The Morning Friar – 3/19/11

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• In closer Heath Bell and set-up men Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams, the Padres return the cornerstones of the majors’ best bullpen in 2010 (2.78 ERA). Bell recorded a season-high 47 saves, and his 94 percent save conversion percentage led the majors. Gregerson’s 40 holds established a major-league record and Adams compiled a 1.76 ERA in 70 appearances. Ernesto Frieri and Joe Thatcher return as well, and though Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb were dealt to Florida (in the Cameron Maybin deal), the Padres added veteran Chad Qualls.

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When the Padres did summon Denorfia from the minors in May, he performed well enough that general manager Jed Hoyer decided to retain him for 2011 over outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston. In 99 games for the Padres, Denorfia hit .271 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs.

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