Padres Minor League Spring Notebook IV

PEORIA, AZ-- The catchers were put through the grinder on Monday at the San Diego Padres Spring Training complex. They were constantly working on their throws and catching the many live bullpen sessions. Also, two players have yet to even appear on the field this spring.

  • The catchers got a lot of work throwing to different bags on Monday. Several impressed while others looked to shake off the webs of the offseason.

    Adam Zornes stood out with his confident throws that hit the bag with regularity. He flashed good mechanics and tossed bullets down the second base that hit right before the bag in perfect position.

    Luis Martinez was equally as impressive. He throws were accurate and only went off line when his footwork became too hasty. It resulted in him throwing with his head off line, thus pulling the ball with it.

    Josh Johnson, a former Twins draft pick, had a sound afternoon. He isn't as quick as some of the others with his glove to hand exchange or pop times (getting up from the crouch in position to throw) but was accurate to the bags. Johnson has never been known for his hitting but is above average defensively.

    Michael Collins had a tough day. The former Angels prospect was erratic with his throws and rarely put it in a position where the fielder could simply tag the runner. Collins split time between first base and catcher over the last few seasons and is a career .279 minor league hitter. He has hit only 26 homers in 555 career games but has been hit by 108 pitches over that span.

    Emmanuel Quiles showed why he is so highly regarded. He was extremely quick out of his stance and shot lasers to the bag. His throws were accurate and right over the top of the bag – in perfect position to tag a runner. His mistakes come when he tries to jump into his stance before he has secured the baseball.

    Robert Lara had a crisp afternoon of throwing the rock. While he didn't have the pop times of Quiles, he was very consistent with his throws and mechanics.

    Ali Solis was very sharp. His arm strength has improved each season and he is now firing them to the bag with a cannon arm that is very accurate. His defensive prowess isn't well known but the improvements continue.

    Jhonaldo Pozo – over from the Padres Dominican Summer League program – is raw mechanically but made some strong throws. He hit the bag on most occasions but takes too long to get rid of the ball with his long windup and strange throwing motion.

    Logan Gelbrich had a tough day. He was slow out of his stance and his throws were wide of the bag. He didn't appear to be very crisp but has proven to be sounder in the past.

  • On the pitching front, Drew Miller and Steve Garrison continue to be held out of drills. Garrison continues to rehab from surgery in October. It is unclear what ails Miller.

    On the hitting side, Lance Zawadzki has not made it onto the field this spring because of a strained oblique suffered during the early hitter's camp. Rayner Contreras has also not appeared, but his troubles are tied to not getting into the country. They have had trouble securing him a visa from the Dominican Republic. There is no timetable for either.

  • The difference between the infielders at the higher levels and the ones at the lower levels was quite evident on Monday. While the higher level middle infielders were under control with their bodies and control, the younger group was rushing throws or failing to field the ball before picking up the first base target.

    The same held true with the first basemen. The younger group was yelled at several times for ‘not getting their feet under them' before making a throw.

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