Thursday, March 20, 2008

Corey Brock - Padres Beat Writer -

Corey Brock, who covers the San Diego Padres for, just returned from being with the team in China and took some time to do an interview for the site.

Todd Kaufmann: Corey, I have to start out by asking this. You do the mailbag on the Padres website, getting email questions from fans. How much time does that take out of your day and give me an estimate of how many emails you get from fans for that article?

Corey Brock: I get about 100 emails a week from fans asking questions. Some aren't worthy for print for obvious reasons while some are very well thought out. I try to get to as many as possible each week. I go through a few a day, sifting through the ones I plan on answering.

Todd Kaufmann: Everyone knows the names Brian Giles, Scott Hairston, Jim Edmonds and possibly Chase Headley. The names that a lot of fans have become curious about are Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe. Do you see one of both of these guys making the team and how impressed have you been with their performance thus far?

Corey Brock: I see Gerut and Crabbe both making the team, as I think Jim Edmonds is destined to being the season on the disabled list. Honestly, even if he was on the active roster, I think both of these guys would have made it. Gerut is having a great spring and projects well as a fourth outfielder or even as part of a platoon in left. Crabbe can play anywhere but first base in the infield, some center field and has speed ... something the Padres don't have much of. I like everything I've seen from Crabbe thus far.

Todd Kaufmann: Padre fans had heard the name Cooper Brannan last year, the Marine turned pitcher in the Padres system. How is he doing so far?

Corey Brock: Haven't heard much about Brannan, but my guess is he'll be back in the Arizona League during the summer of possibly short-season Eugene.

Todd Kaufmann: Justin Germano seems the shoe-in for the #5 spot in the rotation, but when Clay Hensley and Mark Prior are healthy and ready to contribute, will Prior automatically get the spot or will the Padres possibly turn it into a 6-man rotation with Hensley and Wolf swapping starts or Hensley/Prior?

Corey Brock: I wouldn't say Germano is a shoe-in for that fifth spot, though he's done well this spring, especially lately. Wil Ledezma and Shawn Estes has are being considered. I think Prior will have to show he's healthy and capable of having success no matter where he's put in the rotation, even more so if that fifth starter is doing well. Hensley is still a ways off from being mentioned in this group because he's further behind Prior from a rehabilitation standpoint.

Todd Kaufmann: We saw what Kevin Kouzmanoff was capable of doing last year after his rough start in April. Are we just seeing the tip of the iceberg with Kouz as far as his talent and capabilities?

Corey Brock: I see no reason why Kouzmanoff can't continue to develop as a hitter with a year under his belt, knowing the National League pitchers, knowing more what to expect. I don't know what he projects to offensively, but I would think it's close to his 2007 numbers.

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