It was a little bit of a slow weekend around camp in Peoria. It was also a rough weekend for the Padres on the field, although spring training win/loss records hardly mean anything. After their game vs. the White Sox was postponed on Friday due to rain, the Padres fell to the Rangers 5-2 and the Cubs 9-3 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Let’s take a look at some things we saw.
Cashner is fine.
After a freak thumb injury from the result of a hunting trip malfunction this off-season, it was thought that Padres SP/RP Andrew Cashner was going to have to miss significant time in 2013 recovering from surgery. However, he returned to the mound on Sunday and looked solid in his spring debut against his former organization. It’s still too early to tell whether Bud Black will be aiming for Cashner to begin the season in the starting rotation or in the bullpen (my guess would be bullpen, with an eventual migration into the rotation). Nevertheless, Sunday was an encouraging sign that Cashner should be able to be with the big league ball club on opening day in some fashion.
Which Blanks is this?
No doubt Kyle Blanks has had some bad luck with his slew of injuries since 2009, including re-constructive elbow and shoulder surgeries. During his rare windows of injury-free play, however, Blanks has shown signs of competency at the plate. But most of that success has come during spring training and at the minor leagues. We’ve seen and heard this story before: Blanks is in great shape and smashing the ball. But questions remain, at least for me. Can he not only consistently produce like this at the big league level, but can he also stay healthy for an entire season? I’m not sold yet. Even so, Blanks has now further complicated the Padres muddled outfield situation, especially if he keeps raking like he has so far this spring. Other than Cameron Maybin in CF, who knows who will be playing where on any given day in the outfield.
Gyorko continues to impress
We’ve talked about it before on this blog, and frankly there’s not much more to add, other than reiterating what we’ve been saying all along: All signs point to Jedd Gyorko starting at 2B on opening day. Bud Black has had nothing but positive things to say about Gyorko’s position transition to middle infield. You have to think with another three weeks to get fully comfortable, he should be ready to go by opening day. At this point, barring injury, I would be shocked, and quite honestly upset, if we see someone else at 2B on April 1st, especially now that Logan Forsythe has a foot injury where he might be out for a week or so.