Padres Instructional League Notebook VIII

PEORIA, AZ- Pitchers who were on the mend, position players that were done for the day, Arizona Fall League players, coaches circling the cage – all eyes on the former first-round pick Matt Bush and his 30-pitch rehab against live hitters. This and more from the San Diego Padres Instructional League...

  • Matt Bush took the bump against Logan Forsythe and Brad Chalk on field two, throwing five pitches to each player in turn and taking a break 15 pitches in before coming back for 15 more.

    The right-hander had experienced some tenderness in his triceps late last week, pushing back his outing. The tenderness has been described as normal and par for the rehab course, pushing through the scar tissue from his surgery.

    Bush rattled off his full repertoire, tossing fastballs, curveballs and changeups.

    Control, as expected, was an issue on several of his pitches. The fastballs weren't of the 98 MPH variety he had thrown when first transitioning to pitcher from shortstop but had considerable zip.

    His curveball had impressive spin – more than Bush expected. Balls that started out in the zone careened to the left and outside the zone. It was a pitch that he did not toss for a strike.

    The pitch that looked exceptional was the changeup. He had Chalk and Forsythe swinging over top of the pitch anytime he tossed it.

    Forsythe was able to put his bat on a fastball and drive it far while Chalk went down and took a low fastball and smoked a liner to left. It was, however, more about finding command for Bush.

    Overall, Bush was happy with the outing.

    "I felt good," Bush said. "I just wanted to go out there and not have any pain or discomfort. That is all going away. It feels like that is all going away. I am just trying to throw strikes and get a feel for each pitch and remember how my curveball breaks."

  • Matt Clark had a slow start to camp but has come along nicely since – and the improvement started back at his hotel room.

    After struggling early in the instructional league and believing he was making strides with his approach, Clark worked on his swing and mechanics in front of the mirror.

    "Once he did work in front of the mirror, he was a completely different guy," Gamboa said. "In the span of a night, he came back and started hitting well."

    It turns out, Clark has been a mirror aficionado since he was young.

    Clark's father, Terry – the pitching coach for Double-A Frisco last season – agreed with Gamboa's assessment, saying his son has always been able to get on track after going over his mechanics in front of the mirror – his own personal video review.

  • Adys Portillo has made an impression on many people since being signed by the Padres. His poise and overall makeup is just part of the allure.

    Portillo has integrated well with the players around him and formed a bond with his ability to blend in smoothly.

    "He is a great kid," fellow pitcher Simon Castro said. "He is smart and has great stuff."

  • Minor league field coordinator Tom Gamboa has words with his troops heading into the final few weeks of the Padres Instructional League.

    He cautioned them to continue with the same fervor that saw so much work done early on.

    "Traditionally, the intensity level starts to drop," Gamboa said. "We need to continue the work habits we have bred thus far."

    The letdown is a vision of the end of this instructional camp – when players will get to go home and relax before beginning work anew.

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