Shields' seventh Opening Day start promises to be special one

New Padres pitcher to face Kershaw, favorite childhood team at Dodger Stadium

Shields' seventh Opening Day start promises to be special one

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As a Southern California native, James Shields grew up going to games at Dodger Stadium. But in his nine-year career, he's never once gotten the chance to pitch there.

That will change on Opening Day.

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

Black hasn't ruled out batting Alonso second in Padres lineup

Black hasn't ruled out batting Alonso second in Padres lineup

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Bud Black is the first to admit that Yonder Alonso doesn't necessarily fit the No. 2 hitter prototype. That doesn't mean the Padres' skipper has ruled out batting Alonso second in the order this season against right-handed pitchers.

Alonso batted second on Thursday and Friday, and the results -- coincidental or not -- were as good as they possibly could have been. In six plate appearances, he went 5-for-5 with a walk before receiving a day off on Saturday.

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

Ross punches out a dozen Rangers in sparkling performance

Padres righty allows one run, six hits in six innings

Ross punches out a dozen Rangers in sparkling performance

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In what began as a pretty good pitching duel between the Texas bullpen and San Diego starter Tyson Ross ended up with the Padres holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon.

Ross went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out 12. His career-high in the regular season is 11 and the most in a Spring Training game since Alex Cobb of the Rays on March 22, 2014. Ross, lined up to be the No. 2 starter in the Padres rotation, has a 2.89 ERA this spring and opponents are hitting .203 off him.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres send Goebbert, Wallace, Decker to Minors camp

Padres send Goebbert, Wallace, Decker to Minors camp

The Padres made a trio of roster moves on Saturday morning, reassigning infielders Jake Goebbert and Brett Wallace and catcher Cody Decker to Minor League camp.

The club now has 40 players remaining in big league camp.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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

'I can play everywhere': Solarte embraces versatile bench role

Padres switch-hitter gets spring starts at second, third and first

'I can play everywhere': Solarte embraces versatile bench role

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Before the clubhouse guys started the process of packing up some equipment to send to Petco Park this week, infielder Yangervis Solarte's clubhouse locker was cluttered chaos.

Bats, batting gloves and workout gear were stuffed into every nook and cranny, mostly because the storage area above the locker was already spoken for.

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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.

Power-pitcher Gustave to make Padres debut

22-year-old considered longshot to make club

Power-pitcher Gustave to make Padres debut

PEORIA, Ariz. -- He has played in the Astros system, was taken by the Red Sox in December's Rule 5 Draft and later traded to the Royals. Then on Thursday, pitcher Jandel Gustave was claimed off waivers by the Padres.

What have the past five months been like for the 22-year-old right-hander?

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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.

Shields labors in last spring start, Venable lifts Padres over Rox

San Diego starter allows 3 earned runs on 6 hits

Shields labors in last spring start, Venable lifts Padres over Rox

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Will Venable's opposite-field, two-run double in the eighth inning Friday lifted the Padres to a 7-5 victory over the Rockies in a Cactus League Game at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Before Venable's hit, projected Opening Day starters Kyle Kendrick and James Shields labored.

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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

Jim Callis

MLB Pipeline checks in from Padres camp

Top-ranked Renfroe, Hedges holdovers in system, with lower-level talent on the rise

MLB Pipeline checks in from Padres camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camp, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com will be visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the San Diego Padres.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' farm system has taken on a dramatically different look since the club hired A.J. Preller as general manager last August. In a series of trades to acquire the likes of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Justin Upton, Preller gave up 10 players on the organization's Top 20 Prospects list from a year ago at this time.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despaigne powers through in battle for rotation spot

Despaigne powers through in battle for rotation spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With Spring Training coming down to the nitty-gritty, the fight for roster spots and slots in the starting rotation are narrowing.

Thursday's 3-3 tie between the D-backs' and Padres in a Cactus League game at Salt River Fields featured just another such tussle: San Diego right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne and Arizona righty Chase Anderson are both vying for slots in the back end of their respective rotations.

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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.

International scouting director Kemp leads charge abroad

Padres have signed 12 since October, more potentially on the way

International scouting director Kemp leads charge abroad

PEORIA, Ariz. -- From his home in Charlotte, Chris Kemp could -- and did -- cover a lot of ground scouting amateur players for the Rangers in his 2009 Dodge Charger. Covering a territory that included eastern Tennessee and the Carolinas, Kemp put 290,000 miles on the car in five years, running it often and running it hard.

These days, though, five months into the job as the Padres' director of international scouting, Kemp has traded those long hours in the Charger for frequent flyer miles and remote locations.

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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.

Norris looking to break out after big day at plate

Struggling catcher homers, singles vs. Dodgers in first spring with Padres

Norris looking to break out after big day at plate

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On Wednesday, Derek Norris became the last of general manager A.J. Preller's notable offseason acquisitions to reach the cheap seats, as the Padres' catcher hit his first home run of the spring against the Dodgers.

In all honesty, Norris, who had scuffled offensively in Cactus League play, would have been content with a clean single at that point.

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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 claim hard-throwing Gustave off waivers

Right-hander, Rule 5 Draft pick may challenge for spot in bullpen

Padres claim hard-throwing Gustave off waivers

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres claimed 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave off of waivers from the Royals on Thursday, which on the surface appeared to be a simple transaction.

However, it might complicate what is already a muddled bullpen situation for the Padres, who will break camp and head to San Diego in exactly 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.

Lane allows three homers, hits one of his own against LA

New Padres catcher Norris belts first dinger

Lane allows three homers, hits one of his own against LA

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke homered Wednesday at Camelback Ranch in the Dodgers' 9-5 win over the Padres, who got home runs from catcher Derek Norris and starting pitcher Jason Lane.

The Dodgers used relievers throughout, beginning with Juan Nicasio, who allowed two runs in three innings. The fourth Dodgers pitcher, J.P. Howell, was the first one to go unscored upon. Yimi Garcia, the club's No. 15 prospect according to MLB.com, closed the game out with a scoreless ninth and remains in the running for one of the two open bullpen spots.

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

Playing games in Mexico high on CEO Dee's to-do list

Team president also wants to expand Padres' footprint in nearby Southern Calif. counties

Playing games in Mexico high on CEO Dee's to-do list

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On April 9, the Padres will unveil the largest video board in the National League for the team's home opener at Petco Park against the Giants.

On July 12, 2016, the team will host baseball's All-Star Game, the first time the Midsummer Classic has been played in San Diego since 1992.

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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.

Morrow scratched due to blister

Fellow fifth-starter candidate Despaigne to fill in

Morrow scratched due to blister

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow, one of two candidates for the fifth spot in the Padres' rotation, will not take his normal turn Thursday because of a blister on his right ring finger.

"It's a little bit of a setback for Brandon because it takes him off his schedule a little bit. But these things happen in training camp," said Padres manager Bud Black.

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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.

After sluggish start to spring, Kelley rounding into form

Armed with solid slider, Padres reliever inside fastball to righty hitters

After sluggish start to spring, Kelley rounding into form

PEORIA, Ariz. -- For a new guy trying to make a good first impression, Padres reliever Shawn Kelley didn't exactly get off to a strong start when Cactus League games began.

Kelley, acquired in December from the Yankees, allowed home runs in each of his first two appearances, though the 30-year-old righty wasn't about to fret about the long balls.

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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.

Still plenty of questions for Padres, Preller to answer

Still plenty of questions for Padres, Preller to answer

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The first four-plus weeks of Spring Training have been nearly devoid of drama for the Padres, other than the right knee injury earlier this month that led to surgery for backup catcher Tim Federowicz.

But the final 10 days of camp, and the time leading up to Opening Day on April 6, might just hold a bit more suspense and intrigue.

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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' new sluggers overpower Mariners

Upton swats third spring HR; Kemp, Middlebrooks rack up 2 hits

Padres' new sluggers overpower Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Justin Upton hit his third home run of the spring and Matt Kemp added two hits as the Padres defeated the Mariners, 6-4, on Tuesday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Upton connected for a two-run home run in the third inning off Mariners left-hander J.A. Happ. Happ allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts on 80 pitches.

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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

No question: Padres, Preller want to re-up Upton

First-year GM makes it clear club would like long-term deal with All-Star outfielder

No question: Padres, Preller want to re-up Upton

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The long-term future for Justin Upton is wide open. The Padres only hope that the future beyond this season will include them.

New general manager A.J. Preller obtained the two-time All-Star outfielder from the Braves on Dec. 19 as a high-impact player for the 2015 Padres, who could be heading toward a significant renaissance.

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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.

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

All-Star from 2009-11 with Padres, fiery reliever bows out after 11-season career

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

Heath Bell turned down the stereo long enough in his 31-foot Fleetwood RV on Tuesday afternoon to take a few questions about the next chapter in his life, although he didn't take the foot off the gas pedal, as he bombed his way across the Florida Panhandle.

A day after being released by the Nationals, Bell was only a few hours into what he was expecting to be a three-day solo drive back to San Diego, where he will join his wife, Nicole, and their four children for good.

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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.

Ross joins Hooton Foundation Advisory Board

Ross joins Hooton Foundation Advisory Board

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Padres pitcher Tyson Ross  is joining the fight against the use of performance-enhancing drugs by the youth of America.

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Padres send down catching prospect Hedges

Club expects 22-year-old to reach Majors soon; Triple-A El Paso likely destination

Padres send down catching prospect Hedges

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres reassigned catcher Austin Hedges to Minor League camp on Tuesday, hopeful that the next time he comes to big league camp for Spring Training that he might stay for good.

No one came out and said as much Tuesday, but the implication was that Hedges, rated the team's No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, is at the point in his career where he's close to 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.

Little-known lefty began Preller's reshaping of club

Before landing stars, Bartsch acquired in Padres GM's first deal

Little-known lefty began Preller's reshaping of club

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Before Padres general manager A.J. Preller set the baseball world on its collective ear with a series of stunning December trades, acquiring Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and several more, there was Kyle Bartsch.

That's right: The "rockstar GM," as Kemp dubbed Preller, made his first deal for Bartsch, a 24-year-old Minor League left-handed pitcher.

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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.

Watch Tyson Ross score a trick shot

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Watch Tyson Ross score a trick shot

We already know and accept that professional athletes run faster, jump higher, and throw harder than us mere mortals. But it's not really fair that they can score lucky trick shots better than us, too. After all, they're supposed to be the once-in-a-lifetime shots that regular schmoes like you or me use to become Internet famous.

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Benoit getting better with age

Experienced closer continues to dominate hitters

Benoit getting better with age

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Come July, Padres closer Joaquin Benoit will turn 38, which might normally have merited cause for concern in terms of regression or at least imminent signs of such.

But Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley, who has presided over bullpens that have included All-Star closers Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell and Huston Street, doesn't buy the trepidation.

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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.

Johnson shakes off rust in first bullpen session

Right-hander throws 20 pitches, feels 'great'

Johnson shakes off rust in first bullpen session

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The only hiccup that Josh Johnson encountered Monday in his first bullpen session since having Tommy John surgery last April was trying to gauge exactly what 50-percent intensity was.

"The whole 50-percent thing was kind of tough," said Johnson, who was told that was the level that he was to operate at during his session. "You do not want to go out there too hard and you don't want to ease off it too much, then you kind of lose control.

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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.

Gyorko working to get back in the swing of things

Second baseman emphasizing mechanics during extra morning sessions

Gyorko working to get back in the swing of things

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Shirt soaked in sweat, hands still wrapped in batting gloves, Jedd Gyorko allowed himself a moment to rest Monday morning, dropping down into a chair in front of his clubhouse locker.

It wasn't even 8 a.m., but the Padres second baseman had already gotten in an extensive workout in the covered hitting area, working with hitting coaches Mark Kotsay and Alonzo Powell on his swing.

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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.

Ross tosses five scoreless as Padres roll

Allows one hit, whiffs 5; Maybin has 2 RBIs

Ross tosses five scoreless as Padres roll

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Tyson Ross tossed five scoreless innings, striking out five, and Cameron Maybin knocked in two runs with a double Monday as the Padres topped the White Sox, 10-4, in a Cactus League game at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Ross allowed one walk and one hit, and that hit was lost in the sun by Maybin, in center field in the fourth inning. Cory Spangenberg drove in three runs with a seventh-inning triple, and Jake Goebbert had an RBI double and Abraham Almonte had a sac fly in the eighth. With the win, the Padres improved to 10-10.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.