baseball

Padres Summer Camp Update: Pitchers Surpass Hitters

At nearly the midway point of Spring Training 2.0 the Friars arms have taken a step forward

With 10 workouts down the Padres are nearly halfway through their Summer Camp. So is there anything skipper Jayce Tingler sees as a major concern that needs cleaning up in a very short amount of time?

"Not really," says Tingler. "I hope to maintain our concentration level, our intensity, our focus."

Focus and intensity are a must when you have three weeks together to prepare for an unprecedented 60-game season. Health doesn't seem to be too big of a concern at the moment, either.

So, now it's time to start tweaking things and break up a little of the monotony. The Padres have been holding their intrasquad games at Petco Park. This week that's going to change.

"We're gonna go get some action over at the (University of San Diego), get a different feel, get a different background, get some lights, change it up, you know, try to simulate some road game action. And then, continue to build our pitchers up," says Tingler.

The Padres have a potentially strong but still unsettled starting rotation but undoubtedly one of the best bullpens in baseball. Right now the Friars might not have to worry about building up their arms so much as they do warming up their bats.

"The last two nights the pitching has been super sharp," says Tingler. "I think early on it was maybe some position players, some hitters winning some battles and I think the last couple of nights that momentum has shifted to the pitching. It looks like those guys aren't out there just exercising their arms. It looks like they're going for the throat and trying to put us away and they've executed that."

One guy who knows how to put hitters away is Kirby Yates. The best closer in the game might have to make one of the biggest adjustments of anyone on the Padres roster. Closers thrive on entering tight games where crowds are buzzing. Not having anyone in the stands will be quite the change.

"I think you're going to notice it a little more on the road," says Yates. "Not to say our fans aren't awesome when I'm running in, it's just that I get yelled at when we're on the road and I'm warming up in the bullpen. There's an atmosphere that people are yelling at you. They're not necessary cheering for you; they're cheering at you. When you're at home you can feel just the loud energy and a buzz when you come into a game, which is awesome. It's going to be very interesting. It's something you have to adjust to. You have to find a way to deal with it and go out there and make pitches."

Yates has executed his pitches as well as anyone in baseball. If the staff follows suit this will be a special 60 games in San Diego.

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