San Diego Padres: Makita’s Debut and a Villanueva Grand Slam

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Christian Villanueva
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Christian Villanueva /

Yesterday, the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers squared off in Cactus League action, ending in a 9-9 tie. Yay for spring training ties!

Despite the tied score, yesterday’s San Diego Padres contest was the type of spring training game fans like myself love to watch. Unfortunately, there was no tv broadcast of the game.

My favorite aspect of spring training is when the young minor leaguers get involved in the game. Yesterday, the Padres took “young minor leaguers” to a new level.

Jeisson Rosario (18), Justin Lopez (17), Gabriel Arias (18), Jack Suwinski (19), Esteury Ruiz (19), and Hudson Potts (19) all took the field for the Padres yesterday.

Arias, who turned 18 just two days ago, recorded his first base hit, a single up the middle into center field. He also drove in a run on a groundout. According to San Diego Union-Tribune beat writer Kevin Acee, Arias made a beautiful sliding grab and quick throw to record the final out of the ball game. Good news for the young man who seems to be backing up his early claim to fame, smooth defense and an incredibly strong and accurate arm.

Christian Villanueva continues to make headlines for the San Diego Padres.

Christian Villanueva entered camp with the odds stacked against him to make this team. Not only has he defied those odds, he has a handful of Padres’ fans (myself included) clamoring to give him the starting job at third base.

In the third inning of yesterday’s contest, Villanueva drilled a grand slam over the left field fence. Take a look for yourself below at his textbook swing and absolute destruction of the baseball.

Stay tuned later today as I try to convince you that Villanueva should get the start over Chase Headley at third.

San Diego Padres pitchers struggle on the mound.

While the offense racked up 10 hits and four walks, the pitching staff left much to be desired.

Making his much-anticipated debut was RHP Cal Quantrill. Unfortunately, as’s AJ Cassavell put it, Quantrill just “didn’t have it today.”

He pitched just one inning, giving up four hits, four earned runs, and a walk. Quantrill was tabbed early on as the rookie to watch during spring training, in anticipation of him making his major league debut this year.

With so many pitchers in camp battling for position, don’t expect Quantrill to see too many more outings. Let’s hope this outing was nerves and too much energy.

RHP Walker Lockett, also fighting for a roster spot, struggled again in his second appearance of spring training. He lasted two innings, giving up two earned runs, three hits, and walk. He was credited with his second blown save and ran his ERA up to 8.10.

Related Story: New Year, Fresh Start For Walker Lockett

One positive note on the Padres’ pitching staff, the debut of Kazuhisa Makita. According to AJ Cassavell, Makita’s 54 mph curveball was sent into the outfield for a base hit, but he looked impressive. Since the game wasn’t televised, here’s his first pitch, courtesy of the San Diego Padres,

Next: The Good And Bad Performers Of Spring Training

The Padres return to Fox Sports San Diego and today as they take on the Kansas City Royals. Eric Hosmer is in the lineup and face off against his former team for the first time since joining the Padres.