immediate future, the team had been looking to add another catcher to the roster. The Padres added Matt Stocco to the mix on Wednesday.

    A fifth backstop aids in the daily throwing schedule of the myriad of pitchers working out. Stocco's familiarity with many of the young pitchers in Peoria will also help in his assimilation to the daily grind.

  • Watching the workouts from day-to-day, one area that is continually stressed is defense. While the batting cages get the glory, it is the defense that keeps the team in the game.

    Outfielders are learning to play balls off the wall, read the ball off the bat, and working on the fundamentals of throwing. Infielders learn to battle the hazards of the infield, turn two, and field the bunt. Even the pitchers aren't immune to PFP – pitcher's fielding practice – as they field bunts, throw to different bases and work on communication between all of their teammates.

    Felix Carrasco had a rough time in the Arizona heat this summer but has made strides this fall. He made a beautiful one-handed pick and throw on a bunt and picked a tough short-hopper off the infield dirt. His throwing mechanics have also been cleaned up.

    The fielding overall has been excellent. And the coaching staff has expressed that approval to the team. Playing error-free ball has allowed the team to stay close in each of the contests over the past week.

  • One of the amazing things about having so many arms around at the same time is the secrets shared. Many of the young pitchers are keenly aware of how another player finds success and are willing to take the best parts from each other. It isn't uncommon for several pitchers to gather to talk about the finer points of the player pitching that inning, guys they may not have seen before.

    Nathan Staggs and Wade LeBlanc sat together to discuss just that. They saw the success of Andrew Miller and Matt Buschmann and applauded the success of each, wondering how they can incorporate certain aspects of their game into their repertoire of knowledge.

  • Speaking of LeBlanc – he earned Ballboy of the Week honors after sprinting to every ball hitting the backstop or bat left at home plate. It all started after pitching coordinator Mike Couchee had to go get a ball behind the backstop and pitching coach Wally Whitehurst gave LeBlanc the business.

  • MadFriars Top Stories