Monday, April 13, 2009

Corey Brock Q & A

San Diego Padres' beat writer Corey Brock stopped by for another Q & A. He talks about Peavy's relationship with his catchers, the additions of Chad Gaudin and Luis Perdomo as well as whether or not this Padres team can stay in the NL West race in 2009.

SwingingFriar: On Saturday night, Peavy was his old dominant self striking out 10 through 8 1/3 innings. Talk about the chemistry between Jake and catcher Henry Blanco and does it remind you of the days of when Ramon Hernandez was behind the plate with the chemistry those two had?

Corey Brock: I wasn't here when Hernandez was here but Jake commented that Blanco, more or less, "gets it" as well as anyone he's worked with. That starts with sitting down before each start and mapping out how they want to approach/attack hitters. This happens with everyone who catches Peavy but he told me that sometimes you would get in games and catchers would seemingly forget all that ... like they had, in Peavy's words, "cotton in their ears." I think the relationship between pitcher and catcher is one of those unseen things by fans that is very important to the overall good of the team. Of course, the pitcher still has to make pitches ...

SwingingFriar: Of the three new starters behind Peavy and Young, which of those have you been the most impressed with?

Corey Brock: Shawn Hill. I liked what I saw like in Spring Training from him. Scouts have told me on several occasions that "if this guy can stay healthy ..." That leads me to believe they like his mechanics, his stuff and his way of going after hitters. He's a ground-ball guy who got a few balls up in his last start. He's still getting stretched out and likely will go 80 or so pitches in his next start.

SwingingFriar: It seems like General Manager Kevin Towers isn't quote done tinkering with the bullpen, signing Chad Gaudin and Luis Perdomo in recent weeks. What do these two guys bring to the table and do they make the bullpen that much stronger?

Corey Brock: Gaudin will be a starter. He's going to Portland this week to get stretched out. That's the only way the Padres got him. Everyone else wanted him in the bullpen. He was originally a starter with a few plus pitches. He's there in case Silva, Correia or Hill falter. A nice piece to have for $400,000. Perdomo was on the Giants roster until a few bad outings late in Spring Training. Power arm, good sinker, slider. I expect they'll give him a "soft landing" ... meaning up by a lot or down by a lot, to see what he's capable of before they trust him with important innings.

SwingingFriar: Speaking of the bullpen, talk about having guys like Cla Meredith and Duaner Sanchez in front of closer Heath Bell. Are these three as dominant a back end of a bullpen as any in the National League West?

Corey Brock: I don't know if these guys are really dominant guys. They're not "power arms" but they can get guys out. I think Meredith is more a right-handed specialists at this point and Sanchez just keeps getting outs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mujica in the eighth inning at some point or even Gregerson. They've both been impressive so far and have more "plus" pitches between them.

SwingingFriar: You do live updates through your blog How much fun do you have doing that during the game and do you enjoy the fan interaction you get from it?

Corey Brock: It's always nice to hear from fans. Honestly, I wish there were more of them. I'm Twittering during games at well (@followthepadres) so that's fun and an easy way to give quick updates. We have a lot on our plate for content with notes, stories, etc. My hope is that at and we can be the place where people turn for all their Padres news.

SwingingFriar: I know it's still early and it may be way too soon to start making predictions or educated guesses about this team. But from what you've seen so far, could this team be strong enough to stay in the NL West race in 2009?

Corey Brock: With the history of this division, yes. As we've seen, no one has run away with this division in a while. The Padres simply have to play better against their own division this year. That killed them last season. I don't see why they can't hang around. The hitting still scares me a little at times and I haven't seen this bullpen handle things over a larger sample size to know if this team can approach .500 or not.

Big thanks to Corey Brock for the interview. You can follow him, and his in-game updates, all season long on his blog ( or you can find him on Twitter (

No comments: