Josh Byrnes, Max Fried, and a Modest Request to Darren Smith

Today while listening to Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes speak with Darren Smith on the Mighty 1090 the conversation bounced from a weird type of ball game played by front office personnel, then to Chase Headley‘s calf, before finally settling in to my main concern this spring – Max Fried‘s tender forearm.

Darren asked Byrnes about his initial reaction to news from the trainers that something was up with Fried’s forearm/elbow and the GM said this:

“Yeah, I mean it’s been a lot the last few years and you kinda just keep waiting for the worm to turn and obviously, ya know, we’ve changed a few things with how we train and how we treat but . . .”

Wait, wait, wait. That’s gold right there.

I could be wrong but that admission from Josh Byrnes feels like the first time the Padres have acknowledged a change in training regimens for their pitchers/players. In light of recent UCL surgeries to the elbows of Juan Oramas, Cory Luebke (twice), Rymer Liriano, Joe Wieland, and Casey Kelly it would make sense that the Padres have taken a hard look at how their players train.

With the rash of elbow issues over the last two seasons I think most fans are curious about what types of proactive measures the Padres are taking to keep young arms on the field.

So I have a modest request for Darren Smith: Please ask Josh Byrnes to clarify how the Padres have “changed a few things with how [they] train”?

** UPDATE **

The following exchange occurred yesterday:


I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday (usually) mornings and when I’m feeling particularly outraged by the location of statues around Petco Park. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at

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  • TheNational PastimeBaseball

    In Italy we say something like: Don’t change a new way, it’s better the old. If the results of new training are an elbow-cide ( i hope is corrct as word). Please return to something old.

    • Byrnes is saying that they’ve changed since the injuries have occurred.

      • TheNational PastimeBaseball

        perfect thank you i haven0t heard the interview so i didn’t know.

  • Rick

    I think that Byrnes is saying that the training regiment changed a few years ago–before the injuries occurred. The Padres baby their young pitchers–the starters anyway. They usually go no more than 6 innings and no more than 80 pitches per start. Obviously babying their pitchers has not been effective for them. The team usually puts about seven or eight pitchers on the disabled list every year and usually have no more than 1 complete game per year. Years ago teams had about 20 complete games a year–and far less injuries. The Padres are obviously doing a poor job of training and using their pitchers.

  • ballybunion

    I think all he’s saying is there won’t be the build up of innings/pitches in Spring Training like past years. They’ve already announced that they’ll be easing everyone, especially pitchers, gradually toward opening day. Too many players began the season on the DL the last few years.

    What I’d like to hear is, any injury, any pain problem that crops up, they take precautionary x-rays and/or consult a doctor FIRST. Don’t let the training staff do preliminary diagnosis, or set a rehab regimen before a doctor weighs in.

    They treated Jerry Hairston in 2010 for shin splints, with progressive weight on the leg, and a month later an x-ray found a hairline fracture that required crutches and NO weight from day one. Last year, they treated Alonso’s hand as a bruise for over a week before x-rays revealed a fracture, so trainer diagnosis is still going on. There’s no excuse for waiting a week after a hit by pitch to take precautionary x-rays.