Inbox: Who in the system has All-Star potential?
Beat reporter Corey Brock answers questions from Padres fans
Are there any homegrown position players in the Padres' Minor League system who could develop into an All-Star-caliber player in the next year or two?
-- Andy H., North Park
Andy, it's a fair question for sure, though one not easily answered. In my time covering the team (since 2007), the organization has done a good job of getting drafted players to the big leagues -- just not enough impact players, if that makes sense. Chase Headley and Mat Latos are two that come to mind, if you consider them impact players. Organizations like the Padres, who haven't historically been big spenders in free agency, have to do a good job of drafting and developing these impact players to help the Major League team. In my estimation, that hasn't happened enough. In terms of the current system, outfielder Hunter Renfroe is one to watch. He's playing better -- hitting .309 in June -- after a slow start. But the system lost some good and notable players in trades from the winter.
Were the recent Minor League managerial promotions of Jamie Quirk (Triple-A El Paso) and Rod Barajas (Double-A San Antonio) on an interim basis, too (like Padres interim manager Pat Murphy)?
Roger B., Santee
Quirk moved from manager of Double-A San Antonio to Triple-A El Paso as part of the system shuffle that took place when Padres manager Bud Black was dismissed earlier this month and El Paso's Murphy took over as interim manager. Barajas was the hitting coach for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore but moved up after the shuffle took place, replacing Quirk. These jobs are all essentially one-year gigs, with the manager and coaching staffs of each affiliate renewed (or not) following each season. So Quirk and Barajas should -- barring any other movement -- hold onto their respective roles through the end of the season.
What is the current status of pitcher Brandon Morrow and his prognosis for the remainder of the year?
-- Darin P., Auburn, Wash.Video: COL@SD: Morrow strikes out four in six frames
Your timing is impeccable. Morrow played catch for the first time Friday since being shut down during a Minor League rehabilitation start with Double-A San Antonio on June 7. If you remember, he was shut down for a period of two weeks after he left his rehab start early with shoulder discomfort. The MRI he had after that incident didn't reveal any structural damage, which led to the period of rest and then, on Friday, playing catch. We'll likely know more on Tuesday when Murphy talks to reporters. There's no question the Padres would love to get Morrow healthy and slide him back into the rotation, where he had a 2.73 ERA in five starts before landing on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
What's the status of pitcher Josh Johnson?
-- Jonathan S., San Diego
Johnson, who a month ago was inching closer to a Minor League rehabilitation stint, had to cut short his simulated game last Monday after he felt tingling in the fingers on his right hand. The simulated game --and this was his second, the other coming on April 28 -- was essentially the last step before he started a rehab outing to build innings and endurance. But now it's hard to say. We could get some clarity this week, though, after we talk with Murphy in San Francisco. Johnson is working back from Tommy John surgery last year, the second such surgery he's had in his career. His rehab path had been smooth before he had to deal with some nerve issues in his second after that first simulated game.