3/5/2014 4:44 P.M. ET
Padres to gauge Medica's ability in outfield
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have liked what they've seen offensively thus far from Tommy Medica, as he recorded eight hits in his first 11 at-bats of Cactus League play.
Now, the Padres want to see how Medica, a first baseman, looks on defense in the outfield, which not only could increase his versatility but could also be a determining factor on whether he lands on the 25-man Opening Day roster or heads to Triple-A El Paso to begin the season.
"We're exploring that possibility," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We'll see how that looks. We'll see. He's athletic, he runs well and has good hands. But you look at the breaks, the routes, things that come harder for a guy who hasn't played the outfield."
Depending on how they cut up the roster, the Padres could have room for Medica on the Opening Day roster as outfielder Cameron Maybin will miss upwards of two months after rupturing his biceps tendon on Sunday while making a diving catch.
For now, Medica will play first base in spring games. The Padres are comfortable with his development during morning drills under the watchful eyes of bench coach Dave Roberts and new first-base coach Jose Valentin.
"In order for him to project as an outfielder in the Major Leagues, there's a lot to work on," Black said.
Cashner setting the bar high for Padres on the mound
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Bud Black has yet to name his Opening Day starter, but there's no reason to think it won't be Andrew Cashner, who looked sharp again on Wednesday.
In his second start of the spring, Cashner allowed two hits over three scoreless innings. He didn't walk a batter and had three strikeouts.
Cashner retired the final six hitters he faced and made a nice play on a bunt by Alejandro De Aza in the third inning, and followed that by getting Gordon Beckham looking at a called third strike.
Cashner estimated that he threw "six or seven" sliders, the knuckle-slider that he used early last season. He had good results with it Wednesday and mixed in a few changeups to boot.
"The breaking ball was maybe the best it's been since 2012," Cashner said. "I started throwing my spike again and got the depth and bite I like.
"I threw some good changeups and broke some bats on some inside fastballs."
Cashner, who tossed two scoreless innings against Seattle last week, will continue to build his stamina and endurance. He threw 39 pitches against the White Sox.
Schuster moving past bad first impression
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There wasn't much for Patrick Schuster to like about his Padres debut on Feb. 27, as the left-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits in one inning against the Mariners.
"It kind of got out of control," Schuster said. "That was definitely not what I wanted my first impression to be for these guys."
Schuster, trying to make the team as a lefty specialist, had to wait until Sunday to get another chance to pitch, though the results made the wait worth it.
Schuster faced four hits, allowing one hit, against the Dodgers. Better yet, Schuster retired the two left-handed batters he faced, Clint Robinson on a ground ball and Nick Buss on a fly ball.
"I made some good pitches and got some lefties out, which is what I need to do," he said. "I think in the first game I was trying to nibble on the corners too much. I was holding a lot back. [Sunday], I wasn't so much concerned with where it was going but more letting my movement on the ball do what it needed to do."
Schuster then worked a scoreless inning against the D-backs on Tuesday and also picked off a batter at first base, the play resulting in an out after a rundown.
San Diego manager Bud Black said the team is still considering carrying two lefties in the bullpen, as Alex Torres will make the team, though not in a specialist role. Tony Sipp is the other lefty in camp getting a look this spring.
"We're talking about it," Black said. "We're looking for the best seven pitchers, though. We're going to keep the best pitcher."
Schuster figures to get many more opportunities moving forward, as the Padres continue to evaluate him. But because he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Astros -- from the D-backs organization -- Schuster must remain on the Padres' big league roster all season or be offered back to the D-backs.
"It's all a player wants, the opportunity to decide where they're going to go," he said. "I know that if I throw the ball well, I've got a good chance of making the squad."
• Third baseman Chase Headley, sidelined with a right calf strain since Feb. 22, has started taking batting practice from both sides of the plate. Earlier this week, he was limited to hitting left-handed so not to place additional pressure on the calf. There's no timeline for his return to action, though he and the Padres are encouraged by his recovery from the injury.
• Torres will make his Padres debut by tossing one inning Thursday against the Rangers. Torres arrived in camp 12 days after pitchers and catchers reported because of visa issues at home in Venezuela. The Padres had considered letting him pitch in a simulated game but opted to let him throw in a game.