"Guys got their work in, and all the drills went well," he said. "I thought the pitchers looked ready for what we asked of them."Black said that he made a point during his address to the club that he'd pitched against a few of them and with one of them, having gone to Toronto in a trade from Cleveland late in the 1990 season, joining a staff that included a youthful Boomer Wells. "The thing I remember was he was exuberant," Black said. "There was a playfulness to him -- and there was a confidence you could see." On the mend: Cesar Carrillo, the club's first-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, is testing his right elbow after a strained ligament shut down his season last year, when he was pitching for Triple-A Portland. The Padres are being careful not to rush Carrillo, one of the gems of their farm system. Carrillo worked his third bullpen assignment on Friday and reported no problems with the elbow. A former University of Miami standout who grew up in Chicago, Carrillo is 6-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 22 Minor League appearances, striking out 108 while walking 34 in 110 innings. He's ticketed for Portland again, and there's a chance he could find a spot in San Diego by the end of 2007 if he jumps back on the fast track. Easing along: Clay Hensley and Chris Young extended their 2006 seasons by touring with a team of Major League stars in Japan. With their starting jobs assured, both can pace themselves this spring. "This was the third time I've thrown off the mound," Hensley said following Saturday's workout. "I'm taking it a little easier than before. I'm getting ready for April. Being in Japan added a little to the season, so I needed to rest a little more than I normally would in the offseason.
"I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to this season, seeing what we can do as a team and what I can accomplish as a full-time starter."
Hensley made his first start last year on April 18 after opening the season in the bullpen.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less