FORT MYERS, Fla. - While Bobby Valentine considers Vicente Padilla one of the mild surprises of camp, he also revealed the veteran righthander is nursing a right hamstring injury he suffered in the weight room.
Valentine has no idea how long Padilla will be out because the injury is in its first 24 hours. There was certainly a chance that Padilla was going to make the team and perhaps take on Alfredo Aceves's role as a multi-purpose pitcher out of the bullpen and/or spot start.
A few other thoughts from Valentine on a variety of topics ...
On whether he's ready to declare Bard, tonight's starting pitcher, a member of the rotation:
"I'm not there yet. I don't know if anyone is being analyzed in a vacuum. It's what the team needs, how he looks at at what he's doing and how he fits into the rotation and how the the people fit who can come into the game when he leaves. He's done real well. He's going to make the team."
On the bullpen taking shape (Valentine said the health of the relief pitchers, excepting Padilla, is good):
"There will be guys pitching in bullpen role situations from now on. We're going to make cuts to limit the number of people so people pitch more frequently. Starting guys who have been stretched out will probably be pitching less innings so we'll have an idea who fits in. And we'll have an idea whether we'll go with 11, 12 or 13 pitchers moving out of the South."
On whether he would sacrifice starting pitching in order to shift bodies to the bullpen:
"I hate to sacrifice offense for defense and defense for offense. I like to have a perfect blend of everything but sometimes that doesn't happen. So you take the best of what you have. We've seen many teams change the emphasis and move a starter to reliever, reliever to starter, a bench guy to everyday player to change a little. I don't think everything is in concrete in the next week or the next three weeks, but we'll have a good group going forward."