Fowler pleased with Padres' early progress

Fowler pleased with Padres' early progress

SAN DIEGO -- Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler was watching Friday night's game against the Dodgers from a suite at Petco Park when San Diego fell behind, 1-0, in the second inning.

Fowler hardly batted an eye. That wouldn't have been the case a year ago.

"We know we're going to score runs," he said. "You don't get concerned about being down two-zip in the fourth or fifth inning like before. You know the team is going to score runs."

While first-year general manager A.J. Preller was the architect to the Padres' massive rebuilding job -- particularly with the position player group -- it was Fowler who ultimately signed off on every move.

It's been well-documented by now the moves Preller made this winter; adding former All-Stars, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Derek Norris and a former Rookie of the Year in Wil Myers and several others.

Preller also signed pitcher James Shields to the largest contract in team history in February (four years, $75 million) and then, before Opening Day, traded for closer Craig Kimbrel, formerly of the Braves.

Fowler said he's pleased with the way the Padres -- who took a 10-8 record into Saturday's game with the Dodgers -- had performed.

"This is exactly what we hoped for," Fowler said. "I think from my perspective, A.J. is pleased with where it's at. I think Buddy [manager Black] is pleased with the chemistry in the clubhouse. We have a true what I'll call a diva in a positive sense in Kemp. He likes to stir the drink. The other guys feed off him.

"We've got a lot of guys playing with a chip on their shoulder. A.J. does a good job of making sure they remember that."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.