Grandal hustling to make Opening Day roster
PEORIA, Ariz. -- There's been nothing idle about the way catcher Yasmani Grandal has pushed himself to get ready for Opening Day -- even if the team is being cautious about his surgically repaired right knee.
Grandal, who had surgery in August to repair his anterior cruciate ligament after a nasty collision in a July game against the Nationals, recently dismissed the prescribed nine- to 12-month recovery period that he was quoted shortly after surgery.
All along, Grandal has had his sights set on making the Padres' 25-man Opening Day roster and doesn't want to consider anything else.
"His sense of motivation and commitment is as strong as I've seen in a long time," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's got a big 'want to.'"
Grandal has worked with Padres physical therapist Rick Stauffer, and also in Florida and Arizona, during a busy offseason in which he also got married. While in San Diego, he sought out video footage of the new pitchers the team has acquired this winter in order to acclimate himself before getting to Peoria.
"Watching him doing some agility drills on the field, we're really encouraged about how he's moving and what he's doing on the field," Black said. "If you talk to the doctors, you talk to the therapists, you talk to the strength guys, and they are really -- I don't want to say amazed -- but they are extremely happy with his progression."
Despite Grandal's quick recovery, the team will monitor the work load he puts on his knee. For example, he caught pitchers throwing off a mound on Friday but didn't do so Saturday.