Padres MLN: Intrasquad minor league games

Peoria, AZ- With spring games slated to begin on Friday, the San Diego Padres setup two intrasquad games on Thursday, pitting Triple-A versus Double-A and High-A versus Low-A.

  • Corey Kluber had a rough first inning. He faced five hitters and every one of them reached base. After Ryan Hill led off with a solid single up the middle, Keoni Ruth doubled him home with a shot to left-center – hitting the wall 370 feet from home plate.

    After Keith Conlon walked and Tony Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Shane Buschini cleared the bases with a double off the centerfield wall. While rounding first, Buschini was trying to around Felix Carrasco and did a face plant on the dirt. He was able to get up and make it to second with three RBIs in hand.

    Buschini did make an error at first base – playing the position after spending last year in the outfield. It is the first time he has played first base since early in college.

    They rolled the inning on Kluber before he could record an out.

    Angel Mercado opened the next frame with a towering triple off the centerfield wall – a good 400 feet out. He was, however, stranded there, as Kluber worked out of trouble.

    Mercado would later hit a two-run homer over the left field wall – smoking the ball on a pitch from Pablo Menchaca.

  • Greg Burke got lit up for two runs in his first inning of work and his inning was also rolled with two outs, as he reached his pitch count.

    Burke allowed a single to Luis Durango to open the action and after Durango stole second and wound up on third after an errant throw, the right-hander walked Brad Chalk. Yefri Carvajal had an RBI force out and Justin Baum grounded out, putting Carvajal at second. Lance Zawadzki came up and lined a double into the gap to score Carvajal. After an error on Buschini, the inning was rolled.

    Eric Sogard was credited with a triple when he smashed one into left field and Gonzalez misplayed the ball in the sun. It also gave him two RBIs off R.J. Rodriguez.

    The only pitcher to work a 1-2-3 inning on this side of the field was Mike DeMark. The right-hander threw strikes, getting two ground outs and a strikeout.

  • Murray Hopley is finally healthy and appeared in the game at shortstop. His range was not great and he missed a ball up the middle that was within reach. He walked in his lone plate appearance.

    During batting practice, Hopley showed a good approach and some line drive power. His hit-and-run approach was very good, hitting each ball on the line.

    "I can't wait for the games to start," he quipped.

  • On the other side of the field, only two runs crossed the dish in a tepid game. The one moment that brought yells from the coaching staff was when Ray Chang dove for a ball in the hole, coming up with the ball and making the throw. The medical staff went on the field to check on Chang and Andrew Parrino was originally called in to replace him before Chang and the staff decided he was able to stay in the contest.

    Right-hander Jon Ellis looked solid, putting down the side in order during his half inning. He mixed in a few sinkers- a pitch he threw last year. He induced two ground outs and a line out to short.

  • Gonzalez put on a show during batting practice. During the hit-and-run segment, where the batters have to swing at each pitch and make contact, Gonzalez launched two balls out of the park. That prompted hitting coach Bob Skube to say, "That usually works."

    Gonzalez is a newcomer but has a good swing with a lot of power packed in.

  • In one of the more amusing camp notes, new Eugene hitting coach Darrell Sherman was pulled from his pitching duties during batting practice. He threw more balls than strikes and littered the back of the cage with red-striped rocks. It was impossible to tell if the guys in the cage during his batting practice were having good or bad sessions because of his inconsistencies.

    Bob Skube replaced him on the hill.

  • Duffy Dyer worked with Justin Pickett, Clint Naylor and Aeden McQueary during early work on their blocking skills. Pickett has only worked out as a catcher thus far in camp and his skills appear to be developing.

    Dyer was instructed them to keep the ball in front of them and be ready to throw with a runner on first.

    "Don't assume the runner isn't going because you did a good job keeping the ball in front of you," Dyer said. "Some guys are taught to go as soon as the ball hits the dirt."

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