Padres News: LIVE Spring Training Recap – March 21st

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The San Diego Padres took on the Arizona Diamondbacks today in Peoria and yours truly had front row seats for a live look at your new Padres.

Looking at the starting lineup earlier this morning, I was excited for this game for a handful of reasons. First, I was going to get a look at the new starting outfield for the Padres with Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton all scheduled to start. Second, both pitchers competing for that fifth starting rotation spot, Brandon M0rrow and Odrisamer Despaigne, were going to pitch today. We’ve written a lot about the close battle between these two, so I was excited to get a first hand look at the competition. Carlos Quentin was getting another start at first base. We have also covered Quentin’s place with the Padres a lot this preseason and seeing for myself if he could hack it might put the “first base as an option for Quentin” issue to rest finally; for me at least. Lastly, and most importantly, I love going to games with my wife.

So, what were my overall impressions of the Padres after seeing them up close? Short answer, Despaigne out pitched Marrow and Tommy Medica better make the Opening Day roster.

It was a beautiful day in Peoria, perfect weather for baseball. Felt like San Diego to be honest, not too hot or dry like Arizona can be. It was a packed stadium, lots of local Diamondback fans, but more vocal Padres, which is always encouraging. First thing upon arriving was to grab a tall Lagunitas IPA for myself and a crisp Angry Orchard for the Mrs, then took our seats.

Don’t worry, I promise not to fill this article up with Twitter pics.

It was then time to play ball!

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Brandon Morrow got the start on the mound and, woof, it was not his best performance. Until today the reports and been pretty positive about Morrow’s control on the mound, but the Diamondbacks had his number today. Morrow surrendered eight hits and five runs in his 3.2 innings pitched today.

Following Morrow, Despaigne threw for 3.1 innings. He performed much better than Morrow, only surrendering three hits. Despaigne also gave up two runs, but one of them was a left over runner from Morrow’s part of the fourth inning.

With Opening Day quickly approaching, this game may be the decision maker that Buddy Black has been waiting for.

Casey Kelly also threw for the first time since his most recent injury. He was on the mound for just one inning but looked sharp and gave up no hits. Alex Torres looked in control during his one inning of work, giving up just one hit.

Now, onto the offense for the Padres. Myers, Kemp, Upton, and Quentin all went 1-3 today. Catcher Wil Nieves, who played almost the entire game and looks like he’ll be the backup catcher, impressed me by hitting 2-3.

Quentin looked alright at first, but didn’t have an opportunity to show that he would be a better defensive first baseman than any of the other contenders.

The real star of the game didn’t get to play until the later innings but left a BIG impression, Tommy Medica.

After seeing Medica today, I’m convinced that if he is not on the Opening Day roster, then Bud Black is a fool and needs to be replaced immediately.

Medica went 2-2 with a beautiful home run in the seventh

A few minutes after Medica’s home run, our friend Dennis Lin at the Union Tribune pointed out that Tommy Medica is now hitting .542, that’s 13 hits in 24 at bats. I don’t care if it’s Spring Training, that’s INSANE. Forget Yonder Alonso or Carlos Quentin, Tommy Medica should be the starting first baseman for the Padres.

In the end, the Padres ended up dropping this one five to seven, but were able to make it interesting, despite Morrow’s rough outing.

Unfortunately, my time in Arizona is almost at an end. I’ll be driving back most of tomorrow morning (during the SDSU/Duke game unfortunately) but will have your recap of tomorrow’s game against the Cubs in the afternoon.

If you have never been out to Spring Training, I highly recommend it. The easy going vibe and smaller size stadium offer a closeness to the action you won’t get come April.

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