Randy Smith on Padres prospects

With a month gone in the minor league season, San Diego Padres director of player development and international scouting Randy Smith updates the long injury list, pitching in extended and overall impressions.

Does it feel like there have been more injuries than usual this season?

Randy Smith: That is an understatement. We got rocked really hard the first two or three weeks of the season. We had at one point nine different infielders go down. That made it challenging.

We played with three of our top prospects out with Jaff Decker, Cory Luebke and Logan Forsythe out. That is three of our top whatever number you want to put on it guys – top guys.

As you mentioned, there have been a number of injuries that we would like to get updates regarding. We start with Luebke, who you mentioned:

Randy Smith: He is doing really well. He is throwing pain-free. No problem with the rib cage. I think he has thrown two pens now. I am guessing June 1, or somewhere in there.

On Decker:

Randy Smith: It has been slow. He keeps getting fatigued and cramping. At this point, I am hoping within another week. He has yet to play nine innings and has yet to play back-to-back. He has to do those things before we can send him out. You don't want to send him out and have him right back in Arizona. That is another month or six weeks.

On Forsythe:

Randy Smith: He is probably about a month away.

On Steve Garrison:

Randy Smith: He is doing very well. He is close to Luebke's timetable. Maybe early June. He is throwing pens. He has yet to throw an inning but is getting close. The knee is pain-free, no problems, and the arm is fine.

On Lake Elsinore injuries:

Randy Smith: You had Blake Tekotte with a hamstring – he is fine. Cumby (Drew Cumberland) was down, and, obviously, Decker. That has been a struggle there.

On Adam Zornes:

Randy Smith: And Zornes. That is four guys (regulars) off that club. He caught two bullpens the other day. He is doing his pre-game work. I am guessing June for him as well before he is active in Elsinore.

On Rafeal Arias:

Randy Smith: The timetable with him is a little fuzzy. He has had shoulder and elbow woes. At this point, we don't have a timetable.

On Drew Miller:

Randy Smith: He is throwing. He threw four innings the other day. His velocity has been pretty good. He is probably pretty close to being ready to go.

On Jackson Quezada:

Randy Smith: We sent him out and probably pushed it a little bit. He felt he was ready. We could have taken a little more time. He had a relapse with that shoulder. He is making progress. The shoulder is strong and he is pain-free. We will progress him back into the throwing program. I would guess another month.

On Chris Fetter:

Randy Smith: He is a ways away. He wont resume throwing for another for month. We will probably crank his throwing program up in June. He is a couple of months away from returning from his elbow injury.

You left youngsters James Needy, Adys Portillo, Keyvius Sampson and Matt Lollis in extended – how have they looked?

Randy Smith: Lollis, Portillo, Sampson have all been very good. Needy has had some knee problems and has been a little inconsistent.

In normal years, all of those guys would have had a chance to make a club. Our pitching has been so good, really throughout the entire system.

Can you give us a scouting report on Daniel Sarria.

Randy Smith: He knows how to pitch. His fastball is average. He knows how to change his speeds on everything. He has a good changeup – a great feel for pitching. He is mature. He was throwing six or seven pitches at one point. We have him down to four. They are all pretty good – average pitches with good command and good movement. The feel for pitching is one of his strengths.

Juan Oramas was the first guy you really promoted within the system. What was it you saw from him?

Randy Smith: We promoted him really because of the injury to Fetter. This guy is mature beyond his years. A left-hander whose fastball is uo to 93. Five dominant outings in Fort Wayne. We had to send a guy and he was the obvious choice because of where his secondary pitches were, his feel for pitching, and the ability to handle the Cal League and hitter's ballpark as well as anyone else because of his experience in Mexico City.

What has been your overall impression of the system through the first month of the year?

Randy Smith: We figured the fort Wayne club would be right around .500 for most of the first half of the year. As those kids got their feet on the ground and it warmed up, they would improve. Those guys are where we expected.

The biggest thing for us has been that we aren't swinging the bats well in some places. That is somewhat expected. I think you will see the offense pickup in San Antonio, and hopefully Portland too. It has been hard to have a consistent lineup anywhere. Portland we lost two second baseman and Lance Zawadzki to the big leagues, that's three infielders off that club. It has been a battle to have a regular lineup.

The pitching, up and down, I have been very pleased with. The offense has been sporadic and we need to have that stabilized.

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