Storm Notebook: Peavy, Edmonds and more

Lake Elsinore, CA-- San Diego Padres Cy Young winner Jake Peavy was honored before the Lake Elsinore Storm game on Thursday and looks back on his time with the team fondly while centerfielder Jim Edmonds is on rehab in Lake Elsinore – and he definitely has an opinion on playing ball in the minors. Manager Carlos Lezcano sees a different team than last year – the one that came a game away.

  • Jake Peavy wasn't there for a long but he was a member of the minor league team of the year in 2001 as a member of the Lake Elsinore Storm.

    He opened the season in Lake Elsinore, getting an April 6 start against Rancho Cucamonga, striking out nine over five innings of scoreless ball.

    He wound up making 19 starts, going 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA over 105.1 innings. During that time, Peavy amassed 144 strikeouts – striking out 10 or more in three straight games from June 3 through June 15 and coming back to whiff 11 in a June 30 start.

    "I spent the better part of the season here and got to come back for the playoffs," Peavy explained. "We had a great team. A lot of us did make it to San Diego for a little bit."

    On Thursday, the Lake Elsinore Storm honored Peavy for his achievements garnered during his time with the club by retiring his jersey – number 22 now hangs from the rafters above the 400-foot sign in straightaway centerfield.

    As an additional homage to Peavy, each member of the Storm wore Peavy's jersey for one final time. He is just the second player to have his jersey retired, joining Joe Urso – a second baseman that captured team MVP and league All-Star honors while Lake Elsinore was an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.

    In 2001, Peavy pitched against the Padres as a member of the California League club in an exhibition game. Two years later, Peavy was on the opposite side of the field as a member of the Friars in another exhibition game. In total, the Padres and Storm played three exhibition games and Peavy was on the mound for each one of those games.

    "I never dreamed back in 2001 that a day like this would happen," Peavy admitted. "I have a lot of good memories. I am honored to be out here. It is a tremendous honor. I am blown away by it. It was great memories and to come back and be honored like this is special."

    Ironically, the Mobile BayBears – his hometown team – has yet to recognize Peavy by retiring his number. He played for Mobile in 2001 after his stint with Lake Elsinore.

  • Before Jim Edmonds took the field at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore, he talked about his experience in minor league baseball.

    The longtime centerfielder was asked what was so great about he minor leagues:

    "Absolutely nothing. There is nothing good about being in the minor leagues. No – it is a great experience. It made me grow up. You learn to appreciate what is going on and take it for what it is. I didn't go to college so I called it Minor League University. It is where I learned to deal with real life. It was a good experience."

    As for the message he can deliver to young Lake Elsinore Storm cast – all of who are trying to get to where Edmonds is today.

    "Enjoy yourself – it is tough. In the minor leagues, you are always worried about who is looking over your shoulder and who is saying what. Enjoy the game and learn from it. You never know what is going to happen. Put all the time and effort you can and enjoy it."

    When did Edmonds know he was going to make it to the major leagues?

    "I didn't really realize it until the last year," he admitted. "Back in my day, the big leagues weren't such a big dream or issue. If you got lucky enough and worked hard enough to get a chance, you made it. I think it is publicized more where everyone is shooting to get to the big leagues. When I first came up, I really didn't know anything about the big leagues. I was just having a good time and things worked out for me."

    Peavy, meanwhile, just wanted Edmonds back in San Diego.

    "I hope he makes it through tonight and tomorrow and is back with me on Saturday."

  • It wasn't that long ago that Shane Spencer was on the field as a player.

  • Last year, the Storm placed second in the California League in batting average and third in home runs with 148. They did manage to swipe 101 bags but were not a particularly quick team.

    "We are not as big as last year," Lezcano said. "We have a little more speed. We have guys who can swing it a little bit. We are going to be more creative scoring runs. Last year, we kind of sat back and let them swing it."

    Outfielders Javis Diaz and Robert combined for 47 swipes and Perry only played in short-season ball. Eric Sogard, Keoni Ruth and Cedric Hunter also offer some semblance of speed, although all need work on their first step quickness.

    "The starting pitching looks ok – but we will see how the league plays. I will know more in two weeks. I feel good about it. The kids are enthusiastic. We saw some good approaches in Spring Training and hopefully that carries into the season." "There are a lot of arms to be excited about here," pitching coach Wally Whitehurst added. Lake Elsinore placed second in the league with a 4.22 ERA and ranked first with 329 walks allowed. They also led the league with 10 shutouts but did allow more hits than six of the nine other teams.

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