PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres figure to use the remaining five or so weeks of Spring Training to decide who will be their fifth starter in their rotation, a competition manager Bud Black has described as wide open.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The fog of anesthesia was just beginning to clear that morning last February when Cory Luebke, resting inside of a recovery room after his second Tommy John surgery in 21 months, noticed there was a couple in the room with him.
The man happened to be Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, the Iron Man himself. Ripken was at the Pensacola, Fla., clinic of noted surgeon James Andrews with his wife, who had also had surgery.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Josh Johnson said he was excited Thursday at the prospect of throwing a bullpen session in the near future, which would be a significant milestone for him in his return from Tommy John surgery last April.
Johnson, who is currently playing long toss three times a week from 180 feet, will increase his distance to 200-plus feet next week, and he will throw twice a week.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As part of his tour of Major League camps this spring, Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark stopped at Padres' camp Thursday.
He saw a few familiar faces -- Clark played for the Padres and manager Bud Black for part of the 2008 season -- and answered questions from players, some about baseball's new pace-of-play rules.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Spotting a familiar face in the Padres' clubhouse early Wednesday morning, Matt Kemp presented a bright smile and a hand to shake, soon followed by a question.
"Who," he said, "do you think has the best outfield in the game now?"
Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Austin Hedges is well aware that after two grim offensive seasons in the Texas League, his star has, apparently, dimmed in the eyes of some who compile prospect lists.
"I'm aware of almost all of those lists," Hedges said, sitting in front of his locker. "But the second that I start thinking about negative thoughts ... that won't get me any better today.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Two days after narrowly missing out on the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes, Padres officials weren't kicking themselves over what might have been.
Instead, executive chairman Ron Fowler and team president and CEO Mike Dee were champing at the bit Wednesday over what might be.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' annual minicamp for many of the organization's top prospects got underway Wednesday at the team's Spring Training facility.
All told, 39 players -- 16 pitchers, five catchers, nine infielders and nine outfielders -- began drills as well as individualized instruction from the organization's Minor League coordinators, managers and coaches.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- It appears a change of scenery could be very well in store for Carlos Quentin this spring.
Such as moving from the outfield to first base, a position that Quentin has never played in his 11-year professional career.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The curious case of Trea Turner took another twist Tuesday when the Padres' 2014 first-round Draft pick arrived in Peoria, a surprise addition to big league camp.
Turner is purportedly the player to be named and sent to the Nationals in the three-team trade that also involved the Rays in December. His name is not included in the paperwork between the Padres and Nationals.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- New outfielder Matt Kemp has had two months to digest the news that he has arthritis in both of his hips, a detail that was revealed publicly after he took a physical before his December trade from the Dodgers to the Padres was officially consummated.
What has Kemp done to address the situation, and what will he do moving forward?
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres weren't able to land 19-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada on Monday, though it wasn't due to a lack of effort.
The Padres are believed to have made an offer in the neighborhood of $25 million for the switch-hitter, according to a baseball source.
"I feel when I'm in center field, I give us the best chance out there," Maybin said. "… To me, it's an open competition. Everyone better be ready."
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The first go-around in the big leagues last season for Padres pitcher Kevin Quackenbush proved to be the kind of whirlwind endeavor that you might expect a rookie to experience his first time on the big stage.
And we're not exclusively talking about the adjustment from getting Minor League hitters out to trying to do the same in the big leagues.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Pitcher Casey Kelly remained sidelined Monday with a strained groin, though he felt a bit encouraged that the injury won't keep him away from the mound for long.
"It feels a little better today than it did yesterday," Kelly said Monday morning.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- When he was 21, Mark Prior made his Major League debut for the Cubs. By the time he was 23, Prior was tossing a gem in Game 5 of the National League Division Series and had the Cubs just five outs away from the World Series in 2003.
In 2006, at 25, Prior had thrown his last pitch, his career derailed by maddening injuries, though he kept trying to work his way back until he finally retired in the winter of 2013 to take a baseball-operations job with the Padres.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the Padres go about looking at players who will comprise their bench for this season, they will look for players who can serve a variety of roles.
Bat off the bench late in games, a player with speed, a left-handed bat and someone who offers some degree of versatility.
If his schedule allows for it Sunday, Padres' Minor League pitcher Jason Lane might tune in to the Academy Awards - though it's not because he's much of a film buff.
Lane has a vested interest of sorts in seeing if 'Boyhood' takes home the Oscar for Best Picture,. All told, the film is nominated for six awards.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Ryley Westman's voice almost drips with passion when he talks about catching and the mechanics of the position, from the smallest nuances to the big-picture elements that go into the job.
Westman, the organization's first-year Minor League catching coordinator, is in big league camp this week working with the seven catchers on various drills to help prepare them for the upcoming season.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Reconstructive elbow surgery wiped out Casey Kelly's entire 2013 season and a hiccup in his rehabilitation program last season limited him to just 20 1/3 innings, a development that did not just halt his development, but rendered him frustrated to no end.
"For yourself, as an athlete, you prove your worth by playing," Kelly said Saturday morning, sitting inside the Padres' clubhouse. "And when you're not playing, you can't prove your worth. You're not out there with your teammates helping them win games."
PEORIA, Ariz. -- If you have ever attended or watched a Spring Training game, you inevitably know what happens around the sixth or seventh inning -- the mass exodus of starting players, particularly those with the most Major League service time.
As they depart, a fresh group of younger players, some prospects, some roster-filler, take their places. They're easy to spot too. Uniform Nos. 70 and above with no names on the back are often a tell-tale sign.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the longest-tenured member of the Padres coaching staff, Darren Balsley might be the perfect guy to peg for an answer when it comes to picking the club's top rotation in recent memory.
But as the team's pitching coach since 2003, Balsley admits to having an affinity for all of them, which is not exactly a strong case for an unbiased opinion.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Derek Norris caught his first bullpen session on Friday, though the Padres' new catcher didn't feel completely blind in terms of working with a new staff.
Norris, acquired from the A's in December, got a head start this offseason in learning about the pitchers that he'll be catching this season -- and he didn't have to strap on the tools of ignorance to do so.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres camp opened Friday with pitchers and catchers working out for the first time at the Peoria Sports Complex and, after a winter of high-profile trades and free-agent signings, the clubhouse has a whole new positive feel to it.
On Friday, James Shields was there on one side of the oval-shaped room and Matt Kemp on the other. The nameplates boast a veritable buffet of star players who weren't around when the Padres lost 85 games a year ago. And manager Bud Black is already toying around with a lineup when the Padres open the regular season against the Dodgers and, undoubtedly, ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium on April 6.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- When first-year Padres general manager A.J. Preller set out to remake the team's roster for 2015, his first order of business was adding production.
That said, seven of the players Preller added this offseason come with postseason experience, which was no fluke.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Position players won't be required to report to Padres camp until Tuesday, but outfielder Matt Kemp has already been in Peoria a few days, popping in and out of the cage.
"It is really nothing new for me," Kemp said Thursday in a clubhouse mostly populated by pitchers and catchers. "I've always reported early to camp. And especially now that I'm with a new team, this gives me a chance to get acclimated to some of the guys, hang out and also get some of my work in."
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have gone to great lengths to build up their pitching depth for the upcoming season and, at some point in 2015, could actually add to that mix should Josh Johnson and Cory Luebke return from Tommy John surgery.
Johnson and Luebke are essentially in the final stages of their rehabilitation period from the elbow surgery each had a year ago -- the second for both. Luebke, a left-hander, had his first Tommy John surgery in 2012. Johnson, a righty, had his first in 2007 while with the Marlins.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's finally here, the beginning of Spring Training.
Early Thursday, San Diego pitchers and catchers will trickle into the team's training facility in Peoria, for report date, the official beginning for what could be a season unlike many others.
SEATTLE -- When Mariners and Padres fans arrive in Arizona for the start of Cactus League games in two weeks, they'll be greeted by the sight of a remodeled Peoria Stadium at the teams' Spring Training complex.
The Peoria Sports Complex is in the second stage of a three-year makeover, corresponding with 20-year lease extensions agreed to by the facility's two longtime tenants, the Mariners and Padres.
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are inching closer and closer to the start of Spring Training, as their pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, Ariz., on Thursday with the first workout set for the following day.
Our run-up to Spring Training continues today with a look at the Padres' projected lineup, rotation and the bullpen.