02/20/2013 3:59 PM ET
Brach eager to build on strong rookie campaign
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There were a lot of things to like about Brad Brach's rookie season in the Padres' bullpen.
Brach threw the sixth-most innings of any rookie reliever in baseball (66 2/3), had the fifth-most strikeouts (75) and posted the third-lowest opponent batting average (.207). He was durable and dependable.
What Brach didn't care much for were the 11 home runs he allowed which was, really, the only blight on what was otherwise a strong season for the 26-year-old right-hander.
"I think sometimes it was pitch selection and just balls elevated in the zone. You've got to keep the ball down and in the park," Brach said.
Only Luke Gregerson (77 games) appeared in more games than Brach (67), who learned a lot about what it takes to be successful in the Major Leagues during his rookie season.
One of the points Brach will carry forward into 2013 is trying to get hitters to chase pitches outside the strike zone more.
"Last year in the beginning of the year, I had a little trouble throwing strikes. So they emphasized being in the zone," Brach said. "But I think being in the zone too much can get you in trouble. Sometimes you have got to expand. I think expanding the zone can be a good part of my arsenal."
Padres optimistic Everth's name will be cleared
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Shortstop Everth Cabrera said Wednesday he was taken aback to see that his name was linked to Biogenesis, the South Florida anti-aging clinic currently under investigation by Major League Baseball.
"I was a little bit surprised," he told reporters.
Cabrera and Padres reliever Fautino De Los Santos were linked in documents that were obtained by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" and released Tuesday. The documents revealed both players as receiving performance-enhancing drugs, although the documents alone aren't proof the players actually received or used PEDs.
Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez, A's reliever Jordan Norberto and Mets prospect Cesar Puello were also linked to the clinic, according to the ESPN report.
"I'm going to cooperate with Major League Baseball, and I can't say anything," Cabrera said.
Cabrera met with San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes as well as manager Bud Black before talking to reporters at the team's Spring Training facility.
"I can't comment specifically on Cabby, but we're satisfied from what we've heard," Black said. "This will resolve itself, I think, in a positive way.
"It's something that for a moment might be a distraction, a disappointment that some of our guys might be mentioned in the press. But in the long term as it relates here, I think things will be OK."
Why was Black so optimistic?
"Because of my conversation with Cabby," he said.
One document obtained by "Outside the Lines" lists Cabrera and a figure of $1,500 from March 2012. De Los Santos, who played for the A's and Brewers last season, is also listed with a figure of $700 from March of last year as well. The Padres claimed De Los Santos off waivers from the Brewers on Feb. 6.
The 26-year-old Cabrera, projected as the Padres' starting shortstop, hit .246 last season in 115 games and led the National League in stolen bases (44).
"As far as fact finding, I don't know more than anyone else does, nor should we, we're not part of the investigation," Byrnes said. "We'll support whatever Major League Baseball needs. From what I understand, Everth will be part of the investigation and intends to cooperate."
As for Cabrera, he sounded like he was ready to move on.
"I'm very confident none of this will affect me. I'm a professional. I'm confident," Cabrera said. "I'm sorry about the situation for the San Diego Padres organization."
Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal, who in November was suspended for the first 50 games of 2013 after testing positive for testosterone, was linked in January to Biogenesis. Thus far, Grandal has declined to answer questions about any potential connection to the clinic.
• The Padres have announced pitchers for their first three games of Cactus League play against the Mariners, which get under way on Friday. Rotation hopeful Sean O'Sullivan will start Friday. Tyson Ross, another hopeful, goes Saturday. Finally on Sunday, Freddy Garcia and Casey Kelly, also in the running for spots in the rotation, will take the hill.
• Morning rains wiped out all work on the field on Wednesday, including batting practice as well as fielding drills. Players were able to hit in the covered hitting area, and the skies cleared just enough that several pitchers were able to throw in the mound area.
• Minor League infield prospect River Stevens, who was selected in the ninth round of the First-Year Player Draft a year ago, will miss the 2013 season after having surgery to repair a torn right labrum. Stevens hit .241 in 49 games with short-season Eugene of the Northwest League.