Padres Farmhands Get Acquainted

Prospects work out in San Diego





SAN DIEGO—It was as much about bonding as it was about baseball. But the Padres got a little of both at late-January workouts in Petco Park.

Nearly two dozen players took part in voluntary workouts designed to give management an early look at some of its new players and top prospects as well as veterans like Mark Kotsay.

Among the position prospects taking part were first baseman Yonder Alonso, outfielder Jaff Decker, third baseman Jedd Gyorko and catcher Yasmani Grandal.

"That whole deal was awesome," said Alonso, who came to the Padres from the Reds in the Mat Latos trade in December. "We got to see the city, meet the staff and the front-office people. So when we get to spring training, there won't be that wall there between the old guys and the new guys.

"Usually, in spring training there is an awkward week where guys are meeting each other, getting to know each other. This eliminates a lot of that."

Young pitchers Casey Kelly, Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland, Andrew Cashner and Brad Boxberger were also among the prospects at the workouts.

"The new players got to meet the coaches," Padres manager Bud Black said. "They got to meet each other, hang out a bit. They got to meet the medical staff and the clubhouse guys. We had a lot of new guys last season, and we didn't seem to click until late in the season. I didn't want that to happen again, so these workouts were a point of emphasis."

The Padres limited the pitchers' throwing but got a good look at their condition. Alonso showed his line-drive stroke during batting practice and was surprisingly fluid in the field.

"To get outside on the field, to meet these guys, for them to meet each other, to show them around is huge," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "The only way you build team unity is for the guys to be together. Plus this gives us a little bit of a sneak peek at them, too."

FATHER FIGURES

• The club came to terms on one-year big league deals with veteran righthanders Dustin Moseley and Micah Owings. Moseley, Owings and Anthony Bass are candidates for a spot at the back end of the rotation.

• The Padres will break camp on March 1 and hold a workout in Petco Park on March 2. They'll host the Royals on March 3 in Petco Park and March 4 at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore, home of the Storm, the organization's California League affiliate.