PEORIA, Ariz. -- Pity poor Nick Vincent, the Padres reliever who has had some of the worst luck when it comes to Spring Training.
Vincent arrived in Peoria more than 10 days ago when pitchers and catchers reported to camp, but he's been slowed by the flu, which first manifested itself as a fever and a 101-degree temperature, and now has all but taken his voice from him.
"I've been sick since I got here," Vincent said.
But Vincent, who had a 1.71 ERA in 27 games last season for the Padres, can find solace in knowing that he will eventually get better and that ranks far better than what happened to him last year.
Last March, while the team was in Goodyear to face the Reds, Vincent stepped on a baseball that was on the ground in the Padres' bullpen.
"When it happened, I knew it wasn't good," he said.
It wasn't, as Vincent rolled his left ankle so badly that he had to be fitted for a walking boot the next day and had to use crutches just to get around. He eventually had an X-ray on the ankle, which was negative, but the injury knocked him out for the rest of Spring Training.
Vincent, who is from Ramona, Calif., located north of San Diego, eventually reported to Triple-A Tucson in May and then was recalled by the Padres on May 18. He shuttled back and forth to Tucson four more times before sticking for good on Aug. 18.
"It was pretty unreal, being able to play for your hometown team," Vincent said. "… At first, it was a little surreal."