PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres are slated to face quite a few of their National League West rivals in the coming days of Cactus League play, with the Dodgers (March 15), Rockies (March 17) and Giants (March 20) among their next seven opponents.
Manager Bud Black was asked Wednesday if he would "hide" his starting pitchers from those division teams and opt for Minor League or "B" game options in those cases so the opposition doesn't get continued looks at the Padres' rotation heading into the season.
"I don't think hide's the right word," Black said. "I don't like that word as a connotation. Will we keep certain pitchers from starting certain games? Possibly. But it's for a variety of reasons, too. Not just to play keep-away. If that happens, we can talk about the reasons why we're doing it at that point. We've talked a lot about that, but no plans that I would like to share now, publicly."
Grandal playing catch-up after rehabbing knee
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres still have a lot of catchers in camp, and manager Bud Black says they're all going to play in the coming days. But it's possible that the one San Diego is most interested in watching is Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal, who is coming back from July 2013 surgery to repair the anterior collateral and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee, has offensive upside, as evidenced by his .297 average, eight home run, 36 RBI production in a 60-game stint in 2012. After that season ended, Grandal was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for testosterone and ended up having his season cut short by the injury, leaving him with a .216 average and one homer in 28 games.
Things are getting better, however.
Grandal's knee has progressed quickly and he made his Cactus League debut Monday, going 1-for-2 and catching three innings in a win over the Rockies at Salt River Fields. On Wednesday morning, Padres manager Bud Black said Grandal would likely play in Thursday's home game against the Brewers, too.
"As Spring Training goes, there's a progression of how you use your players, especially the catchers, how you build their endurance to get them ready for the regular season," Black said.
"But Yasi now is a little bit behind, obviously, from where he started. He's still in a little bit of rehab mode but starting to transition toward full-time player mode. And that's a good thing. Any time you start transitioning from rehab player to player, without any restriction, that's where you want to be."
Black said there are still restrictions, but not too many.
"Physically, he's doing great, and he feels good about where he is, the medical staff feels good about where he is," Black said. "It's great to have him back out on the diamond playing."
Ross pleased with outing
PEORIA, Ariz -- Tyson Ross had been very sharp all spring and suffered a bit of a statistical bump in the road in his Wednesday start against the Indians, but the right-hander said everything is going the way it should for this point in the year.
Ross turned in his longest outing of the spring, going four innings and giving up three runs on six hits. One of the hits was a two-run homer off the bat of Carlos Santana.
"I struggled a little bit with fastball command, but overall it was a step in the right direction," Ross said. "I got my pitch count up, I got to mix in some more off-speed, tried to work out of some jams, but I came out of it feeling good and I'll just work on the fastball command moving forward."
Ross said he threw more changeups Wednesday than he had in his previous two outings and that he was happy with the results.
"I got some good action, some good strikes with it, a couple ground balls, a swing and miss or two," Ross said. "It's definitely something I've been working on, and it's nice to it in the game."
Headley getting closer to game action
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Third baseman Chase Headley, who has not played in any Cactus League games since straining his right calf Feb. 22, is improving and could get in a game within a week, according to Padres manager Bud Black.
Black said Headley has been hitting on the field, taking ground balls and doing his normal cardiovascular work.
"The amount of time and the intensity of him being on his feet is increasing," Black said. 'He's getting closer. We don't have a hard date of when he's going to play, but he's nearing that."