Healthy again, Spangenberg aims to reclaim job

A torn left quad wiped out nearly his entire 2016

Healthy again, Spangenberg aims to reclaim job

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It had been a while since Cory Spangenberg found himself in a batters' box during a game. He wasn't about to lay off the first pitch.

"I was going to swing if it was anywhere close," said Spangenberg, who missed 5 1/2 months last season with a torn left quad. "I was ready to go and get it out of the way."

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres' Vargas trying to make up for lost time

Rotation hopeful looks sharp vs. Mariners

Padres' Vargas trying to make up for lost time

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Seemingly out of nowhere, Cesar Vargas' big league dream became a reality in 2016. It ended just as quickly.

The even-keeled right-hander paired a nasty cutter with remarkable poise during his first six career starts. He appeared to be entrenching himself in the San Diego rotation -- potentially for years to come.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Margot, Jankowski get long looks in center

Margot, Jankowski get long looks in center

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The race for the starting center-field job figures to be one of the hottest competitions in Padres camp, where Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski are set to share time.

For Saturday's Cactus League opener gainst Seattle, it was Margot in center and Jankowski in left. Is that worth reading into?

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jankowski goes deep in spring opener

PEORIA -- The Peoria Sports Complex unveiled a shiny new HD scoreboard beyond the left-center field wall on Saturday. Nelson Cruz nearly hit it with his first swing of Spring Training.

The Seattle slugger launched a three-run first-inning blast off Paul Clemens, and the Mariners opened Cactus League play with a 13-3 victory over San Diego on Saturday.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres sticking with basics in Cactus opener

Just days after first full-squad workout, team will ease into things

Padres sticking with basics in Cactus opener

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Are you ready for some baseball? Of course you are.

But are the Padres ready for some baseball? That's a better question.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Urias playing for Mexico a 'dream come true'

Padres infield prospect added to team this week

Urias playing for Mexico a 'dream come true'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Luis Urias has dreamed of playing at Petco Park since he signed out of Mexico in 2013.

The 19-year-old prospect is still a longshot to do so for the Padres in 2017. But he could end up playing ball in the East Village very soon anyway.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aybar sees bright future for nephew Franco

Talented 15-year-old turning heads on the international market

Aybar sees bright future for nephew Franco

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Wander Samuel Franco is a young, switch-hitting shortstop in the Dominican Republic with big league dreams and a serious chance to make a name for himself one day.

Erick Aybar knows exactly what that's like.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schimpf combines power and patience at plate

Schimpf combines power and patience at plate

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Suffice it to say, Ryan Schimpf will never be known for his batting average.

Among the 2016 numbers on the back of Schimpf's baseball card, some jump out as impressive and others are downright incredible. But his batting average -- which hovered around .220 and settled at .217 -- isn't going to turn any heads.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andy Green's extra-innings idea: HR Derby

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Andy Green's extra-innings idea: HR Derby

For a brief moment, Andy Green almost seemed serious about his plan to streamline extra-inning games.

"Probably after the 12th inning, I'd have a Home Run Derby," the Padres skipper said with a smirk. "The fans would gravitate to that, save the arms, let those guys hit. It'd be like a shootout in soccer."

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Padres' Richard, Sanchez miss workout

Batter's box mishaps give way to minor bumps, bruises

Padres' Richard, Sanchez miss workout

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After a week of workouts, the Padres are dealing with a few bumps and bruises.

On Wednesday, southpaw Clayton Richard was struck by a pitch on his left hand while bunting. Meanwhile, catcher Hector Sanchez fouled a ball off his foot during batting practice.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Fowler certain Padres are on the rise

Fowler certain Padres are on the rise

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres open their 48th season against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on April 3, and by all accounts, the franchise is heading in the right direction.

The days of piecing it together with veterans are over, and since the last Draft, the Padres have invested more than $70 million in young domestic and international amateur players.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Plenty of jobs to be won in Padres' camp

Plenty of jobs to be won in Padres' camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres open Cactus League play Saturday against the Mariners. Manager Andy Green said on Wednesday that a little more than a month before the opening of the regular season in Los Angeles, only three players have secured spots in the lineup.

Barring any injuries, newly extended Wil Myers is at first base, Yangervis Solarte will play second or third and Austin Hedges is the catcher.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres considering new way to use SP depth

Piggybacking starters among unique ideas team could try in 2017

Padres considering new way to use SP depth

PHOENIX -- The Padres are already tinkering with a few outside-the-box ideas to try this season.

They entered camp with Christian Bethancourt as a pitcher/catcher/outfielder hybrid. They're going to try putting their two best defensive outfielders in the corners during Cactus League play.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rule 5 picks have legit shot of making Padres

Diaz, Torrens, Cordoba will get plenty of opportunities to show wares

Rule 5 picks have legit shot of making Padres

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A week into Spring Training, youth has become the theme at the Peoria Sports Complex. But even by Padres clubhouse standards, Miguel Diaz, Luis Torrens and Allen Cordoba stand out.

Among the three Rule 5 Draft selections, none has played a game above Class A, and Diaz, who turned 22 in November, is the oldest.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres set with current crop of players

GM Preller doesn't expect any adds before start of regular season

Padres set with current crop of players

PHOENIX -- There's already plenty of competition for roster spots in Padres camp. But don't expect more names to be added to the mix before Opening Day.

Speaking at Tuesday's Cactus League Media Day at the Arizona Biltmore, general manager A.J. Preller said he doesn't foresee any Major League transactions in the near future.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clemens slated to start Cactus opener

29-year-old right-hander trying to nab rotation spot

Clemens slated to start Cactus opener

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Paul Clemens will get the first chance to state his case in the Padres' wide-open race for starting rotation spots.

The 29-year-old right-hander -- one of about 11 starting pitchers fighting for a roster spot -- has been tabbed for San Diego's Cactus League opener Saturday against Seattle.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres hold 32-player ping pong tournament in camp

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Padres hold 32-player ping pong tournament in camp

Imagine Duke and Kentucky squaring off in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Evidently the Padres clubhouse reached that level of intensity during Monday's team meeting.

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Maton emerging as bullpen option

23-year-old with unique repertoire attempting to earn bullpen spot

Maton emerging as bullpen option

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It was the easiest job Austin Hedges ever had.

Phil Maton, promoted for Triple-A El Paso's title push, was handed the closer role in September. And Hedges knew exactly what to ask for: fastballs. High-spin, four-seam fastballs -- in every count.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Capps' delivery legal if drag replaces hop

Padres not concerned with righty's mechanics this early in camp

Capps' delivery legal if drag replaces hop

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Carter Capps' bullpen session Tuesday -- his first of Spring Training -- sparked plenty of debate over his unorthodox delivery.

The Padres have since spoken with Major League Baseball and clarified that so long as Capps drags his push-off foot, it will be deemed a legal pitching motion. Essentially, if Capps pitches in the same manner he did during his breakout 2015 season, he won't be penalized.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weaver joins Padres with 'a lot to prove'

Green praises valuable experience added to rotation

Weaver joins Padres with 'a lot to prove'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As if seeing Jered Weaver wearing blue -- following 11 seasons in Angels red -- wasn't enough, the veteran right-hander arrived in Padres camp with a No. 27 jersey hanging in his locker.

"I figured I've got to hit," said Weaver, who donned 36 during his time in Anaheim. "So I went Mike Trout on them."

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jered Weaver will wear No. 27 because of Mike Trout

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Jered Weaver will wear No. 27 because of Mike Trout

Jered Weaver racked up 150 victories and three top-five Cy Young Award finishes with the Angels, but he collected only four singles, with the last coming back in 2012. Not too surprising considering that he's, you know, a pitcher in the American League. But when it came time to pick out his number after signing with the Padres, Weaver knew the best person to emulate: Mike Trout and his No. 27.

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Fowler: 'I think we're going to have some fun'

San Diego executive chairman excited for future

Fowler: 'I think we're going to have some fun'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Over the past few months, executive chairman Ron Fowler has made clear his excitement for the Padres' future. And his actions have spoken louder than his words, given the club's unprededented investments on the amateur and international market.

Of course, Fowler -- who addressed the Padres before their first full-squad workout on Saturday -- is also quite eager to find out what the current season holds in store.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bethancourt impresses in 1st spring bullpen session

Bethancourt impresses in 1st spring bullpen session

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Standing by the interview area next to the Padres' main practice field, Christian Bethancourt watched as his catching brethren went through their daily running routine. For the first time he could recall, he wasn't among them.

On Friday, "catcher Christian Bethancourt" gave way to "right-handed pitcher Christian Bethancourt," who threw his first official bullpen session of Spring Training. He tossed 25 pitches to catcher Rocky Gale, and the San Diego staff came away impressed with his command and improved mechanics.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gwynn's legacy off the field remembered

Gwynn's legacy off the field remembered

SAN DIEGO -- Tony Gwynn's legendary swing is immortalized beyond right-center field at Petco Park, his perfect stroke from the left-handed batters' box cutting through the strike zone belt-high.

At the recent Celebrate San Diego rally, lines of fans formed around the likeness of Gwynn, and multiple parents posed for pictures with their children in front of it. As if on cue, they knelt and talked into their kids' ears, while motioning toward the larger-than-life statue.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glove Day a lot like Christmas for Padres

Glove Day a lot like Christmas for Padres

PEORIA, Ariz. -- He may be a big league ballplayer, but on the day his new gloves arrive each spring, Travis Jankowski becomes a kid again.

When the Padres center fielder entered the Peoria Sports Complex on Saturday morning for Glove Day, a pair of customized Wilson gloves with "H" webbing were waiting for him.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.