Morrow, Despaigne have slight edge in starter battle

Wide-open race for fifth spot also includes Wisler and Erlin

Morrow, Despaigne have slight edge in starter battle

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.

That said, Black said Thursday that Brandon Morrow and Odrisamer Despaigne are "maybe out there a touch," in terms of being ahead of the other candidates in camp.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Luebke determined to pitch again after two Tommy John surgeries

Luebke determined to pitch again after two Tommy John surgeries

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

JJ eager to make progress in throwing program

Righty eyes bullpen session soon; next step is flat-ground session

JJ eager to make progress in throwing program

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLBPA's Clark visits Padres' camp, discusses recent honor

San Diego local thrilled with induction into Breitbard Hall of Fame

MLBPA's Clark visits Padres' camp, discusses recent honor

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Dream team? Kemp thinking big at Padres camp

Slugger brings charm to new clubhouse, confident that Majors' best outfield resides in San Diego

Dream team? Kemp thinking big at Padres camp

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?"

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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.

Hedges shrugs off rankings, focused on Majors

Padres prospect a defensive standout, looking to improve at plate

Hedges shrugs off rankings, focused on Majors

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres eager to make splash internationally

New GM Preller known for strong work in Latin America

Padres eager to make splash internationally

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres get to know prospects at minicamp

Players get head start with drills, individualized instruction

Padres get to know prospects at minicamp

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quentin open to giving first base a try

Padres veteran knows team could trade him to ease glut of outfielders

Quentin open to giving first base a try

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres bring prospect Turner to Majors camp

Shortstop rumored to be headed to Nationals in June to conclude trade

Padres bring prospect Turner to Majors camp

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kemp: Arthritis in hips won't be an issue

Kemp: Arthritis in hips won't be an issue

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?

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres involved 'right up until the end' on Moncada

Padres involved 'right up until the end' on Moncada

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maybin ready to 'put up or shut up'

Center fielder eager to win starting job with Padres

Maybin ready to 'put up or shut up'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Cameron Maybin, who has started in center field for the Padres on Opening Day in three of the past four seasons, isn't ready to concede the position to newcomer Wil Myers.

"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."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres pleased with Quackenbush's growth

After shuttling between Minors and Majors last season, righty ready to prove himself

Padres pleased with Quackenbush's growth

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres prospect Kelly slowed by strained groin

Padres prospect Kelly slowed by strained groin

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prior's perspective valuable to Padres prospects

New Minor League pitching coordinator knows highs, lows of baseball

Prior's perspective valuable to Padres prospects

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bouncing around could help Spangenberg stick

Infielder battling for bench job with Padres picked up skills in outfield

Bouncing around could help Spangenberg stick

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitcher Jason Lane homered in 'Boyhood' (twice)

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Pitcher Jason Lane homered in 'Boyhood' (twice)

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.

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New catching guru excited to join Padres

Westman followed Preller to San Diego, emphasizes good stance

New catching guru excited to join Padres

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelly ready to prove himself after injury-plagued early career

Padres pitcher lost most of two seasons to elbow surgery

Kelly ready to prove himself after injury-plagued early career

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."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres plan on giving veterans more playing time in camp

Black ready to allow tenured players to play longer during spring games

Padres plan on giving veterans more playing time in camp

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Balsley says rotation could be team's best ever

Longest-tenured Padres coach still evaluating his talented core

Balsley says rotation could be team's best ever

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Catcher Norris getting ahead of the curve

Former A's backstop spent offseason studying video of Padres' staff

Catcher Norris getting ahead of the curve

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Revitalized Padres have throwback appeal

New roster reminiscent of '84 and '98 championships squads

Revitalized Padres have throwback appeal

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.

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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' new additions bring playoff clout to revamped club

Shields, Kemp enter camp providing plenty of October experience

Padres' new additions bring playoff clout to revamped club

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kemp arrives early, excited to get started with Padres

Star outfielder energized by new surroundings in first camp with San Diego

Kemp arrives early, excited to get started with Padres

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."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Luebke, Johnson continue on road back from surgery

Padres pitchers share similar medical history, but timelines for return differ

Luebke, Johnson continue on road back from surgery

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

3 questions Padres must answer during Spring Training

After a whirlwind offseason, San Diego has some issues it must address to meet expectations

3 questions Padres must answer during Spring Training

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remodeled Peoria Stadium set for Padres' camp

Complex in midst of three-year makeover to be ready for Cactus League games

Remodeled Peoria Stadium set for Padres' camp

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.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Revamped offense heightens Padres' expectations

Upton, Kemp and Myers give San Diego more lethal lineup

Revamped offense heightens Padres' expectations

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.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.