Padres host workout for pair of Cuban players
More than dozen scouts watch shortstop Diaz, righty Despaigne
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A little international baseball came to the Padres' Spring Training facility in Arizona on Thursday, as the team held a workout for two Cuban players.
Shortstop Aledmys Diaz and right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne worked out in front of over a dozen scouts on Thursday morning, the same day pitchers and catchers reported to camp.
"It was good to host the workout," said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes. "Obviously, scouts from many teams attended, but it's nice to show the players the high-quality facility we have."
The 27-year-old Despaigne had a 3.27 ERA for the Cuban team Industriales with 98 strikeouts in 143 innings in 2013. The previous season, he had 128 strikeouts in 169 1/3 innings with a 2.60 ERA.
Diaz, 23, last played in Cuba during the 2011-12 season before defecting. Diaz can sign with a Major League team as soon as next week after previously falsifying his age.
Of the two players, Diaz would most certainly command the higher contract given his age and that he plays such a premium position.
Torres to miss first workout with visa issues
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Only one pitcher will miss the Padres' first workout for pitchers and catchers on Friday.
Left-hander Alex Torres, who was obtained from the Rays last month in a seven-player trade, won't likely arrive in Peoria until next week after having visa issues in his native Venezuela.
Torres won't likely miss but a handful of early throwing sessions, but that won't be detrimental to him, especially since the team will be in Peoria for six weeks before breaking camp. Also, he's a reliever and won't need the requisite innings to build his arm strength as if he was a starter.
Torres is expected to handle a big role in the revamped bullpen that also includes righty Joaquin Benoit, who will handle the eighth inning and spell closer Huston Street if needed.
A year ago, Torres was able to handle righties (.149 batting average against) as well as lefties (.175). Because of that, he's not viewed as a left-handed specialist. The team could carry a second lefty in its seven-man bullpen.
On Friday, the team will have 29 pitchers and six catchers in camp. Some pitchers, including prospects Matt Wisler and Jesse Hahn -- who like Torres was acquired from the Rays -- will throw off a mound.