Tim Stauffer And Sean Gallagher Battling For Padres' Fifth Spot





Peoria, Ariz. — It's a make-or-break spring for righthanders Tim Stauffer and Sean Gallagher.

Both have shown flashes of brilliance over their careers. Both have had their struggles. Both are out of options and must make the club or find another employer.

Stauffer, a first-round pick out of Richmond in 2003, has been plagued by injuries in an up-and-down career.

He missed the entire 2008 season after having shoulder surgery and then started the 2009 season back in Double-A.

But he was in the big leagues by mid-July and impressed manager Bud Black after going 4-7, 3.58 over 73 innings.

"This might have been the first time since college Tim was 100 percent healthy," Black said. "And we saw a guy who can pitch in the big leagues. Tim has some bulldog in him. He's not afraid. He has a real good chance to help us this season."

Chris Young, Jon Garland, Kevin Correia and Clayton Richard figure to be the top four in San Diego's rotation.

Stauffer, Gallagher, righthander Mat Latos and lefty Wade LeBlanc are among those fighting for the fifth spot.

Gallagher came to the Padres from the Athletics in last July's deal that sent outfielder Scott Hairston to Oakland.

Gallagher, who had previous big league stops with the Cubs and A's, immediately impressed Padres coaches.

It's no secret the Padres would like the young, hard-throwing Latos to earn the fifth spot in the rotation, but Black said that doesn't mean Stauffer and Gallagher couldn't make the club and pitch out of the bullpen.

"We want to break camp with the best 10, 11 or 12 pitchers," Black said. "There are going to be a lot of guys fighting for jobs, and I like that, I like that a lot."

FATHER FIGURES

• Shortstop Lance Zawadzki was among the first players to report to camp in Arizona. Many in the organization feel he has a chance to play in the big leagues this season as a utilityman.

• Former big league infielder Randy Johnson was hired as minor league field coordinator. Johnson, who played for the Braves from 1982-84 and played two seasons in Japan, was with the Padres as a scout from 1990-92 and has worked for the Rockies, Tigers and A's since then, most recently with the A's as a special assistant to general manager Billy Beane.