Eugene Emeralds Notebook III

Eugene, OR: With the heat, the Eugene Emeralds had a lighter day in their pre-game. Bullpens and batting practice was all, especially with an 11 o'clock game in the morrow. No sense in tiring them out when they have to come right back to it. Still, there were highlights. Also, a note on the San Diego Padres Instructional League.

  • Connor Powers put on a bit of a show in the batting cage, which drew the ire of hitting coach Shawn Wooten.

    After cracking a homer that went about as far as you can hit it in PK Park, Powers watched the ball leave the yard. Wooten, who was tossing the batting practice session, tossed a pitch behind his head and yelled, ‘What are you looking at?'

    Powers, it turns out, wasn't watching the homer as much as he was watching it make its way towards a Toyota Tundra truck, just to the left of center field. Any player that hits the ball into the window of the truck wins one from Kendall Toyota.

    Even if it was batting practice, it would have been a feat that drew raucuous approval from teammates. The ball hit the front right tire of the truck, about three feet away from the window. It is the closest anyone has come at any point in time to dropping on inside the window.

    "Usually the first round, I try to just hit the barrel (of the bat)," Powers said. "I try to hit it off the L-screen (where the batting practice pitcher is throwing from). If I hit it out, I hit it out.

    Wooten wasn't really upset about it – and any batting practice pitcher will tell you they never liked see the hitter stare down a homer. Even they have their pride.

    Powers, like his namesake, has as much pop as anyone. He has some holes in his swing and must shorten up the stroke to take advantage, especially as he is being feed a steady diet of off-speed pitches.

    The hard work appears to be paying off, as the right-handed hitter waited back on a 1-2 breaking ball and drilled a double into left field in the third inning.

  • Three bullpens happened on Monday. Dexter Carter, Mauricio Tabachnik, and Aaron Everett threw.

    Carter is continuing to work on finishing his pitches out in front to give him a more consistent release, a tad more movement, and better location.

    The big right-hander still has a tendency to fall short with his release, causing the ball to elevate.

    Tabachnik was working on his fastball command. He wants to stay away from the middle of the plate, establishing his heater on the corners.

    "I was working on my fastball down and away," Tabachnik said. " I have been able to command it pretty well lately. Everything comes because of hard work. I need to continue to work hard to consistently throw that pitch down and away.

    "I am also trying to command my slider so I can throw it anytime I want, in any count. I am working on everything."

    Everett doesn't get as many chances to work on his game between outings as a reliever, but the right-hander likes the feel of the mound versus his flat grounds.

    "Being a sinkerball pitcher, I like to work on keeping the ball down and getting ground balls," Everett said. "I try and go in on righties and away from lefties.

    "I like to work on all my pitches. Everyday I do a flat ground but I like to get on the mound to get that downward angle."

    "You really never know when you will get in there. When I get a few days off, I like to get a light pen that way it gets me loose and ready for the game."

  • Word is that the Padres fall Instructional League has been shortened by a week to 25 days. The brass wants a more focused group with specialized instruction in mind, taking out a lot of games as well.

    The roster will be finalized with the night's signings complete with an eye on taking those who need the most instruction. In year's past, it was almost an honor to be taken, regardless of talent level. Now, it will be reserved for those who need it with more concentrated work to aid them for the 2011 season.

  • Infielder Chris Tremblay could be cleared to begin light work by Tuesday. The headaches have subsided and he will be eased back into work. He is hoping to get 10-15 games at the end of what has been a quality year that has seen tremendous growth.
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