Padres News: Elbert Impressive in Camp for Padres


The name Scott Elbert is hardly a household name, but the 29-year-old left-handed pitcher is turning some heads in camp. A major league team could always use another left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, so it’s really not inconceivable that Elbert makes the team. However he has an uphill battle.

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The 11-year veteran pitched his whole career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. When free agency came this past off-season, he hoped for a major league contract but instead signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres. Hoping to catch on with them.

Elbert spent 11 seasons with the Dodgers, but most of it was up and down between the major league and the minor leagues. The former 1st round pick in the 2004 draft, had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and missed most of the 2013 season. He has a career major league record of 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 96.2 innings pitched. Fairly decent numbers for a left-handed specialist.

The Padres bullpen has always seemed bare when it comes to left handers. Quality left-handed pitchers are a commodity that is needed for a playoff caliber team. Elbert throws across his body a little bit which translates into confusion for the batters (especially left-handed batters). He really could be useful at some point to the Padres.

He has thrown well this spring and Bud Black commented “He has some experience and some poise. He’s doing well.” Not much from the team’s manager, but it’s early in the spring. Darren Balsley also commented on Elbert saying:

"“He has been throwing very well. It looks to me like he is throwing harder than he used to. He’s got great command and is a lefty with a low arm slot who gets lefties out. He’s been impressive so far.”"

Returning left hander Alex Torres is most surely going to make the team. Torres has thrown well the past few seasons and had a 3.33 ERA and a 51 strike outs in 54 innings pitched last season for the Padres. Also worth noting that Torres is out of minor league options.

Frank Garces pitched well last season in his Late season call up. In 15 innings pitched he had a 2.00 era and a 1.00 whip. The 24-year-old Dominican lefty is surely going to be a fixture in the bullpen, it’s just a matter of time. He ultimately might cost Elbert a chance at making the team.

Garces has the youth, but Elbert has the experience. It’s that day old question when it comes to evaluating talent. When is a veteran too old and when is a young talent ready to contribute successfully at the major league level? Sometimes you just have it let things play out, for the answer only really comes once the numbers are in the books.

Scott Elbert provides the proverbial organizational depth to the San Diego Padres. He could show his face in the Padres clubhouse eventually this season, but it’s going to take a huge effort for him to start the season on the 25 man roster.

It’s alright though, the San Diego Padres have playoff aspirations and it’s going to take an overall team effort for that to happen. The likes of Scott Elbert are going to have to contribute too when their time comes. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.

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