02/19/2013 3:12 PM ET
Top prospect Gyorko battling for second base job
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres will give rookie infielder Jedd Gyorko every chance to win the second base job, even though he's only played 48 games at the position as a professional.
But don't get the wrong idea, Gyorko is very familiar with second base.
"I played a full season at second base in college [at West Virginia University] and I pretty much grew up a second baseman, even when I was younger," Gyorko said. "[I] had a whole winter to get used to it as well, and I have great coaches to teach me the ropes there."
Gyorko, who appeared at second base 47 times last season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, has spent most of his college and professional career on the left side of the diamond. He's quick to admit he'll be a work in progress at second base.
"You got to get used to the ball coming off the bat differently and the double play turns at second base," Gyorko said. "But I'm coming along and feeling more comfortable each day. I'm looking forward to it."
Gyorko is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Padres' system, according to MLB.com.
Padres legend Hoffman throws surprise BP
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Imagine the surprise Padres catcher Austin Hedges got Monday when he stepped in the cage for his first live batting practice session of spring.
Trevor Hoffman, the former Padres great, was getting ready to pitch to him.
"I definitely did a little double-take," said Hedges, the No. 5 prospect in the Padres' organization according to MLB.com.
"I was like, 'Whoa, Trevor Hoffman is throwing me batting practice.'"
The 20-year-old Hedges is in his first big league camp with the team. A second-round Draft pick in 2011, he's regarded as one of the top catching prospects in the Minor Leagues.
Hedges worked several times this past winter with former Major League catcher Brad Ausmus who, like Hoffman, is a special assistant in the Padres front office.
On Monday, Hedges got to dig in against Hoffman, who saved 552 of his 601 career saves in 16 seasons with the Padres from 1993 to 2008.
"It was actually good ... firm, straight," Hedges said. "It was a cool experience."
Hedges was asked if the 45-year-old Hoffman threw him any of his "Bugs Bunny" changeups, the pitch that served Hoffman so well during his 18-year Major League career.
"No, thank goodness," Hedges said, smiling. "Because that probably would have made me look stupid."
Grandal feels fine after first batting practice session
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There was good news on the injury front Tuesday for the Padres in that catcher Yasmani Grandal reported no pain in his left middle finger after taking batting practice the previous day.
Grandal, who is suspended for the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for testosterone, took batting practice for the first time since the 2012 season ended. A switch-hitter, Grandal was able to hit from both sides of the plate.
Grandal didn't pick up a bat all winter, giving the two inflamed tendons in his finger time to heal. But on Monday, he was cleared to hit again. The test was hitting left-handed, as the left hand is the dominant hand swinging from that side of the plate.
"We wanted to figure out if it hurt or not ... and it didn't," Grandal said. "Now we've got to work on the swing and get it game ready. And hopefully I'll get in some games this spring."
Just how many games -- even though the Padres will play a club-record 38 games -- remains to be seen, as the Padres will give catchers John Baker and Nick Hundley a majority of the playing time this spring.
• Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman showed up Tuesday in Peoria in preparation for Friday's radio broadcast of the first game of Spring Training. Coleman, 88, will call the game with Bob Scanlan and Ted Leitner on AM 1700 on Friday. Coleman and Scanlan will call the Saturday and Sunday games on AM 1090, the flagship station. All three games will begin at 1:05 p.m. PT, and are all against the Mariners.
• A day after saying Sean O'Sullivan (Friday) and Tyson Ross (Saturday) would start in the first two games of the spring against Seattle, Padres manager Bud Black indicated that veteran Freddy Garcia will pitch Sunday against the Mariners. All three pitchers are in the running for a spot in the rotation, and will get plenty of looks this spring with 38 games on the schedule.
• Cameron Maybin (sore right wrist) took part in some drills on Tuesday, but did not throw or take batting practice. The wrist has bothered Maybin in each of his first two seasons with the team, though Black said the pain has only occurred following a heavy workload or when it's positioned awkwardly.