Padres Spring Training Wrap-Up: Day 1 (Pitchers Report as A.J. Ellis is Signed)

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Credit: Sporting News

The San Diego Padres 2018 season is here.

After a long and slow offseason, the daily grind of a Major League Baseball season is upon us.

Andy Green and his coaching staff come into camp with a boyhood enthusiasm about their young squad. The Padres are certainly full of youth, and with that inexperience comes a sense of uncertainty. Nobody knows for sure exactly what this team is capable of in the 2018 season. You do get a sense, being around this team, that they are capable of being very special – something that the fan base has longed for.

Valentine’s Day meant, for the Padres, that pitchers and catchers must begin to report to camp. Several of the younger players have been in camp for the last week or so, but the majority of the pitching staff should trickle in on or around February 14th. Baseball is in the air.

The Padres have a lot of young players in camp and the majority of them are young arms. Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Trey Wingenter, among others, will get their first taste of major league life. The days they spend in the major league camp will be vital in their growth as pitchers. With veteran pitchers all around the camp like Tyson Ross, Clayton Richard, and Chris Young, there really is no excuse not to get better as a player. They must soak up this experience like a sponge.

The Padres are reportedly kicking the tires on some veteran players to bring into camp. The team has a few opening here and there on the roster. Late Wednesday, the team announced that they have agreed to terms with A.J. Ellis on a minor league deal. The veteran catcher will get a great shot to compete for a roster spot this spring.

The 36-year-old Ellis played for the Marlins last year and put up a .210/.298/.371 batting line in 51 games and 143 at bats. He is considered a plus defender and has a great knowledge of the game. Clayton Kershaw loved to throw to Ellis as he was his personal catcher with L.A.

Ellis will compete with Rafael Lopez and Rocky Gale for the backup catching job in 2018. With that list, it is not out of the realm of imagination that the Padres bring in another catcher to compete and provide an adequate compliment to Austin Hedges.

News and Notes

  • Austin Hedges reports to A.J. Cassavell that he is tinkering with his swing
  • Padres’ manager Andy Green indicates that the team is looking for backup players at shortstop and catcher (reported before Ellis signing) to compete this spring
  • Andy Green proclaims that Clayton Richard and Bryan Mitchell have guaranteed spots in the rotation
  • Full squad workouts will begin on Thursday, Feb. 15

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