Notes: Dad pleased with Burroughs
Third baseman's father, a former MVP, likes his progress
SAN DIEGO -- Sean Burroughs hasn't been getting as many phone messages as usual from his father, former American League Most Valuable Player Jeff Burroughs. He'd occasionally check his cell phone during a game, and there would be a reminder from his dad about something he'd done -- or not done.
"He's my biggest fan and biggest coach," Sean, the Padres' idled third baseman, said Thursday night, awaiting a return to the lineup after sitting out a week with hamstring and quadriceps ailments. "He watches every game, every at-bat.
"He'll leave a message, usually if I make a mistake -- man on second, nobody out, and I'm not trying to get him over to third. Or not taking the extra base, something like that. This year, there haven't been too many of those. I've been pretty good with not making mental mistakes. I've got to stay focused on every pitch."
Sean has been in the limelight since his pre-teens in 1992 and '93, leading his team to back-to-back Little League championships in Williamsport, Penn., as a pitcher and hitter. He also was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.
Through it all, Jeff Burroughs, 1974 MVP and a slugger for six teams between 1970 and '85, has been there -- teaching, reaching out, helping his kid make his own way in the game.
"He's living in Long Beach, retired, taking care of my sister, who's going to college," Sean said of his father. "He's relaxing, golfing. He'd like to get back in the game, but he spent 15 years on the road, so he kind of likes being home."
Burroughs, who had been playing, by his judgment and that of many others, the best defense of his career this season, has watched the Padres continue to flourish in his absence, in part because of the offense of his replacement at third, Geoff Blum.
"It's not fun to sit on the bench, but it's fun that we're winning," Burroughs said. "If you're winning, it's not a big deal to be out. It's about the team, picking each other up.
"You look up and down the bench, these guys are good. They've done it before. It's not something new to them. They've all had success before."
Burroughs first felt the hamstring balk during a game at St. Louis in early May. He tried to play through the pain, and injured the quadriceps by favoring the hamstring.
The third baseman said that he's close to 100 percent and ready to play. He was ready to come off the bench Wednesday night against the Brewers, and felt that he could have started Thursday night against the Cubs. He was given another night off, though, with Chicago starting left-hander Glendon Rusch.
Burroughs is batting .266 overall this season, but he has hit just .226 against southpaws.
Padres manager Bruce Bochy said there's "a good chance" that Burroughs will play Friday night against the Cubs' Sergio Mitre, with the torrid Blum likely moving over to second base.
Peavy ailing: Jake Peavy has been fighting a virus, but Bochy expects his ace to make his start Sunday against the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano.
"I'm a little concerned with Peavy right now," Bochy said. "He's got some kind of flu bug. There's a possibility he could use a few more days. I think he's going to be fine Sunday, but he's got a nasty bug right now."
Peavy wasn't ill when he had his briefest outing of the season against the Brewers, lasting only four innings in Tuesday night's 8-4 win over the Brewers. But Bochy felt that the right-hander might have been fighting off the bug. Peavy didn't make it to Wednesday's game.
Bochy was also waiting to confer with Woody Williams and the training staff to determine when and where the veteran right-hander would pitch this weekend. The manager said it was likely that Williams, returning from a strained oblique sustained on May 2, will make a Class A rehab assignment in Lake Elsinore Saturday or Sunday. He also could be used to replace Peavy Sunday if Jake isn't able to do it.
"I hit off Woody [Tuesday], and he was throwing good," Burroughs said. "He had a good curveball, changeup, cutter. He was breaking our bats."
Cubs, revisited: Damian Jackson was facing some old teammates Thursday night. The Padres' all-purpose player was with the Cubs briefly in 2004, playing in seven games at shortstop and going 1-for-15.
"They decided to go get Rey Ordonez instead of me, and that was that," Jackson said of his month with the Cubs. "I wasn't around for long."
Jackson then went to Kansas City, where he again logged 15 plate appearances, batting .133. If it was a lost season, he didn't let it ruin his attitude or desire to make it back to the Major Leagues. Jackson spent the winter working out with Tony Gwynn at San Diego State, and Gwynn is among those marveling now at how settled in Jackson is as a versatile role player for the Padres.
"D.J.'s playing great," Gwynn said. "He's having some quality at-bats, showing a lot of discipline."
His former manager in Chicago is also pleased to see Jackson flourishing in San Diego.
"I like him a lot," said Dusty Baker. "Things just didn't work out for him [in Chicago], but I'm happy to see him getting a chance to play [in San Diego]. It's a funny game. Sometimes it humbles you. But he's got the strength to come back and make good things happen."
On deck: The Padres send right-hander Adam Eaton (7-1, 3.58 ERA) out to face Mitre (0-0, 5.84 ERA), also a right-hander, on Friday night in the second of four games at PETCO Park.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.