PEORIA, Arizona- The Padres’ pitching staff has a number of arms that are unproven, while others are considered weapons with the ability to help this team win in a variety of ways.
Clearly, the rotation is without that top-of-the-line starter, needing a variety of young arms to step up this season.
Bryan Mitchell is one of those pitchers that needs to step up, looking to grab a rotation spot, as he made his first start of spring training today against the Kansas City Royals in Peoria.
The Padres’ bats erupted this week, accumulating 10 or more hits in all of their five games since Monday, respectively. On Friday afternoon, they collected 20 hits, lighting up the Royals’ bullpen with another eye-opening spring training performance.
Bryan Mitchell pitched two scoreless innings with one strikeout and looked comfortable out there on the mound.
He spoke with Bob Scanlan after the game and said, “my curve ball is definitely my best pitch” and ” Today was a very successful outing. This team is awesome and it’s been nothing but fun so far”.
The offensive surge began in the bottom of the second inning when Austin Hedges and Jose Pirela walked before Carlos Villanueva drove in the game’s first run on a double to center field, scoring Jose Pirela.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) March 2, 2018
Carlos Villanueva is starting to prove he deserves a chance to take over third base this season, going 2-2 with three RBI and three runs, raising his batting average to .563 and OBP to .588 as he is off to an excellent start in Padres spring training.
Left-hander Austin Duffy started for the Royals, getting tagged for two runs across two innings pitched. The real damage for the Royals came from reliever Trevor Oaks giving up eight hits and five runs in just one and a third innings.
The Royals took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third inning after a three-run homer from Jorge Bonifacio against Buddy Baumann (former Royals reliever).
Manuel Margot had a big day, with a spectacular running catch to save a run in the first, and two hits. In the fourth, Margot drove in Hedges on a single to Royals’ second baseman Whit Merrifield before Freddy Galvis followed with a sacrifice fly, making it 6-3 Padres.
Austin Hedges continued his spring tear, going 2-3 on the day while hitting his 4th home run in his last four spring training games during the 5th inning off right-hander Scott Barlow to make it 8-5 San Diego. The red-hot catcher is looking very comfortable at the plate and his new approach is starting to pay off. Villanueva followed Hedges’ with a solo homer to make it 9-5 Padres.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 2, 2018
Hosmer’s first game against his former team was worthy as he went 1-4 with a RBI groundout in the 4th and a double in the 6th inning.
Franchy Cordero, once again displayed his potential, hitting a RBI double to center field that made it 11-5 San Diego in the bottom of the 7th inning. Josh Naylor came up after him as a pinch hitter and knocked in another run on an RBI double to center field.
San Diego’s bullpen was solid all afternoon. Tom Wilhelmson pitched a scoreless 4th inning while earning the win.
The Padres’ impressive day offensively finally came to an end as they collected 20 hits, winning 13-5 against Hosmer’s old team. The Padres advanced to 4-3 in Cactus League play and will be taking on the Oakland Athletics tomorrow at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa.