Notes: Black leans toward Thompson

Notes: Black leans toward Thompson

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There are still some tough decisions to be made regarding the Padres' bullpen, but it's looking more and more like right-hander Mike Thompson will make the team.

Here's why.

The Padres don't have a designated long reliever -- someone who is capable of soaking up more than two innings and saving the rest of the bullpen if a starting pitcher doesn't last long.

Thompson is capable of doing that as well as starting in a pinch -- something that he had plenty of practice of last season.

"We like his ability to pitch three innings in a long relief role," San Diego manager Bud Black said Friday. "If you look at a lot of those guys in the mix, it's not in their history. Mike being a starter by trade has that ability to throw 60 pitches or more in a relief role. And we think he's resilient enough where he can bounce back and be available in a day or two."

Thompson made 16 starts for the Padres last season, going 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA while shuttling between Triple-A Portland and San Diego on five separate occasions.

Thompson has a 3.12 ERA in five spring games and hasn't allowed a run in each of his last three appearances including working out of a bases loaded jam with one out against the Angels on March 20.

Wells update: In his first appearance since revealing that he has Type 2 diabetes, David Wells threw five scoreless innings on Friday in a Minor League game at the Peoria Sports Complex between the Padres' Double-A and Triple-A teams.

The 43-year-old Wells, playing for San Diego's Double-A team, allowed five hits and one walk. Wells also struck out five in his first appearance since March 18 when he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in three innings against the White Sox.

"It was good ... just going out there working on the command, making my pitches a little sharper," said Wells, who told the San Diego Union-Tribune in its March 19 edition that he had diabetes. "So it was good. I accomplished it."

Wells is on target for his next appearance on Wednesday. The Padres face the Royals that day in Surprise. It's not known if Wells will start that game or if he will appear in another Minor League game.

(Not) road trippin': It's split-squad time again for the Padres, though Saturday's Cactus League venture offers a unique twist as one team heads to Maryvale for a game against Milwaukee while another group faces the Diamondbacks in Yuma.

That's right, Yuma.

Black indicated that he will take a group that includes regulars Adrian Gonzalez, Marcus Giles, Khalil Greene and Kevin Kouzmanoff on a 360-mile roundtrip to Yuma, where the team used to spend each spring from 1969 to 1993.

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Black said that he didn't have to twist any arms to coax any players to take the long trip.

"You have to understand, a player who comes from [training in] Florida in the spring ... they think [the travel] is amazing," Black said. "Florida travel, it's better now, but for years your closet trip was an hour."

Gonzalez, Giles and Kouzmanoff are among those who have spent time in the Grapefruit League in Florida before joining the Padres.

Waiting on Mac: Outfielder Paul McAnulty hasn't played since March 18 when he strained his surgically repaired right knee in a game. He said Friday he's itching to get back in the lineup.

"But I can't change it," said McAnulty, who said his knee feels sore. "I've got to deal with it. Right now, I want to find out what's going on."

That will happen Saturday when McAnulty's knee will be examined by a doctor. He will know then if he'll make it back for the final few days of Spring Training.

McAnulty has had a strong spring and the Padres have gone as far to say that he's forced their hand as they go about putting together their bench -- especially now that it looks like Terrmel Sledge will be the Opening Day starter in left field.

McAnulty is hitting .353 this spring two home runs and eight RBI.

Pads and ends: Pitcher Kevin Cameron, the Rule 5 pickup from the Twins who has looked so good in camp, had his roughest outing of the spring Friday against the A's. Cameron allowed three runs on four hits with two walks in an inning of Oakland's 8-7 victory over San Diego in Phoenix. ... Closer Trevor Hoffman worked his first game of the spring without allowing a run. Hoffman tossed a scoreless seventh inning. He came into the game having allowed six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. "He's throwing fine. You want to put up zeroes whether it's a Spring Training game or a sandlot game," Black said. ... Jose Cruz Jr. hit his fourth home run of the spring in the first inning off A's starter Dan Haren. Cruz Jr. has driven in 10 runs this spring.

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.