Spring Training Notebook VII

Peoria, AZ: The San Diego Padres Low-A squad held a commanding lead but the bullpen could not hold it together in a 12-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Padres closer Heath Bell was on hand to watch and is considering participation in the workout session on Tuesday with the minor leaguers while the big league club is in Tucson.

  • Heath Bell was more than eager to help his fellow minor leaguers, noting that no one stepped up and talked to minor leaguers within the New York Mets farm system. "I wish they did," Bell said. "It is a chance for me to give some advice, if anyone asks for it. I like coming out here. When the Double-A and Triple-A guys are around, I will sit in the dugout with them and joke around."
  • A strong lineup presented itself to the Sox and was very active early in the game.

    Everett Williams was the star of the show, hitting three balls hard. He singled in the opening frame, tripled in two in his second at-bat, and then followed up with a laser up the gut for his third hit. He also drew a walk and grounded out.

    Nate Freiman, a threat every time he stands in, hit a monster double to drive in two runs and singled and scored a run. He also popped out. Ryan Skube continued the hot hand, delivering a single up the middle that saw him sit back on a breaking pitch while also connecting on a double into the left-center gap to drive in two. He was also hit by a pitch and scored a run.

    Jeudy Valdez batted out of the leadoff spot and reached on an error in his first at-bat. He was, however, thrown out trying to take second. The second baseman singled in his second go-round and scored a run. Joe Agreste went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He also fanned twice. Brett Basham notched a bloop single to right and scored a run. He also struck out and was credited with two passed balls – one that scored a run.

    Jhonaldo Pozo was in as the designated hitter, belting a sacrifice fly in his first at-bat to score one and striking out once. Cameron Monger replaced him in the lineup midway through the game. The outfielder struck out and then clubbed an RBI triple and scored a run. Jorge Minyeti drew a walk and added an RBI single as a mid-game replacement.

    Dylan Tonneson grounded out, was hit by a pitch and scored a run. Donavan Tate smashed a liner but it was picked off by the shortstop – it was the first hard contact seen in game action. He also drew a walk, scored a run and struck out. Edinson Rincon walked and scored in the first and then went 0-for-3 the rest of the way. He also committed an error at third base, as he continues to struggle defensively. Rymer Liriano and Corey Adamson went 0-for-2.

  • The Padres began the process of stretching out their starters, which is an indication that the first round of cuts will be coming – likely by mid-week.

    Adys Portillo got the start and was tabbed for three innings. He was saved from seeing a run score by Liriano who gunned down a runner at home plate to end the frame. A single and ground out began the inning. After the runner stole third, Portillo walked the next batter to put runners on the corners. After a line out, Liriano caught a fly ball while moving in and fired a one-hop bullet to home to nab the runner.

    "I felt good, but my fastball was up," Portillo said. "I had a good changeup but my curveball wasn't very good. It was up. I try every day and work hard." Portillo would walk two in the next inning but also got a double play grounder to get out unscathed. In the third, a double started things off. After a Portillo error on a pickoff attempt, he struck out the next batter. A wild pitch scored the first Chicago run. He would then walk the bases loaded around two fly outs – ending his night with only one run in while tossing 57 pitches. He walked five in his stint. While he threw a few quality changeups, Portillo's curveball did not drop at all and hung high and wide of the plate. His fastball command was also off.

    Luis De La Cruz suffered through a tough outing – lasting just one-third of an inning. He walked four and gave up a single and was pulled with a pair still on the bases. It was safe to say that none of his pitches were working. Matt Jackson replaced him after De La Cruz had tossed 32 pitches. Jackson stranded both inherited runners with a strikeout and ground out. He worked two more scoreless frames, featuring a terrific curveball that froze the opposition while spotting his fastball well.

    Al Angelucci lasted through just five batters and appeared to be injured over the last two hitters, clenching and unclenching his fist. Word is he had some forearm pain and it may have been exasperated by the outing. After a walk and stolen base, Angelucci tossed one of three wild pitches. He issued a second walk before a wild pitch scored the first run. After a sacrifice fly pushed a runner to third, his third wild pitch pushed across the next run. He walked the next two batters – sending another ball to the backstop on his final pitch. He left with a pair still on base, using 21 pitches on the day.

    Miles Mikolas took over with runners on first and second. The right-handed Mikolas got the second out of the frame before a double scored both inherited runners. A hit batsman and two singles followed, scoring two more. A total of seven runs scored in the frame. Mikolas worked around an error in his second inning of work, tossing 25 pitches in total.

  • Scott Hairston broke out of his funk, getting his first hit in minor league action. He had gone 0-for-4 while batting third in each inning before the base knock and was 0-for-15 across the previous three games prior to the hit. He would walk in his final plate appearance.
  • We inaccurately reported Gary Poynter as already having surgery. He actually flew to San Diego and is scheduled to have his surgery this week.

    Left-hander Ryan Hinson did have surgery in the past week and is expected to miss the next two months. Hinson was a 10th round pick out of Clemson.

  • The Latin American scouting department is in town for spring training. Felix Feliz is amongst those in attendance with his scouts. It is a yearly trip that the group makes to the states.

    Several players from the Dominican academy will head stateside once spring ends. Among those who will come to Arizona for extended spring training are Luis Domoromo, Adan Velazquez, Yair Lopez and Pedro Martinez.

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