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.

Padres ink deal with veteran pitcher Weaver

Padres ink deal with veteran pitcher Weaver

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jered Weaver  is set to join a wide-open rotation mix in San Diego, as the veteran right-hander agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Padres on Saturday.

The 34-year-old Weaver, who posted a 3.55 ERA in 11 seasons with the Angels, will likely slot toward the top of the Padres' starting rotation. He'll also serve as a veteran presence in one of baseball's youngest clubhouses.

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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.

Perdomo still refining signature sinker

Perdomo still refining signature sinker

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Luis Perdomo's sinker is such a new pitch, the rest of the baseball world is still learning about it.

Evidently, so is Perdomo.

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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.

Myers sets lofty goal of 40 homers, 40 steals

Padres first baseman also seeks consistency in 2017

Myers sets lofty goal of 40 homers, 40 steals

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In October, Wil Myers -- never one to set the bar low -- proclaimed his desire to reach 30 homers and 30 steals in 2017.

Evidently, his goal has changed a bit.

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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.

Cahill eager to return to rotation

Padres right-hander was valuable bullpen piece for Cubs

Cahill eager to return to rotation

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In two seasons with the Cubs, Trevor Cahill became a very useful bullpen piece, posting a 2.61 ERA in 61 appearances.

Now, the veteran right-hander is eyeing a return to the rotation, where he spent the first six years of his career. That opportunity is part of the reason he inked a one-year deal with the Padres during the offseason.

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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 reliever Capps on track for '17 opener

Padres reliever Capps on track for '17 opener

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On the first day of his recovery from Tommy John surgery last year, Carter Capps set a goal.

"March 8, I had surgery," Capps said. "March 9, I wanted to be ready for [the following] Opening Day. I knew I was going to miss that season, but I really wanted to push the envelope, attack the rehab and get after it. That was always my goal, to be ready for Opening Day."

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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 will experiment with options for CF

Padres will experiment with options for CF

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski, the Padres boast two of the best defensive center fielders in baseball -- a duo that will spend plenty of time sharing the outfield this year.

So who plays center when they're both in the lineup?

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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.

Watch Carter Capps' leaping throw in slo-mo

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Watch Carter Capps' leaping throw in slo-mo

In 2015, Carter Capps blitzed batters with a 1.16 ERA and 16.8 K/9 in 31 IP. Thanks to his bizarre, jumping delivery, his 98-mph fastball looked even faster. Those few inches closer to the plate made his average perceived velocity jump up to 101.7 -- even higher than Aroldis Chapman's 100.8 mark that year. 

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Bethancourt eyes rare pitcher-catcher role

25-year-old's transformation continues, might also include outfield work

Bethancourt eyes rare pitcher-catcher role

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Never before has the phrase "pitchers and catchers report" been taken quite so literally.

Christian Bethancourt was among the Padres in camp Tuesday, the team's mandatory report date for pitchers and catchers.

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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.

Competitions await as pitchers get underway

Few roles are set in Padres rotation, bullpen

Competitions await as pitchers get underway

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres pitchers and catchers officially reported to the club's Spring Training complex Tuesday. In doing so, they brought the palpable sense of excitement that comes with the start of any new season.

So what does reporting day -- one of the most highly anticipated dates on the calendar for many fans -- mean to Padres skipper Andy Green?

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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 begin youth movement as camp opens

Skipper Green eager to develop and teach players

Padres begin youth movement as camp opens

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Padres squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.

SAN DIEGO -- With one of the youngest rosters in baseball set to report to Peoria, Ariz., this week, the Padres are looking at the next month and a half as a chance to ingrain a winning philosophy throughout the organization.

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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.

Thousands rally at Petco to Celebrate San Diego

'This is a special place, and it deserves to be celebrated,' Green says at inaugural event

Thousands rally at Petco to Celebrate San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Standing on the stage behind Petco Park's batter's eye, Trevor Hoffman pointed toward the statue of Tony Gwynn beyond right-center field. Instantly, the 12,000-plus San Diegans on hand burst into cheers, chanting "To-ny, To-ny!"

What better way to celebrate San Diego than one Padres legend giving a nod to another?

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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.