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Notes: Towers OK after foul accident

Notes: Towers OK after foul-ball accident

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- A day after being hit in the face with a foul ball, Padres general manager Kevin Towers was back in his customary seat behind home plate in Peoria for Sunday's game against the Giants.

Towers suffered a broken nose, chipped teeth and some minor lacerations when Padres Minor League player Mike Baxter fouled a pitch through the protective netting behind home plate at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday.

"I think there was a small hole [in the net]," Towers said. "It didn't slow the ball down, whatever was there. It came straight through and hit me direct."

Towers was quickly attended to by Padres trainer Todd Hutcheson and Dr. Harry Albers before leaving Maryvale for Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale for a CAT scan. He never lost consciousness.

"All I saw was blood ... I never saw it coming," Towers said Sunday. "Fortunately, my BlackBerry saved me. I was sending a message and my head was turned -- otherwise it would have been right between my eyes. It was my saving grace yesterday."

Manager Bud Black -- who was in Yuma with the split-squad team -- didn't see Towers until Sunday morning.

"I was expecting worse," Black said. "It looks like he's OK."

Towers said Sunday that his neck was a little stiff but he felt fine otherwise.

"The feeling was like when I played football," Towers said. "I was dazed for the first 30 seconds, wondering where you're at."

As for Baxter, the player responsible for hitting the ball, Towers quipped that it would have been a lot better had he just missed the ball.

More cuts: The Padres reassigned three players to their Minor League camp Sunday, leaving them with 36 players in big-league camp, including 32 players who are on the 40-man roster.

Infielders Manny Alexander and Royce Huffman and catcher Luke Carlin were sent to San Diego's Minor League camp. All three players will begin the season with Triple-A Portland.

None of the three players was expected to make the Padres' 25-man Opening Day roster.

Alexander hit .261 with a home run and four RBIs in 23 at-bats. Huffman hit .172 in 29 at-bats while Carlin hit .167 in 12 at-bats.

Towers acknowledged Sunday that the next round of cuts will be considerably tougher.

"You start getting down to the last week and you get to guys who feel like they have a legitimate chance to make the club," he said. "It's coming down to the last couple spots in our bullpen and our bench players."

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That likely means deciding who gets the final spot in the bench -- Paul McAnulty, Oscar Robles or Todd Walker -- and who among a handful of relief pitchers makes the team. Among that group are newcomer Justin Germano, Kevin Cameron and Andrew Brown.

Cameron, a Rule 5 pickup from Minnesota, could have the best shot of that group, as he would have to be offered back to the Twins unless he's kept on the roster for the entire season.

Young's day: Rather than allow right-hander Chris Young to start against San Francisco on Sunday -- the same team he'll face in a game that counts April 4 -- the Padres opted to let their No. 2 starter get his work in a Minor League game against the Royals' Triple-A team.

In his longest outing to date, Young allowed four runs on four hits with three walks in 5 2/3 innings in a 103-pitch outing. He had a no-hitter going through 4 1/3 innings.

"I'm right where I need to be, my stuff was good. ... I'm encouraged and excited," Young said. "I've been able to get my work in and haven't had any road bumps. I'm happy with how I feel mechanically."

Young was even more pleased after watching Georgetown defeat North Carolina in the NCAA tournament. Georgetown coach John Thompson III was an assistant coach for Princeton when Young played basketball there.

Bochy returns: Former Padres manager Bruce Bochy was greeted with a warm reception as he walked toward the visiting dugout at the Peoria Sports Complex on Sunday before his first game against his former team.

He also exchanged pleasantries with several Padres players before and after the game.

"No, no," Bochy said when asked if it was strange to be wearing a uniform other than that of the Padres. "It's behind us. I have great memories there and have tremendous respect for those players I had, but I've moved on and am happy wearing this uniform."

Pads and ends: It looks like McAnulty won't be back on the field until mid-week at the earliest. The outfielder hasn't appeared in a game since March 18 when he injured his right knee, the same knee he had surgery on during the offseason. He will be re-evaluated Monday. ... How about those home run hitting Padres? San Diego got home runs from Khalil Greene and Adrian Gonzalez on Sunday, giving them 38 for the spring -- the most among Major League teams. Greene's long ball allowed him to extend his streak of hitting safely to 11 consecutive games. ... Reliever Heath Bell lowered his ERA to 0.90 by tossing two scoreless innings Sunday. He's earned himself a spot on the 25-man roster, Black said. "You can see why our scouts liked him," Black said. "He just needs an extended opportunity to show what he can do."

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

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{"content":["spring_training" ] }
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