Loretta pinch-hitting on Padres' broadcasts

Loretta pinch-hitting on Padres' broadcasts

PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Loretta was a pretty good pinch-hitter during his 15-year Major League career, so it should probably come as no surprise he has eased into his temporary transition as part of the team's television broadcasts as well as he has.

Loretta, in his third season as a special assistant in the Padres baseball operations department, worked his fourth game on Saturday as part of the Fox Sports San Diego crew. He provides insight and analysis before, during and after games while Mark Sweeney is taking time off.

Loretta, who retired after the 2009 season, worked two games on television last week and will do all five of the games of this road trip to Philadelphia and then Washington, D.C. Loretta played for five teams in his big league career, including three seasons (2003-05) with the Padres.

"I was happy to step in," Loretta said Saturday. "I've been interviewed a million times ... but I have never been the interviewer. But it's given me an appreciation for how hard these guys work. The product looks so seamless on television, but there's a lot of work that goes into it."

That's not all. The 40-year-old Loretta has thrown batting practice to the Padres before games on this trip before throwing on a suit and tie to step in front of the television cameras.

As part of his job in the Padres front office, Loretta travels to the team's Minor League affiliates during the season. He's already been to Triple-A Tucson and Double-A San Antonio, where he worked with top prospect Jedd Gyorko as he moved from third base to second base.