Keyvius Sampson came up to Bell and asked him for some advice as a first year player. Bell, an undrafted free agent who was traded by the Mets before getting a real chance with the Padres, was happy to oblige. Bell asked if Sampson was a reliever or starter and if this was his first full season and then began with dispensing advice.
"The best thing to do is get tired and then work on your mechanics," Bell told Sampson. "Do it when you are tired. When you master that, especially as a starter, you will do just fine.
"As you go into a game and go deeper, you will be able to muster it up for one more pitch. Each subsequent pitch is, ‘ok, just one more pitch.' Learn good breathing techniques. It relaxes you.
"Also, learn your shoulder and arm routine. This is where it starts. When you are asked to do eight poles (running) the day after a start – do ten. You are in for five months of baseball. We have two more months of baseball. You need that extra bit of stamina. When you are dogging it in August, we still have another month to go and we came to spring a month earlier than you."
Advice that means something. It is up to Sampson to follow it now.
The right-hander received a cortisone shot, and the Padres are waiting to see how he responds to that treatment before making future plans.
McBryde will not be ready for the start of the season and may miss a significant chunk of time if he does not respond to the latest treatment path.
People in the organization have noticed.
"You didn't throw that way last year," former Fort Wayne and current San Antonio manager Doug Dascenzo said. "You look rested and ready to go."
Zornes threw out 24-of-96 base runners attempting to steal off him last year in Fort Wayne, good for 25 percent. He is eyeing an improvement in that arena. Zornes feels his mechanics are fine but the accuracy and strength of his arm were not where he expected them to be.
"An aggressive count," one coach said. "I hope no one is passive."
It hasn't been a big deal for some of the line drive type hitters to adjust to the mentality. The bigger sluggers who have patience are the ones that are seeing the most adjustment time to the new aggressive approach.
As Allan Dykstra said, "We have gone from a patiently aggressive approach to an aggressively patient approach." Dykstra has been too passive at times and is still determining where the balance is. His narrow focus is a positive, but he also understands that he needs to be ready to hit in all counts rather than just watching pitches go by.
Reyes reported no soreness from the throwing sessions and is eager to face live hitters. Reyes has been assigned to the Double-A team and will break camp with Lake Elsinore – taking the spot of McBryde who will begin the year on the disabled list.
Thus far, Logan Forsythe may lead all hitters mentioned with his pitch selection and ability to do multiple things. Sawyer Carroll is close behind with Jaff Decker in the mix because of their ability to do damage and work the count. Both are highly regarded by pitchers and hitters alike.
On the pitching front, prospects are asked what pitch they would like to have in their arsenal or which pitcher they are glad is a teammate.
Simon Castro, not unexpectedly, has been mentioned by many because of his wipeout slider. Wynn Pelzer also is highly ranked with his two-seam fastball, and Brandon Gomes leads all relievers with his splitter.
"You got to body up," Mikolas said to a laughing crew of other pitchers.
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