PEORIA, Ariz. – Spring Training games for minor league clubs started yesterday and with it, some of the top prospects in all of baseball were on display for the San Diego Padres. LHP MacKenzie Gore, LHP Adrian Morejon, and RHP Luis Patino all took the mound against non-Padre hitters for the first time this year to rave reviews.
In fact, as players were getting ready to start their bullpen today, you could still hear players talking about what happened yesterday. Here are some other news and notes from today in and around the back fields.
- Today’s bullpens sessions saw two other top prospects take the mound. RHP Reggie Lawson and LHP Ryan Weathers both threw bullpens. While we were hoping to see more of Reggie Lawson’s new slider, both pitchers threw almost nothing but fastballs. Each was free and easy with good life on their fastballs. They should both see live games Monday and Tuesday
- On the Padre’s official roster Allen Cordoba is now being listed as an outfielder and worked out with a group featuring Tirso Ornelas, Jeisson Rosario, and Agustin Ruiz.
- Speaking of Agustin Ruiz, he is listed as six-foot-two and 175-pounds. While the height is probably accurate, he bulked up quite a bit over the offseason and hit a few towering drives during batting practice.
- In the infield, Luis Almanzar was showing off his defensive ability at third base and his new-look swing. He made a nice diving stop down the line to rob one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ prospects of a would-be double. The next inning he showed off his new swing, without a leg kick. Of the ten shortstops the Padres signed as part of the great 2016 J2 class, Almanzar received the largest bonus ($4 million) but hit just .176/.257/.249 last year in Fort Wayne. Hopefully, the new swing will help, he had a double and a walk in the game. Check out his old swing compared to the new swing. Also, his days at shortstop are probably over with the depth the organization has at the position.
- Reiss Knehr got the start and threw three innings in one of the games. He mainly sat 92-93 with good life on his pitches. Knehr struggled with commanding his secondary pitches, but it was also his first spring training start. The Padres are stretching him out and he should be ticketed for the Fort Wayne rotation.
- Henry Henry took the mound later in the game and looked like a major leaguer on a rehab assignment. He was effortlessly blowing people away. He sat 93-96 on his fastball, and then tossed up an 81 mph change for the strikeout.
The man so nice they named him twice, Henry Henry is healthy and dominating. pic.twitter.com/2s556ybnz9
— madfriars (@madfriars) March 17, 2019
- Speaking of unfair, as Henry was finishing up his second inning of work, you could hear a loud “*crack* of a mitt from across the complex. Quickly you saw a multitude of fans and players walk over to see who it was. The pitcher was none other than Jordan Guerrero. The BIG right-hander (six-foot-five, and maybe a tad under 300 pounds) was letting it rip. Guerrero sat 95 topping out at 98 mph on his fastball with good movement. He also through a 91 mph slider which made Reggie Lawson exclaim “now that’s just unfair.” Guerrero ran into some trouble as hitters would barely foul off his fastball, but then have their bat sped up from a change that they hit for a single. Reminiscent of Andrew Cashner, but let’s move on.
- While which team a player plays with early in the spring training is not indicative of where they will end up, especially with so many players still in big league camp, it was interesting to see how the infields shook out at the various levels. In the game of mainly Lake Elsinore players, the infield was Esteury Ruiz (3B), Gabriel Arias (SS), Tucupita Marcano (2B), and Blake Hunt (now splitting time between first base and catcher). In the Fort Wayne game, the infield was Almanzar (3B), Justin Lopez (SS), Edwards (2B), and Carlos Luis (1B). The extended game saw Jodry Barley (3B), Reinaldo Illaraza (SS), Lee Solomon (2B), and Greg Lambert (1B).
- More to come tomorrow as former top 100 prospect, RHP Anderson Espinoza, throws his first bullpen in over a year