Padres Instructional League Notebook VII

Griffin Benedict

Peoria, AZ: No better time to practice high pop ups than with a morning sun the backdrop. Some San Diego Padres prospects had a tough time.

  • One thing that was stressed during the morning group talk was working on something that might not be the norm during batting practice once a week.

    An example is outfielders making basket catches when they are fielding during batting practice – something they can put into their routine so when the time arises to make a basket catch, they are better prepared.

    "People who don't work on something and are presented with it have trouble because it is so unfamiliar," minor league field coordinator Tom Gamboa said.

  • The catchers had consistent trouble reading the ball in the sun. Almost every time, the ball drifted back towards home plate, leaving the catcher off-balance and falling backwards.

    Griffin Benedict was the most sure-handed of all the catchers, seemingly made for the drill.

    First baseman Nate Freiman was also very vocal when it was the catchers' turn to snare a ball in the sun. He routinely called out to let them know if the ball was drifting back towards the plate.

  • Shortstop Drew Cumberland had the most difficult day. While he is still unable to throw or take at-bats, he was on the field with a working glove – or that was the theory.

    Cumberland, however, missed each of the first five balls hit his way. He was also not very vocal at all during the process, rarely even calling for a ball where others could be heard on distant fields.

    He was often caught too short or lost the ball entirely in the sun.

    One of the components of a successful venture in the sun, and on any ball hit high in the air, is staying behind the ball. Infield coordinator Gary Jones explained, "It is much easier to come in on the ball than to backpedal to make up for the wind."

    Gamboa also noted, "If you are backpedaling and I am on third base, you can be sure that I am tagging because you are off-balance and won't have any power behind your throw."

    Cumberland caught the sixth ball hit his way – the only one he would snag.

  • Everett Williams flashed a strong arm from his center field position but almost got into a collision with Rymer Liriano – through no fault of his own.

    "If the center fielder calls it – it is my ball," Williams said.

    Some of the worst injuries come via collisions with fellow teammates. Endy Chavez was lost for the 2009 season when he was involved in a collision with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran dived into each other during a game at Petco Park.

    The center fielder always has the right of way.

    On every play, there is always one position that wins if they call for the ball. Liriano, in this case, ignored the call and almost got into a rough collision that could have impacted both players negatively.

  • Jackson Quezada tossed 20 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday morning. He was sharp with his fastball and looked sure of his command and execution.

    The right-hander had no discomfort and will continue to build up his arm.

    Jeremy McBryde also tossed a bullpen on Friday and did not report feeling any pain with his back. There are still concerns that it will flare up but this was a solid first step.

  • Deiber Sanchez was a late scratch to the game after suffering a slightly pulled hamstring while running during the morning session.
  • Cameron Monger has not played in over a week since injuring his hamstring. It is not considered serious but has kept he burner off the field and in the trainer's room rehabbing.
  • Keyvius Sampson has been shelved for the rest of instructs after a tight rotator cuff caused him some discomfort.

    "I was shutdown as a precaution," he said. "I am supposed to be back on my throwing program next week."

    Sampson noted he feels fine now and could compete if necessary. The long layoff and quick ascension back into the rotation and onto instructs may have resulted in the tiredness in his arm.

  • Simon Berroa had an MRI taken this past week because of ongoing pain in his arm.

    "When I throw, my bones would rub together," he explained.

    He is awaiting word on the MRI and could be headed for surgery.

  • Will Inman also had a full bullpen session.

    "I am working on a little cutter," Inman said. "I worked on it midseason but it had big affects on my curveball. I am also working on my delivery and getting my front side down.

    The cutter is in response to his belief that more ground balls are needed in his game, especially when he was taken deep quite a few times in Portland. The pitch doesn't have as much movement as his other offerings but will miss the meat of bats and cause hitters to pound the ball into the ground.

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