03/11/2013 3:29 PM ET
Relaxed Hundley off to positive spring start
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Given his play this spring, you'd think Nick Hundley underwent some drastic offseason changes to fix the offensive part of his game that let him down in a big way last season.
Turns out, he's been working on one thing and one thing only:
"I'm trying to be loose," Hundley said. "I'm trying to be relaxed; that's really all I've been working on."
It has certainly worked so far, as Hundley notched 11 hits in 23 at-bats before Monday. What's more important is that he's driving the ball, slugging .783 and with an OPS of 1.283.
That's quite the quick turnaround from last season's anemic numbers. After signing a $9 million contract extension last January, Hundley struggled to a .157 batting average and just a .245 slugging percentage in 58 games before he was sent to Triple-A Tucson. To tack on, he injured his knee in mid-April -- a major hindrance all year -- and his season ended early with surgery on it in August.
"He was pressing too hard, wanting to live up to his contract a little bit and wanting to prove that he was the guy," manager Bud Black said. "Then he started going the other way, the knee situation happened, he kept playing through it. He started trying harder, and the harder he tried the worse it got."
As a result of those struggles, Hundley has made adjustments to his stance in an effort to keep his swing loose. His hands are lower, and his path to the ball is more direct. In short, there are not as many moving parts.
But what may be even more important than the mechanics is the mental adjustment he has made.
"The only day that matters is right now, and the only pitch that matters is right now," Hundley said. "I've wasted way too much of my life looking ahead. That's something I've made the adjustment on, and I'll need to continue that."
With Yasmani Grandal suspended for the first 50 games of the season, Hundley figures to get the opportunity to prove himself yet again. He has certainly done so this spring, and Black likes what he has seen.
"It's a combination of the physical -- his stance and his swing have been changed a little bit -- and the mental side, being more composed," Black said. "He's got a calmer sense in the batter's box than ever before.
"Now, he's just got to take that into a regular-season game. It's easy to do in a Spring Training game, as opposed to maybe Opening Day in New York."
Forsythe in boot, will miss a week
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres infielder Logan Forsythe will be in a boot for three to four days, a result of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot that will keep him out of action for about a week.
He received an injection in the foot and said the treatment should go a long way toward curing the lingering ailment.
"It was barking a little bit before spring, but I didn't think it was anything like this," Forsythe said. "I started doing everyday things, and I just couldn't shake it. We made a decision Saturday to shoot it up and just take a couple days, and hopefully it clears up."
Forsythe has a bit of a history with injury problems in the spring. He missed time early last season when he had the sesamoid bone surgically removed from his left foot. He got off to a late start this spring because of a sore knee.
With highly touted rookie Jedd Gyorko competing for the second base job, it's possible Forsythe's role this season will be as more of a utility man. He has started twice at shortstop and has worked in camp at third base and in the outfield.
"I think [the versatility] will help tremendously, not just for me, but for the team," Forsythe said. "If there's a spot, [manager Bud Black] doesn't have to go looking for another player. He can just put me in."
Forsythe said he sees the time off as a bit of a positive after spending much of his downtime during the first couple of weeks of games constantly stretching and worrying about his foot.
The extended Spring Training because of the World Baseball Classic also helps, and Black said with the extra time to work this spring, he does not see the injury as too much of a setback.
"It's not ideal, because players want to play," Black said. "This is just a little bit of a deterrent that keeps him from getting innings, but it has no bearing on how we feel about him as a player."
Maybin day to day with back soreness
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin is day to day with soreness in his lower back after he felt a twinge while stretching a few days ago.
Maybin has not played since Thursday, and the Padres are not sure when he will be back in the lineup, but manager Bud Black indicated it is not serious.
"I come here to play baseball, so I don't know if there is ever a nice time [for an injury]," Maybin said. "I always consider it unfortunate if you're not getting a chance to play. But it's one of those things that if anything's going to happen, you'd rather have it happen earlier rather than later."
On Monday morning, Maybin's midsection was wrapped, and he had an ice pack on his lower-left back, which he says has been affecting him most when he moves.
"It's been affecting the way I run and use my legs pretty much," Maybin said. "That's my biggest asset, so I've got to take care of it."
There's no specific incident Maybin can recall that may have caused the injury. He is off to a hot start to the spring, hitting .350 with a homer in seven Cactus League contests.
Volquez unlikely to test limits in Round 2 of Classic
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There's not much concern in Padres camp over Edinson Volquez's next World Baseball Classic appearance with the Dominican Republic.
The right-hander started for the club Thursday in its Classic opener but was removed after throwing just 11 pitches because of a rain delay. That setback means Volquez was unable to continue stretching his arm out on schedule.
The limit for pitch counts in the second round of play is 80, but after the early exit, Volquez's arm is not ready for that kind of a workload. The Padres are in the process of getting in touch with the Dominican staff to make sure it is aware.
"That won't happen," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We've talked about that. They know that his pitch count was down. Because of the rain delay and him not going back out, he wasn't able to get to the 50-60 pitches that were allowable in the protocol. Common sense tells you that he can't go from 11 pitches to 80."
If the Dominicans stick with their current rotation, Volquez is on track to pitch the first game of the second round against Italy on Thursday.
• Carlos Quentin, who was slated to DH, was scratched from Monday's game against Oakland with mild discomfort in his right knee. He was replaced in the lineup by Yonder Alonso.
• The Padres optioned right-hander Adys Portillo and infielder Edinson Rincon to Double-A San Antonio, while outfielder Yeison Asencio was sent to Class A Lake Elsinore. Those moves bring the current roster to 57 players.
• With Team Mexico's elimination from the World Baseball Classic over the weekend, bench coach Rick Renteria returned to Padres camp on Monday. He managed Mexico to a 1-2 record during the Classic.