Jeff Smith 9:05 a.m., Jan. 24
Did Padres newly-acquired reliever Andrew Cashner really throw a baseball 103 mph yesterday afternoon in Peoria? Not likely. If it actually happened then it was by accident. The Padres didn't want for it. Neither did Cashner. No need to interview the batter about it.
Radar guns are likely a bit dusty.
Cashner pitched an inning of relief yesterday afternoon, striking out 2 batters. It was impressive. It wasn't 103 mph impressive. Not in March. Cashner made the 25-man roster on the day that he was traded to San Diego. There is no need to impress the coaching staff here.
The San Diego Padres would rather that Cashner keep working on the off-speed stuff.
Radar guns had Padres starting pitcher Anthony Bass approaching 100 mph as well. Tim Wakefield's knuckle ball would have loved Peoria yesterday. Gaylord Perry's spit ball could have been bone dry in that environment and worked just fine. Joe Niekro could have left his nail file at home.
The game itself? The Padres lost it in the bottom of the 9th inning, 5-4. The same two ball clubs play tomorrow. Both teams are likely hoping for less sloppy play.
The Mariners started their left-handed ace, Jason Vargas, who pitched four perfect innings. Anthony Bass started for the Padres, only giving up one hit, a home run to Seattle's Kyle Seager who wound up hitting 3 for 3. Bass went 2 innings. Bass was happy with his outing, citing that his command and location were satisfactory, hinting that his outing went as planned.
Fielding was an issue on both sides, as the Padres were charged with errors by Cabrera, Parrino, and Alonso. Luke Gregerson was touched up for 4 hits and a walk in an inning pitched, giving up 2 runs. Brad Brach took the loss in the 9th inning, pitching to contact and allowing the game-winning double to Johermyn Chavez. The Mariners were also charged with 3 errors.
Other than Vargas and his perfect 4 innings, Cashner was the buzz yesterday. Apart from the radar gun scandal, Cashner was commanding. He hit his spots, much more impressive and appreciated by the Padres pitching staff than whatever heaters he's capable of dealing. Don't believe the radar gun.
Don't believe any radar gun until May.
Injuries, damned injuries. The Padres are not immune. Forsythe has a busted foot. Those who are hopeful seem to think it's a two-week stint. Those who have broken their feet know better. Get better, Logan, the Majors will still be here when you're well. Additionally, SS Jason Bartlett has a bum knee. So, Cory Spangenberg gets an early add to the 40-man roster and to big league camp now. This opens the door for Everth Cabrera to win a job as a utility infielder. Cabrera should see a lot of time in spring training games.
Clayton Richard threw 40 pitches yesterday in a simulated game. No problems reported. Richard is an enormous piece of the Padres hopes in 2012, coming off of surgery in the off-season. The lefty hopes to get back into form this season and the Padres would welcome that solid arm. Richard is expected to throw again on Friday in a spring training game.