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The Morning Friar - 2/15/11

“Pitchers and Catchers report.” Those are the most popular words baseball fans can hear anywhere in the country this time of the year, especially having come thru as bad a seige of blizzards as the nation has seen this winter.

There are questions the Padres are not going to be able to answer this spring.

Will Aaron Harang bounce back after three straight bad seasons in Cincinnati?

Will Brad Hawpe, Jason Bartlett, Orlando Hudson, Ryan Ludwick and Jorge Cantu return to form after their production dipped in 2010?

Only time will answer those questions.

Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds flew to San Diego on Monday afternoon for his sixth round of chemotherapy treatment in his fight against pancreatic cancer.

Akerfelds, 48, will have a double dose of chemotherapy Tuesday at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. He plans on returning to the Padres spring training camp in Arizona later Tuesday.

Making the opening day roster is not a subject of discussion this spring. Counting every inning pitched will not be an on-going topic this season.

“We weren’t going to let him throw 200 innings last season,” Padres coach Darren Balsley said of the Padres 23-year-old right-hander. “But we were still going to use him if we had made the playoffs.

PEORIA, Ariz. — Don’t look for Mat Latos to become the modern-day version of Warren Spahn anytime soon — Spahn once surpassed 300 innings in a single season — but the 23-year-old won’t have his workload monitored nearly as closely as it was a year ago.

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