Outlook: Gregerson looks to find a role in the 'pen

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres reliever Luke Gregerson returned to big league camp on Sunday and shared his experience playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

"The experience was unbelievable," Gregerson said.

As strange as it might sound, Gregerson's father, Duke, might have actually had more fun than his son.

"My dad was like a kid," Gregerson said. "He came to all of the games. And then going out there and to have success and see him after … he was almost starry-eyed."

Gregerson appeared in two games, tossing two shutout innings. He struck out two and didn't allow a hit or a walk for a team that was eliminated by Puerto Rico in the second round in Miami.

"Getting to wear that 'USA' across your chest, that was something that I'll never forget," Gregerson said. "Playing with some of the best players in the world and to have your name associated alongside them is pretty neat. I hope I get to do it again."

On Saturday, Padres teammate Chris Denorfia commented on the level of "very high-intensity baseball." Gregerson felt the same way, likening the atmosphere to the final three games of the 2010 season when the Padres faced the Giants at AT&T Park with a playoff spot hanging in the balance.

"Your adrenaline was through the roof," Gregerson said. "I was more nervous and amped up sitting in the bullpen watching the game than when I was out there throwing. I was so nervous for everyone. My chest was hurting. I wanted everyone to do so well."

Reliever Brach working almost too quickly this spring

Brach looking to continue his relief success

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres reliever Brad Brach has had a slight problem this spring, one that he certainly could live with in the regular season.

He's been too efficient, if that makes sense.

Brach, unscored upon in his first five outings -- covering five innings -- has used 56 pitches, slightly over 10 per outing. In the regular season, Brach would be perfectly fine with such effectiveness.

But for now, during Spring Training?

"It's been a little difficult because in some of the outings, I felt I wasn't able to work on the things that I wanted to," Brach said. "But it's one of those things where you're getting outs, you can't really control it."

Brach has thrown mostly fastballs thus far, though not because he's steering clear of using his offspeed pitches. He's worked so quickly that he hasn't been able to delve too deep into his repertoire.

"A few times, I wish I could have thrown a few more breaking balls," he said.

Brach, who allowed 11 home runs in 67 games last season, has been pleased with the way he has been able to bury his fastball in the strike zone.

"I've been trying to keep everything down and elevate when I have to," he said.

Murphy looking forward to Triple-A opportunity

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As the old baseball adage goes, no one wants to be in Triple-A.

But Pat Murphy sees it differently.

"I do," said Murphy, who managed the Padres' split-squad team Sunday in Tucson against the D-backs.

Murphy will return to Tucson next month to manage the Padres' Triple-A affiliate, making the jump from short-season Eugene of the Northwest League.

"I'm excited about it. I've got a lot to learn," Murphy said. "I spent this past offseason talking to people that either played, managed, coached or who have been involved in Triple-A."

Murphy, who has spent the entire spring as part of the Padres' coaching staff, understands the mentality of players in Triple-A is far different than what he experienced coaching in college -- Notre Dame and with Arizona State -- and in Eugene, where most players are right out of the Draft.

Murphy realizes that managing in Triple-A is probably as much about managing people as it is players.

"I look at every day as a great opportunity. I'm used to an environment where wins matter … they still matter to me. They always will," he said. "It's creating a winning baseball culture, that's the things I'll emphasize. I know it will be a struggle at times, but I'm looking forward to it."

San Diego manager Bud Black feels Murphy will flourish in Tucson.

"Pat will be the first to tell you the pro game has opened his eyes on a number of different levels," Black said. "But fundamentally, he's a good baseball man. He understands the game, he understands players. He's got a good baseball mind. He's going to do fine.

"It's a tough one [managing in Triple-A]. Mentally, for a lot of players, it's a tough spot. But one of Pat's strengths is being able to get players to see the big picture."

Worth noting

• The Padres trimmed their roster to 49 on Sunday when they reassigned right-handed pitchers Brandon Kloess and Donn Roach to Minor League camp. Roach had a 2.70 ERA in four games and impressed manager Bud Black. "I think Roach showed very well. His sinker … it's a Major League sinker. There's a lot to like." Roach will likely begin the season with Double-A San Antonio. Kloess had a 14.54 ERA over five appearances. He'll likely start the season with Triple-A Tucson.