Padres add two left-handers
Poreda, acquired in Peavy deal, will work on command
SAN FRANCISCO -- Within in his first few minutes of throwing on a Padres jersey Tuesday, left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda was throwing off the mound in the visiting bullpen at a nearly empty AT&T Park.
Poreda, the 22-year-old who was recalled from Triple-A Portland on Tuesday, pitched while pitching coach Darren Balsley, bench coach Darrel Akerfelds and the Padres manager, Bud Black, intently watched from the side hours before the game.
Poreda, regarded as the key piece in the July 31 deal that saw the Padres trade pitcher Jake Peavy to the White Sox for four pitchers, officially joined the team with fellow left-hander Cesar Ramos, who was also with Portland.
Poreda was 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA in seven games with Portland that followed the trade and a combined 5-7 with a 3.95 ERA in the Minor Leagues this season and 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 10 games with the White Sox.
Poreda, inexplicably, experienced command issues with Portland that even now baffle him. He walked 30 in 32 2/3 innings with 37 strikeouts. Opposing batters were hitting .239 against him.
"It did snowball a little bit, you know, getting traded, going from a starter to the bullpen to a starter again; stuff like that can mess you up," said Poreda, who was used as both a starter and reliever with the White Sox.
"Psychologically it can mess you up. But it's a learning experience. I learned a lot about myself and feel like I'm on the right track of where I need to be."
Black said there's no timetable as to when Poreda will pitch in a game or if he will appear as a starter or a reliever when he does. For now, the Padres want him to work on the side with Balsley and reach a point where he's completely comfortable.
"We're going to put our eyes on him, Darren, Ack [Akerfelds] and myself," Black said. "I know he finished Triple-A with not the results he wanted. We want to get him feeling comfortable on the mound. From our conversations, he didn't feel right [in Portland].
"We're going to offer advice as we move along. ... I could see him pitching in a game."
Poreda said he wants to start in 2010 but certainly understands that decision rests in the hands of the organization. At the very least, the competition for the five spots in the rotation could make for an interesting spring.
Ramos, 25, will pitch in relief for the time being. He went 5-6 with a 3.99 ERA in 15 starts with Portland. He was chosen by the Padres with the 35th overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Ramos tossed six scoreless innings in Portland's regular-season finale Monday. Because of that, he won't be available to pitch in the next few days, Black said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.