Green's big day finally arrives

New skipper pumped for first pitcher/catcher workouts

Green's big day finally arrives

Last in a seven-part Spring Training series leading up to Friday's first workouts for pitchers and catchers.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There have been several notable days for Padres manager Andy Green since he took the job in late October.

He's hired coaches, met with players and helped host a prospect minicamp last month in San Diego, just to name a few.

Position battles | Prospects to watch | Newcomers | Rebound candidates | Lineup | 3 burning questions

On Friday, Green's list grew with one noteworthy addition: Presiding over his first workout of the spring, as pitchers and catchers had their first official action.

Green was asked Thursday what his feelings were on the eve of Friday's workout.

Padres Spring Training info

"I don't think there are going to be any apprehensions,'' he said. "I think there are always butterflies on a job for anybody ... it kind of lets you know you're alive and lets you focus on your job.

"But Tony La Russa told me the day you stop getting butterflies is the day you're probably not cut out to do this. You should feel responsibility; you should feel a deep care. ... There's some genuine excitement.'"

Several position players had already arrived in Peoria to get a jump on Spring Training, including new outfielder Jon Jay and outfielder Matt Kemp.

Padres pitchers and catchers

The rest of the position players aren't scheduled to report to Arizona until Feb. 23, with the first full-squad workout set for the following day.

As Kemp looked around the clubhouse on Thursday, he saw several familiar faces and many new ones. Of the 59 players who will eventually be in camp, 41 have three or fewer years of Major League service time.

Gone are outfielder Justin Upton (Tigers), starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (Royals) and relievers Joaquin Benoit (Mariners) and Craig Kimbrel (Red Sox).

Kemp doesn't mind the new faces one bit.

"Those guys are irreplaceable, but we've got guys here who are capable of doing the job. There's going to be a lot of competition here in Spring Training," he said. "Hopefully, guys are up for the challenge and are ready to come in and work."

Jay, acquired from the Cardinals, could end up in center field or left field. There's free-agent addition Alexei Ramirez, who will be counted on to be the everyday shortstop. There's a host of young arms trying to win jobs in the bullpen, and the back end of the rotation is up for grabs.

In other words, it could be a very interesting six weeks in Arizona for the Padres.

In terms of whether the Padres are rebuilding or not, Green would only say the focus is on getting better each day. He'll let everyone else sort out what the Padres are -- or aren't.

"I think the vibe with everybody as I've gone around talking in the offseason is, we enter the season with no other thought but going out and competing and getting better every single day. If we can improve every day, there's enough people in this clubhouse who have done enough in this game that we'll be right in the thick of it," Green said.

"We'll engage in the work and get better every single day. I tell you, these guys don't lack in confidence, they don't lack for a desire to go prove themselves. It's a different label this year than what the Padres had last year. I think these guys kind of relish that role, and we're going to embrace it."

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