Decker, Spangenberg assigned to Minors camp

Decker, Spangenberg assigned to Minors camp

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Getting called into the manager's office and being told you're being reassigned to Minor League camp likely wasn't what infielder Cory Spangenberg had in mind for his 23rd birthday, though he certainly wasn't stunned by the news.

Spangenberg and catcher/first baseman Cody Decker were reassigned to Minor League camp on Sunday, while right-hander Burch Smith was optioned to Triple-A El Paso.

The Padres now have 44 players in big league camp.

For Spangenberg, the 10th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, he knew he was headed back to the Minor Leagues at some point, as he'll likely begin the season with El Paso.

If anything, Spangenberg was thankful for his time in his first big league camp.

"It was a great experience ... being here every day, watching big leaguers, how they go about their day, how they get their work done and prepare for the game was a great experience for me," Spangenberg said.

Spangenberg hit .261 in 16 games this spring in 26 plate appearances with two RBIs and two steals.

"I actually played more than I thought I would. I was playing every day, at least getting one at-bat," he said. "I was going in the fifth or sixth inning of each game and I got a few starts."

Smith, who came to camp with a shot to win a bullpen job, allowed nine earned runs and 14 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"I felt like he was pressing a little," manager Bud Black said. "He didn't relax and pitch like he was capable of. But he'll be back. He has good stuff."

Decker hit .300 in 10 at-bats with one home run and four RBIs. He'll likely see time at first base as well as catcher with El Paso.

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