According to John Maffei of the North County Times, some of the Padres players are scheduled to meet at PETCO Park for a voluntary workout. The meeting in actually more about allowing players to greet each other, to get the new players acclimated, and to allow management a sneak peak at some of the top prospects and new faces.
Josh Byrnes was quoted in the article as saying:
“We had a lot of new guys last season, too, and we didn’t seem to click until late in the season.
“I don’t want that to happen again, so these workouts are a point of emphasis.”
Maffei says some of the players scheduled to attend the workout include newcomers Yasmani Grandal, John Baker, Yonder Alonso, Mark Kotsay, Carlos Quentin, Andrew Cashner, and Huston Street. There will be prospects who have been in the organization as well such as Robbie Erlin, Joe Weiland, Casey Kelly, Jaff Decker, and Jedd Gyorko. And finally, some of the hold overs from last season will be there. Included are Jason Bartlett, Nick Hundley, Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, Kyle Blanks, and Clayton Richard.
This type of a meet and greet is important for a ball club trying to rebuild. It allows the team a chance to meet each other, it allows players to get comfortable with each other, and it sets the stage for Spring Training which is just around the corner.
The very fact that baseball players are meeting at PETCO Park should have every Padres fans excited with anticipation of the upcoming season. It won’t be long before actual games are being played downtown, and the season will be in full swing.
For the newer players, the meeting gives them a chance to learn the city, learn the park, and learn the team. They will have a jump start on Spring Training that can create bonds that last through the entire season. It was a good idea for Padres management to hold this workout. It’s unique in its approach, and can pay dividends over the course of a long season.