Carrillo on schedule for healthy spring

There was no bigger injury news this past season. When top pitching prospect Cesar Carrillo saw his season come to a close the San Diego Padres spoke about it in hushed tones. They played cautious with his recovery and avoided surgery. He appears to be on target for spring, as are a few other prospects. One, however, may miss all of 2007.

With nothing but rest prescribed to right-hander Cesar Carrillo this off-season, spring training brings the test. He has been doing long toss with no side effects but that isn't a true indication of his health.

There are some concerns about his mechanics and the Padres are unsure if he will experience pain again – the only way they will know is when he begins throwing bullpen sessions again.

The worst-case scenario, of course, would be surgery. The Padres firmly believe they have averted such extremes with his long layoff.

John Hudgins is still in recovery from Tommy John surgery and will miss most, if not all, of 2007. The right-hander had a very promising season after being acquired from the Texas Rangers.

Paul McAnulty is back to full health after having minor surgery on his knee, a procedure that precluded him from playing winter ball. He is, however, working out again and reportedly in great shape.

Tom Gamboa, winner of three championships with the Mayagüez Indians, resigned as manager of the Manatí Athenians after compiling a record of 4-10 and losing nine of the last ten games under his command. Word is he was asked to step down by Manati management and gleefully accepted.

Jack Cassel, incidentally, was part of Gamboa's pitching staff and is reportedly doing well in Mexico. He is working in his sinker and keeping the ball down, something he did extremely well for Double-A Mobile during the last half of the season.

Brandon Powell, a Rule 5 selection taken in the minor league phase, is seen by the Padres as a potential Double-A bat. One scout noted, "He can play third base and can hit quite a bit."

Powell has 32 homers over his last two years with 140 RBI's in 232 games. He will get his chance to win a job in spring training and the bonus is he has experience at second base.

Word is the Padres were high on Michael Carlin, a first baseman taken by the Milwaukee Brewers with the sixth overall pick (the Padres picked up Powell with pick 14). Had he lasted, Carlin would have been a player they scooped up.

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