Finishing the 2012 baseball season strong, the San Diego Padres are looking forward to making improvements during spring training for their upcoming season. The team placed fourth in the NL West with a record of 76-86, creating a positive attitude in the clubhouse for the 2013 campaign.
“Those guys played good in the second half,” exclaimed Padres manager Bud Black to MLB.com. “You look at the offensive production of the second half … it was solid. Hopefully that can continue into 2013.”
The Padres will begin their spring training with 67 players, including 36 pitchers. The team will be watching to fill in the five rotation spots in the bullpen, looking closely at 10 candidates. One of the competitors is 23-year-old Casey Kelly. The right-handed pitcher is now recovered from a right elbow strain which prevented him from playing for nearly five months. Aside from Kelly, veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia and Clayton Richard are in the running for the desired spots.
The team is set to play a total of 38 exhibition games, making it the most in club history. This will give the pitchers the opportunity to impress the coaching staff and earn a spot in the bullpen.
The atmosphere surrounding the Padres training will certainly be busy. With 67 players reporting for camp, the team will have their fair share of new faces and names to become familiar with. Although the team did not make any major changes to the roster in the off season, they did add rookie players in hopes of improving the lineup.
“We’re excited to welcome the new players in,” Padres catcher John Baker told MLB.com.
The San Diego Padres will kick off their Spring Training season on Saturday, Feb. 23, against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, Ariz.