Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spring Training Notes: Bud Black

Padres' manager Bud Black enters his sophomore season in 2008 after narrowly missing the playoffs in his rookie campaign.

Though there are new faces to the 2008 Padre ballclub, Black is no stranger to spring training and getting to know new faces.

On first day of workouts: "I thought everything went well. The pitchers look good, the catchers look great. I think everything that you can expect on the first day happened, everyone's excited. Good first day of work."

On his sophomore campaign: "A little bit different. Obviously I'm a little more in tune to what's going on around the complex, I know the players. It's a little bit different, but still it's a great day to be out here, it's exciting but it's baseball first and foremost."

On changes in the routine from last year to this year: "We're going to tweak a couple of things, but for the most part the daily schedule is going to run the same as last year. We felt that went really well so no need to make big changes.

On the 5th spot in the rotation: "We're excited about the depth in our rotation. The names that are going to be in the rotation are obvious. You look at Glendon Rusch, Shawn Estes, Tim Stauffer, Justin Germano. Those guys have a chance to break through and get into the rotation. It's a wide open competition, we're going to look at a lot of candidates but those 4 guys look to be out front right now.

On the bullpen: "We've got a pretty good bullpen, we led the league last year in most categories. There's some new guys to the organization, a couple of Rule 5 guys in Mike Gardner and Carlos Guevara that we're going to look at. A couple of guys who just came on board like Glendon Rusch, who has starter possibility, Jared Wells, who was in Portland last year, is a guy that a lot people think highly of. There are a number of candidates for a few spots in the bullpen. It's going to be highly competetive.

On Josh Bard and Michael Barrett: "Those guys are both solid major league catchers. I think you look at Josh, he does great job handling the staff, he hit well last year with runners in scoring position. He brings a lot of entagibles.

Michael Barrett handles the staff great as well. He didn't hit like we expected him to hit last year and he'd be the first to admit it. Offensively he's a guy that can do some damage, we think this year is going to be a little different year for Mike. He's got a good arm, blocks the ball well, defensively he's a solid catcher.

They both have some great attributes and we think it'll led itself to "winning catching" as we like to call it."

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