The San Diego Padres held another successful day of workouts on Monday, inching towards Saturday’s Cactus League opener against the Mariners.
Excitement is building for the San Diego Padres. With just five days until Cactus League play begins and fans can see their club in action, every workout at this point marks another day closer to real baseball.
The anticipation ahead of Saturday’s opener reached a new level on Monday, as the intensity of the club’s workout went up a notch. A mix of excitement and urgency clearly encouraged the players to take another step towards preparing themselves physically very seriously.
Manager Andy Green also made an announcement in his daily meeting with the media, informing them that Paul Clemens will be Saturday’s starting pitcher against the Seattle Mariners.
Clemens is in the mix along with at least eight other starters competing for spots in the rotation. The fact that he gets the early nod is not surprising, as Clemens is a pitcher the Padres would like to take an extensive look at this spring. A club rarely begins spring training with their ace on the mound, and inserting Clemens in early on allows the Padres to maximize the starts he makes.
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No pitcher who appears in Saturday’s game or any of the first few spring training games will take the mound for more than several innings. This allows them to work up to Opening Day form gradually, but also magnifies every circumstance they are able to pitch in.
As for the rest of Monday’s action, the workout included a lot of hitting in the cages for position players. Fans finally got to see Collin Cowgill in action, a late addition who is quietly competing for an outfield spot. Manuel Margot also put on a show in the cage, showing some pop in his bat.
The schedule for the rest of the week looks very similar to that of the last few days. The Padres will work out each day ahead of Saturday’s game, continuing the process of physical preparation. The countdown is on to Saturday, as just five days remain without Padres baseball. San Diego takes on Seattle at Peoria Sports Complex on Saturday; first pitch is scheduled for 12:10 PT.