07/03/07 11:09 PM ET
Notes: Top-pick Schmidt in town
Lefty out of Arkansas throws bullpen session for Padres
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Not a bad day for Schmidt, the left-handed pitcher the Padres picked in the first-round of the First-Year Player Draft in June with the 23rd overall pick, who was in town for the first time.
Schmidt, who agreed to terms with the Padres on a $1.29 million signing bonus on June 28, also threw a bullpen session under the watchful eyes of members of the organization, including manager Bud Black.
"I think we were all impressed by Nick," Black said. "We liked his delivery. ... The ball came out of his hand nice. His fastball had life. I think there's some deception in there to his delivery, the ball kind of gets on you. I can see why he had the success that he had."
Schmidt hadn't thrown a pitch since the end of the season for the University of Arkansas, when he promptly took four weeks off. He resumed throwing last week and will be sent to pitch for Class A Fort Wayne later this week.
Grady Fuson, the Padres vice president of scouting and player development, has said that Schmidt likely will be limited to around 50 innings this season after logging 124 innings this past season for the Razorbacks.
"I threw a lot this past spring," Schmidt said. "To limit me to 50 at the max, I think that's good for my arm ... to get a start in pro ball without too much overdoing it."
Schmidt watched Tuesday's game from inside a suite with his parents, girlfriend Jill and 7-month-old son Mason. He's anxious to start his professional career. The plan is for him to join Fort Wayne on Thursday while the team is playing a series at West Michigan.
"He's got a good feel for the ball," Black said. "He has good command. A lot of kids that are drafted out of high school or college, you can term them as throwers. I think Nick is a pitcher."
Sledge-able: For the first time since Wednesday, outfielder Terrmel Sledge was able to appear in a game on Tuesday against the Marlins.
Sledge is not 100 percent, but he's ready to get back in the game after almost a week of inactivity because of a sprained right thumb.
"It's going all good," Sledge said of his thumb. "I swung live yesterday and today. I'm sure I'm available today and here on out."
Sledge sprained his thumb in San Francisco when he went for a diving catch against the Giants. Sledge, who is batting .224 with six home runs, 16 RBIs and 17 runs, had tape around his thumb and wrist before Tuesday's game.
"Just to protect it when I'm swinging and when I'm on the field," Sledge said of the tape. "It's just a tape job, just to kind of support my job."
Black said that Sledge has "made some great strides in the last couple of days." And his thumb was "was a little testy with the glove the other day catching balls, but he's better."
Sledge is hopeful he will be back in the lineup or at least see playing time before the All-Star break.
"I'm not up here to sit on the bench," Sledge said. "That's why we play this game. We want to be on the field and help the team out. First and foremost we play to win, and that's no good when you sit on the bench and you know you can't help."
Meacham's honor: San Diego first-base coach Bobby Meacham will be inducted into the San Diego State Aztec Hall of Fame during the weekend of Nov. 2-3, the school announced Tuesday.
Meacham will be enshrined in the Hall with three former football players: Steve Duich (1966-67) his father John (1935, 1937-38) and Jay Gutowski (1953-56), two-spot standout and beach volleyball legend Mike Dodd (1975-80) and All-American water polo standout Rachel Scott (1995-98).
The official induction ceremony will take place on Nov. 2, with the class being recognized at halftime of the Aztecs' home football game vs. Wyoming on Nov. 3.
Meacham, who played at SDSU from 1979-81, earned team MVP and third team All-American accolades as a freshman in 1979. He was a second-team All-American in 1981 after batting .375 with seven home runs, 51 RBIs and 44 stolen bases.
Friar notes: Black is unsure if newly acquired outfielder Milton Bradley will be activated from the disabled list when he's eligible on Saturday. Bradley is still nursing a sore left oblique. "I think as we get closer to the weekend ... we'll have a better idea," Black said. "He continues to get treatment. I don't think we have an idea what's going to happen." The other option is to let Bradley skip the last two games before the All-Star break and rest during the break. He would then rejoin the team for the start of a three-game series in Arizona on July 13. ... Reliever Doug Brocail, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 21 with a strained left gluteus muscle, will throw what Black termed "a few innings," on Wednesday for Class A Lake Elsinore. Brocail will be eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. ... Matt Bush continues to make progress in his conversion from shortstop to pitcher. Bush threw another scoreless inning Monday in the Arizona League, striking out two. That brings his total to eight strikeouts in just 3 1/3 innings over three appearances.
On deck: The Padres continue their four-game series against Florida at 6:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday at PETCO Park. Young (8-3, 2.14) gets the start for San Diego. The Marlins will counter with Josh Johnson (0-3, 10.97). The series will conclude Thursday.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Associate reporter Elizabeth Botello contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.