Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poor Defense Costs Padres 2nd Straight Game

Thursday April 30, 2009

There is an old adage. Pitching and Defense wins championships.

The Padres were not expected to win the World Series because of a thin pitching staff, but so far it has been poor defensive play that has let the Padres down more often than not.

Tonight it was poor outfield defense on a shallow pop fly that allowed the tying run to cross the plate and an error by catcher Nick Hundley that allowed the winning run to score for the Dodgers in the 7th.

Yesterday it was an error by Edgar Gonzalez that led to a breakout 6th inning for the Rockies.

In San Francisco a fly ball misplayed by Chase Headley in the tenth inning of a scoreless game allowed the winning run to score.

In Philadelphia Jody Gerut breaks back on a lightly hit ball allowing it to drop for a single by Ryan Howard which is followed by a 2 run home run by Raul Ibanez for a 5-4 Phillie win. I am not saying that Ibanez would not have hit a home run in that case, but it would have been the tying and not winning run.

3 games lost by poor defensive play and another chance lost. In fact every close game the Padres have lost this season have been impacted more by poor defense than any lapse on the part of the pitching.

In my opinion is that just one change would improve this Padre team's defense immensely and give the team a better run differential at the same time and it is a subtraction.

Trade Kevin Kouzmanoff for a slick fielding SS.

Yes I know he plays pretty good defense, but Chase Headley also plays pretty good defense at 3B and he plays awful defense in LF.

Headley defense will cost the Padres 16 runs per 150 games according to his UZR/150 of -16.0. Headley's bat adds 5.4 runs to the team compared to a replacement level player in LF - in other words a minor league replacement.

Scott Hairston's defense is only slightly better than average at +1.7 UZR/150 in the OF, but his bat is also a + at 6.7 runs.

While Luis Rodriguez is average or slightly below average with the bat, he is a poor defensive player at SS with a -7.5 UZR/150 last season and -12.2 UZR/150 at SS for his career.

Even a poor hitting player with a great glove and a strong arm at SS would improve the Padres team run differential immensely.

Utility player Chris Burke is a ++ defender at 2nd base with a career UZR/150 of +12.3, but has only started 9 games in his ML career at SS.

So KT, now the ball is in your court.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

The Poster Child for the Coors Field Effect

Thursday April 30, 2009

The Poster Boy for the Coors Field Effect

Matt Holliday was considered one of the top hitters in baseball at the end of 2008.

He was coming off his 2nd straight MVP type year hitting .321/.409/.538/.947 with 25 home runs while playing for the Colorado Rockies.

For his 5 year career with the Rockies he was hitting an astounding .319/.386/.552/.938

Today he hit his first home run of the 2009 campaign. Something Changed. What was it?

Answer - The place he plays his home games!

In the off season Holliday was traded to the Oakland A's who play their home games in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

To date he is hitting .243/.293/.329/.622 in an A's uniform.

You may be saying its early, he will come around. You are probably right, Holliday will hit better as the season goes along.

The question is how much better?

The answer to that question lies in his home and away splits as a Rockie.

At Coors Field Holliday was a Pujols-like player, a baseball god in plum colored hose, hitting .353/.419/.638/1.057 with one hr every 16.54 at bats.

On the road as a Rockie, Holliday was more like a David Eckstein hitting a workmanlike .280/.346/.451/.797 with one hr every 30.39 at bats.

The Coors effect was much in evidence.

So what can we look forward to Holliday improving to in 2009?

Well, his road numbers for his career are probably a great guide. The ballparks in the AL West are very similar overall to the ballparks he played in on the road in the NL West overall.

So, if you had to project today what Holliday's numbers at seasons end will look like I would go with .280/.340-.350/.450/.790-.800 with 19-20 home runs.

As a Rockie we heard a lot of people on ESPN and Fox Sports saying Holliday would be in line for a $20 million per year contract when he is eligible for free agency following the 2009 season. Just about every sports magazine was singing his praises.

What will they be saying and writing after this season is over?
Is a .280 hitter with mediocre power really worth $20 million?

Not in my book.

In my eyes Holliday is the poster child for the Coors Field Effect.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Is Matt Holliday the Poster Child for the Coors Field Effect?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lopez is not the answer for Padres, Good Defense Is

Wednesday April 29, 2009

The Padres brought up left handed reliever Arturo Lopez in the hopes that he could stop the bleeding in the bullpen when it comes to left handed batters.

Going into today's game the Padres Bullpen is allowing a BAA of .292 to left handed batters.

No such luck. Lopez walked the first two batters he faced, gave up a hard hit 2 run single and then hit a batter before being lifted for Luis Perdomo without getting an out.

Now do not get me wrong. The loss cannot be pinned on Lopez today.

That dishonor goes to Edgar Gonzalez.

Edgar Gonzalez blew a routine play that would have been the 1st out in the 6th and the inning would have ended on a fly ball that was instead a sac fly that scored the 2nd run of the inning.

If Edgar does his job on that ground ball for the 1st out of the inning, Tulowitzki is at 2nd for Ianneta's single up the middle and has to be held at 3rd, Cook either swings away or sacrifices the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 2 out and Fowler's fly ball is the 3rd out of the inning. Lopez does not come into the game in the 6th and the Padres go into the 9th ahead 5-3.

The difference in the game was Defense, not pitching.

Now I know there are going to be alot of people who are whining about the Padres pitching after tonight's game, but their distress and venom is misplaced.

Some will be complaining about the Padres lack of offense against Rockies Starter Aaron Cook despite the fact that the Padres scored 3 runs off Cook and 5 runs in the game. Their misgivings are also misplaced.

They should be complaining about a Padres defense that is average at best and well below average when Edgar Gonzalez is on the field. What galls me the most about this game is the thought that the middle infielder they let get away, Travis Denker, is a very good to great defensive player.

Ladies and Gentlemen, pitching and defense wins championships. ESPECIALLY when you play 81 games in the leagues best pitchers park.

It is time the Padres started to think about how many runs the players they put on the field can prevent, and less about how many runs players with poor defensive skills like Edgar Gonzalez are going to add with their mediocre bats.

So, Arturo Lopez is not the answer to what ails the Padres bullpen, Good Defense Is.

I have had my say, now what do you think?

Padres Shawn Hill may return from DL in as little as 3 weeks

Wednesday April 29, 2009

Starting pitcher Shawn Hill may return to San Diego Padres rotation in as little as 3 weeks after encouraging test results on Monday according to Owen Perkins of

Hill left Sunday's game after the 2nd inning with tightness in his elbow and bicep and went through an MRI and stress testing in San Diego on Monday.

Doctors found fluid on Hill's right elbow and tendinitis in his forearm, but no structural damage according to Padres Manager Bud Black.

This is very encouraging news for a Padres pitching staff that has been beset with injuries that have forced 4 other pitchers onto the DL already this season. Padres starters Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva are both currently on the DL.

The oft injured Hill is in his 6th major league season and has never started more than 16 games in any of those seasons. His career has been punctuated by missing the entire 2005 season after Tommy John surgery in September 2004, missing substantial time in 2006 and 2007 to injuries and after starting the 2008 season on the DL Hill ended the season with elbow surgery last September.

This is not a new situation for Hill to be in, but it looks like it will be a short lived trip to the DL for a change.

With Baek and Silva both expected to begin rehab assignments this week and Hill returning in a few weeks, the Padres will be in an enviable position of having depth at the 3-5 slots in the starting pitching rotation.

Hopefully this bodes well for a Padres team that has won just two of their last 8 games and has had to maintain 8 men in their bullpen due to starting pitching that has averaged just over 5 innings per start.

Padres Win, Padres Win, Padres Win

Wednesday April 29, 2009

The San Diego Padres won 4-3 over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver last night.

Chad Gaudin made his first start as a Padre and gave up just 3 hits while walking 4 over 5 shutout innings in his debut.

The Padres staked Gaudin to a 2 run lead in the third inning on a Scott Hairston 2 run blast to LF, but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead with Edward Mujica giving up one run in the 6th on a 2 out home run to Rockies LF Sean Smith and Luke Gregerson giving up two runs in the 7th on 4 straight singles.

The Padres came back in the top of the 9th with a leadoff triple by catcher Nick Hundley and a single by Luis Rodriguez.

Heath Bell came in for the bottom of the 9th inning and shut the Rockies down for his major league leading 8th save.

This win highlighted what has become the hallmark of the Padres team so far this season, a never say die attitude. In my opinion, having so many people write them off prior to the season has put a chip on the Padres players collective shoulders and they have fought back in just about every game.

Last night's win was the Padres 5th coming from behind late in the game and their 6th win in 8 one run games. The Padres lead the NL in wins in one run games so far this season.

With this win the Padres are 11-9 on the season and two games back of the NL West division leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

To be in the hunt after 20 games with 3 starters, 2 relievers and 2 bench players on the DL already is a hopeful sign in the hearts and minds of Padres fans everywhere.

In a side note, Adrian Gonzalez got his first major league stolen base in the top of the 6th inning.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How to turn this ship around

Tuesday April 28, 2009

How To Turn This Ship Around

That is a post that I have seen on two boards and a couple of blogs now, including the Padres board over at ESPN.

Let me give you my take on that subject.

#1 - Stop thinking the ship needs to be turned around and realize you are over .500 and start thinking about how to extend the winning! Get rid of the stinkin' thinkin' as my 11 time state champion high school coach used to say. As we saw early in the year, the Padres have good players, now lets see the fans and media talking more about that and less about what has gone wrong the past 6 games. Lets talk about them doing what they are capable of doing.

#2 - Get key players like Giles jump started. We know Giles will hit .280+ with double digit home runs for the season, but we need him to get started hitting now. We know Peavy will end the season with an ERA closer to 3 than to its current 5.74, but we need some wins from Peavy to start happening now. Hey Jake, stop trying to be perfect and throw strikes. That is what the other 8 players are on the field to do, catch batted balls.

#3 - Keep your pitchers healthy. Something Trainer Todd Hutcheson and strength coach Jim Malone are doing is NOT WORKING or the Padres would not have led the league in pitching injuries from 2006-2009!!!!! Get another trainer and strength coach to work with your pitchers.

#4 - Make a trade for one good quality starter. That is all. How about Kouzmanoff for one of the good young starters on either the Twins or the Marlins?

That is what I think. Now what do YOU have to say?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Padres call up Guadin and DFA De La Cruz

Monday April 27, 2009

Today the San Diego Padres called up Chad Gaudin from AAA Portland and designated Eulogio "Frankie" De La Cruz for assignment.

Technically the Padres purchased the contract of Gaudin from Portland and he is expected to start Tuesday's game in Colorado in the 3rd slot in the rotation.

The Padres will have 10 days to trade or waive De La Cruz. If he clears waivers, the Padres can then assign him to their minor league system.

Most expect him to be picked up by another team. Can you imagine that? Is there really another team more desperate for pitching help than the Padres?

So what do you think about the Padres calling up Gaudin and DFA De LA Cruz?

What is Wrong with Jake Peavy?

Monday April 27, 2009

What is wrong with Jake Peavy?

The most consistent question or concern I have seen recently in regards to the San Diego Padres is what is wrong with Jake Peavy?

Peavy's results have been very inconsistent so far in 2009 with 1 mediocre start to lead off the season, 2 good starts and 2 straight poor starts in which he has given up at least 5 earned runs.

The positives - Peavy's K/9 is up to 9.19. Last season he was at 8.60 K/9 and for his career he is at 8.97 K/9. Peavy is also seeing much more movement on his curveball, giving him another out pitch. Peavy is also inducing ground balls at a higher rate.

The negatives - At 3.73 bb/9, Peavy's bb/9 is up nearly a walk per 9 ip over his career average of 2.90 and 2008's 3.06. More base runners generally means more runs scored. Peavy's HR/9 is also up substantially over his 2008 numbers. 1.15 so far this season to .88 in 2008 and .92 for his career. Walk more guys and give up an extra home run every other outing and you are definitely going to see more runs scored. Finally you have his .340 babip. Babip is base hits on balls in play. Subtract home runs from total hits and you get babip. For most pitchers this averages out at about .300 If the babip for a particualr pitcher is over .300 then he has run into a spell of bad luck. So combine more walks and home runs than normal with a a few extra hits falling than would normally fall and you have what we have seen this season.

So what is causing Peavy's apparent decline?

In my opinion the thing that has changed the most in Jake Peavy's pitching in 2009 and what is most responsible for his increased number of walks and pitches thrown is the placement of his pitches.

For some reason Peavy seems to be nibbling more.

In the past Peavy has always been a power pitcher that challenged hitters. In 2009 he is nibbling at the corners more than ever.

The biggest culprit in the lowered fastball speed has been the nibbling at the corners instead of blowing it by the hitter at or above the waist.

I have not looked at Pitch F/X, but after having watched all of Peavy's starts this season it is apparent he is nibbling more. I would love to see a chart of his location, especially on fastballs this season as compared to seasons past.

Peavy may be suffering from the misguided notion that the Padres have a poor offensive team. Maybe he should be reading this blog.

He may be nibbling because he feels he has to be perfect because the Padres won't score enough runs to support him. As I have already shown, the Padres offense rates quite well compared to the rest of the NL West and is average or above average in the NL as a whole.

So STOP that Jake. Go out and do your thing and let the hitters do theirs and it will all work out.

I believe that Peavy will rebound as the season progresses and we will see more of Jake of old as Balsley and others point out that he is not doing the things that made him successful as a pitcher in the past.

I would sure like to see Peavy challenging more batters with his fastball up in the zone. Take that 4 seamer up the ladder and see if they can hit his chest high heater. I think the results would be better than so many fastballs down and away.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

What is wrong with Jake Peavy?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Are Padres Pitching Injuries Connected?

Sunday April 26, 2009

I have to wonder how much the injuries to Padres starters Walter Silva and Shawn Hill are due to the lack of time given to each to build up arm strength.

Both Walter Silva and Shawn Hill had very few starts in Spring Training before being called upon to step it up and pitch in regular season games. Both were placed on a limited pitch count in their first starts and were injured in the 2nd and 3rd starts they made respectively.

Did the lack of time to build arm strength before being asked to go at full speed contribute to the injuries?

You can't help but wonder.

That calls to question whether the Padres should call up Chad Gaudin ahead of schedule or call up someone like Wade LeBlanc or Matthew Buschmann that has had a full spring training to make 2 starts until Gaudin is ready.

What do you think the Padres should do?

Padres Injury Report Part Deux

Sunday April 26,2009

The injuries to the already shaky San Diego Padres pitching staff continue to mount.

Padres starting pitcher Shawn Hill injured the elbow and bicep of his throwing arm in Saturdays game and left the game after the 2nd inning.

The oft injured Hill was placed on the disabled list today. This is the 7th trip to the DL since 2004 for Hill who missed the entire 2005 season following Tommy John surgery.

This is the 3rd starter and 5th pitcher that has been placed on the DL since the last week of spring training. Over all the Padres have 7 players on the DL as of today.

Reliver Mike Adams was placed on the 60 day DL on March 27th after suffering an injury at the end of 2008 and undergoing off season surgery.

Reliever Mark Worrell lost his 2009 season to an elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery.

Cha Seung Baek had tightness in his forearm and elbow and has been on the DL since the start of the season.

Walter Silva left his 2nd start of the season with tightness in his forearm and was placed on the DL.

To add insult to injury, set up man Duaner Sanchez has been sidelined since April 18th with a strained forearm and he may join Hill and company on the DL on Monday if the Padres are not seeing improvement.

Last year MLB record injuries doomed the Padres 2008 season. Are we starting to see more of the same in 2009?

There are more question marks regarding the Padres pitching staff now than at the start of the season.

Will the ineffective Jake Peavy be the next Padres pitcher to succumb to injuries? Will Chad Gaudin or Baek be back soon enough to fill Hill's slot in the rotation?
If not who will be called up?
Geer pitched 4 innings on Saturday even though he was scheduled to pitch Tuesday. Who will be the starting pitcher on Tuesday?

Time will tell. I have had my say. Now what do you think?

There is your update on the Padres Injury Report.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Padres Injury Report

Saturday April 25, 2009

Here is Injury Report on some of the Padres players currently on the DL.

Cha Seung Baek threw a bullpen session today and looked good. He is scheduled to start a minor league rehab assignment on Monday.

Walter Silva had the first of 4 bullpen sessions today according to Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union Tribune and is expected to be a week to 10 days away from starting a minor league rehab assignment.

Cliff Floyd had an MRI on Thursday and the news is not encouraging. He had been expected to start a rehab assignment in Lake Elsinore on Friday and now that has been put on hold indefinitely.

Reliever Mike Adams has begun throwing off the mound and looks to be on track for a mid to late June return to the Padres.

Mark Prior has also begun throwing off the mound and may begin a rehab assignment as soon as the beginning of May.

In related news, Starter Chad Gaudin saw his 2nd action of the season in Portland and he looked outstanding going 5 innings and only allowing 2 hits and no runs with no walks and 7 SO. He is on track to make his first start of the season for the Padres on May 12th or 13th at the Cubs.

So there is your Padres Injury Report.

Giles to get night off on Saturday

Saturday April 25, 2009

Giles to get night off on Saturday.

The slumping Brian Giles is scheduled to get the night off against the Pirates LHP Zach Dukes one day after driving in the winning run with a walk off single in the 11th inning according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune.

Jody Gerut will get the start in RF tonight.

Scott Hairston will start in CF in what has become a lety/righty platoon with Jody Gerut.

Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

Saturday April 25, 2009

Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

In an article on ESPN today, Peter Gammons says that Stephen Strasburg will be asking for something between the $38.5 million Mark Teixeira earned over his first six professional seasons and the 6 years and $52 million Daisuke Matsuzaka signed for with the Red Sox.

In looking over the list of pitchers taken 1st overall in the MLB June Draft over the past 20 years,
2007 - David Price
2006 - Luke Hochevar
2002 - Bryan Bullington
1997 - Matt Anderson
1996 - Kris Benson
1994 - Paul Wilson
1991 - Brien Taylor
1989 - Ben McDonald
1988 - Andy Benes
I can only find one that had what could be considered a good career, Andy Benes.

Benes went 155-139 with a 3.97 ERA in 403 career starts over 15 years. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers and he was the best of the lot. Benes is the only pitcher taken 1st overall in the MLB June draft to have a career ERA under 4.00

Throw in the rest of the drafts going back to 1965 and you only find 3 pitchers taken 1st overall that had even decent careers,
1983 - Tim Belcher
1981 - Mike Moore
1976 - Floyd Bannister

With that type of track record I seriously doubt that picking up Stephen Strasburg with the number one overall pick in 2009 and spending $40-52 million will turn out to be a good investment.

Committing that type of money to a pitcher with the 1st overall pick that history would seem to indicate will not work out is a huge risk and one that could bury the Washington franchise for years to come.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Is Stephen Strasburg worth the money?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Padres win in 11 innings

Friday April 24, 2009

The San Diego Padres defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight with a walk off single to right by Brian Giles in the 11th inning.

Chris Burke walked with one out in the 11th inning and and promptly stole 2nd base. Jody Gerut stuck out for the 2nd out after barely missing a home run to RF, David Ecsktein fought off pitch after pitch to draw a walk off Pirate closer Matt Capps. Giles then lined a shot down the line to RF to drive in Burke for the win.

The Padres scoring for the night was led off by Adrian Gonzalez 6th home run of the season in the bottom of the 1st. Gonzalez is ahead of his home run pace from 2008, a season that saw him hit a career high 36 home runs.

The Padres had a big scare in the top of the 11th when Gonzalez was struck on the hand by a hard hit ball struck by Brandon Moss of the Pirates. After Manager Bud Black and the training staff come out to first check him out, Gonzalez stayed in the game.

The season for the Padres has been marked by a fighting spirit that seemed to be absent in 2008. The Padres have fought from behind to win games and have won several games that were tied or close late in the game.

The Padres are now 10-6 and in 2nd place in the NL West to the red hot LA Dodgers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Misconceptions About Padres - Offense First

Thursday April 23, 2009

Misconceptions about Padres.

I keep hearing some things that are just so wrong that I feel compelled to dispel some of these false notions. I am going to take them one by one and cover them in some detail.

#1 Misconception
– The Padres Offense was terrible in 2008
(The corollary is that the 2009 offense will be terrible also).

First let me say this – If you thought that the Padres offense was bad in 2008 as compared to the rest of the NL West, you were dead wrong.

The Padres actually LED the NL West in OPS+.
San Diego - 94
Los Angeles - 92
Colorado - 91
Arizona - 88
San Francisco - 83

OPS+ is a park adjusted stat that shows On Base Percentage plus Slugging and is used by almost every professional team to measure true offensive output.

The Padres play in far and away the worst hitters park in baseball. The Padres park is about 12% harder to score runs in than the next worst hitters park and is 20.4% worse than the league average. No one can score runs well in Petco. It is not just the Padres.

Compared to parks like Chase Field in Arizona and Coors Field it is nearly 33% worse. Meaning that 33% more runs would score with the same hitters in Chase or Coors fields.

Another good measure of offense is how your team hit on the road. The ballparks you play in on the road are roughly the same for each team in the division so they even out the offensive production over a season.

Here is how the Padres stacked up against the NL West.
Padres Giants Rockies Dodgers DBacks
BA .260 .260 .247 .263 .234
OBP .319 .317 .322 .332 .309
Slg .412 .374 .377 .400 .385
HR 88 49 68 70 82
Runs 348 326 336 349 328

The Diamondbacks were the worst in baseball on the road. The Padres were actually better offensively at home, in the worst hitters park in baseball, than the Diamondbacks were on the road.

Does this mean the Padres were a great offensive team?
By no means. They were pretty much average for the NL in 2008.

As compared to the 2008 NL Playoff teams the Padres ranked near the bottom in OPS+
Chicago - 103
Philadelphia - 100
Milwaukee – 97
San Diego - 94
Los Angeles - 92

I think much of the difference between the Padres and the front runners can be tied to one consideration.

The Padres had the worst string of injuries in MLB history in 2008 with 1244 player days spent on the DL. That is an average of 7.68 players on the DL every game.

So replace 7-8 ML players with minor leaguers in each game and the difference in both hitting and pitching is substantial.

The major league average was about 400 player days on the DL or 2.47 players on the DL for any given game.

That would indicate that the Padres had 20% more of their positions filled with minor league players than the average team. What is the difference in production between a replacement level player (a minor leaguer) and the people who were on the DL? How many of those were position players?

Well, the Padres used 27 position players who had offensive stats to fill 13 spots on the roster.

They included such players as Paul McAnulty, Will Venable, Luke Carlin, Justin Huber, Matt Antonelli, Chip Ambres, Sean Kazmar, Callix Crabbe, Drew Macias, Brian Myrow and Craig Stansberry; as well as Edgar Gonzalez and Luis Rodriguez that are on the 2009 Padres.

Those players combined averages were:
0.213 0.294 0.309 0.603 67.14

What does that mean for 2009?

A full season of Chase Headley is better than the LF platoon before him in 2008.
It should mean an improvement in overall offense in LF

A full season of David Eckstein is better than the players that filled 2B in 2008.
It should mean an improvement in overall offense at 2B.

A full season of Luis Rodriguez, even at his career averages, is better than the players who filled SS before him in 2008.
It should mean an improvement in overall offense at SS.

The platoon of Gerut and Hairston in CF made the position one of the strongest in MLB in 2008. A full season of that same platoon is better than the players that filled CF before Gerut was called up and after he and Hairston was injured late in the season.
It should mean an improvement over the overall production in CF.

A full season of Nick Hundley and Henry Blanco splitting starts at catcher is better than the 2008 production from that position.
It should mean an improvement in overall offense at Catcher.

Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff played nearly every game of 2008 at 1B and 3B. Reasonably you should be able to expect them to combine for much the same offensive production as 2008.

Only in RF, patrolled by the 38 year old Brian Giles, should the Padres expect to see any decline in performance.

So the team that led the NL West in OPS+ in 2008 should be better at 5 of 8 positions, maintain performance at 2 positions and see a small decline at 1 position.

Overall it should mean better offensive production from the Padres in 2008 and the Chone Projection system from Sean Smith at showed exactly that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cliff Floyd to have MRI on ailing knee

Wednesday April 22, 2009

Cliff Floyd is returning to San Diego to have an MRI on his knee. Floyd's knee has had to be drained twice in the past three weeks.

Looks like the Padres in woes are returning in force in 2009. Already pitchers Mark Worrell(season ending elbow injury), Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva have succumb to injuries since the start of spring training and promising young backup SS Everth Cabrera broke the hamate bone in his hand and is on the 60 day DL.

Floyd, who was already on the 15 day DL since late in Spring Training for a shoulder injury, has a history of knee problems and may have to have surgery and miss substantial time.

On a brighter note, Cha Seung Baek came out of his bullpen session on Tuesday well and may be able to start a rehab start as soon as Monday.

Padres Swept by the Giants

Wednesday April 22, 2009

One day after Jake Peavy turned in his worst pitching performance in 7 seasons as a Padre in a 8-3 loss, Chris Young and the Padres bullpen turned in a gem of a pitching performance in a 1-0 loss.

Both games were marked by an anemic offense that time after time failed to produce timely hits with men on base.

In both games the Padres out hit the Giants but failed to drive runners in when given the opportunities, leaving 9 men on base Tuesday and 10 today.

In today's game the lack of defensive prowess in LF proved to be the final blow as Chase Headley was unable to track down a fly ball to the gap that clearly was his ball to go and get. I dislike the what ifs, but in this case a faster outfielder with greater range like Scott Hairston would have gotten to that ball, preventing the run from scoring and ending the inning.

Let's hope this is not a sign of things to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Padres Fill Backup SS Slot

Monday April 20, 2009

It looks like the Padres were not satisfied with the SS options in their farm system to fill the hole left by the injury to Everth Cabrera.

Today San Diego made a trade with the Seattle Mariners to bring back Chris Burke.

Burke was traded to the Mariners shortly before the season started for cash considerations when the Padres determined he would not make the 25 man roster.

Burke has been playing for to Seattle's AAA team in Tacoma where he hit .237 with 1 HR in 10 games played.

Tonight's Padres game at Phildelphia Rained Out

Monday April 20, 2009

The Padres get an unexpected break today when the game scheduled for 7:05 EDT was called early due to rain.

By the Phillies cancelling tonight's game early today, the Padres were given a chance to rest their overworked bullpen, skip Kevin Correia in the pitching rotation catch a flight out of Phildelphia early today so they can get some rest for their game with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.

The Padres finish the east coast swing of their road trip 4-2 and arrive in San Francisco with an overall 9-4 record and one game out of 1st place in the NL West.

Padres Ace Jake Peavy and Chris Young are scheduled to start in the 2 game series against the Giants.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cabrera injures hand. Out two months.

Sunday April 19, 2009

Everth Cabrera injured his hand in an at bat in the to of the 6th inning today and is lost for at least 2 months according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The Padres recently waived Travis Denker and Matt Antonelli is still on the DL so the Padres options at middle infield are extremely limited.

Will they call up Sean Kazmar or Craig Stansberry from AAA or Jesus Lopez or Eric Sogard from AA to fill Cabrera's slot on the bench?

Update Monday April 20, 2009
Everth Cabrera returned to San Diego for surgery on the broken hamate bone in his hand and was placed on the 60 day DL. Don't expect to see him back in a Padres uniform before Late July or early August.

Cabrera is eligible to return to the active roster on June 20th, but will probably not be activated from the DL until after the All Star break given that he can spend a maximum of 20 days on a rehab assignment in the minor leagues.

Padres lose on a walk off home run by Ibanez

Sunday April 19, 2009

The Padres lost today 5-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in pretty much the same way they have been winning on this road trip. The other team fought back from an early deficit to win late.

The Phillies got down 4-0 early and just kept chipping away. Utley hit a 2 run shot in the 6th after a Luis Rodriguez error to make it 4-2 Padres. The Phillies got another run back on a lead off home run by Jimmy Rollins in the 8th and in the 9th Ryan Howard hit a bloop single to center and Raul Ibanez followed with a blast to RF off the Padres Edwin Moreno.

Moreno was pitching in the save opportunity for the Padres because Heath Bell had pitched and saved the previous 3 games.

That is why you can never take a lead for granted regardless of the size, big or small.

It is also why Bud Black did exactly the right thing bringing in Heath Bell with a 3 run lead last night even though he had pitched the 2 previous games.

One of the oldest tenets in sports is to take care of today's game and get the win now. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

The Padres are still 2-1 on the road against the defending World Series Champion Phillies and 4-2 on this east coast swing to the 2 highest rated teams in the NL to start the season.

The Padres at 9-4 are only a game behind the Dodgers who have been red hot at home.

Why the Nationals are a losing organization

Sunday April 19, 2009

Have you ever wondered why the Nationals are such losers?

Their actions today may explain it better than any diatribe on the mistakes of their front office, the types of players they sign and the horrible record in drafting good players.

Today the nationals benched and fined a player for being 5 minutes late to a game. Benching and fining a player for being 5 minutes late is bad enough, but when you learn that he was at a charity event for Little League baseball, it stretches into the absurd.


It was a charity event! Cut the kid some slack.

Manny Acta said the following in an interview with the Washington Post;
"He was late for work, he broke a team rule, and we are going to change the culture here — regardless of how well a guy is playing," Acta said. "And it was a bizarre situation, because he was doing something that we encourage our players to do: He was out in the community doing something for some Little League program and just showed up late to work. He was very remorseful about it. He felt bad, but we have to lay the law on whoever."

And you wonder why these players won't play hard for you? DUH!

And forget about them ever doing any charity work again.

Until the FO is purged and Manny Acta is gone expect the Nationals to lose 100 games year in and year out regardless of what free agents they sign.

The bottom line reason is they reward the wrong things.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lets try this again. Will the Padres pick up Humber of waivers from the Twins?

Friday April 17, 2009

Will the Padres pick up Philip Humber off waivers?

When the Twins picked up Juan Morillo off waivers from the Rockies they waived Philip Humber to make room on the roster.

Humber is a former 1st round pick who came over to the Twins in the Santana trade.

Will the Padres pick him up?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will Fire Baller Morillo be the Padres next waiver wire pickup?

Thursday April 16, 2009

Will the Padres pick up Rockies RHP Juan Morillo?

The hard throwing reliever was designated for assignment on April 9th to make room for Jason Hammel on the Rockies roster, giving the Rockies 10 days to trade or waive him. While they have reportedly had a nibble or two, no offers have been forthcoming.

That means come Monday he will be available on waivers for $20,000.

Will the Padres pick him up? He fits the pattern of hard throwing pitchers with control problems the Padres have been picking up on the waiver wire this season.

The 25 year old Morillo has throws a fastball that sits at 95-98 and occasionally hits 100 mph, but his slider is inconsistent and he has suffered from a lack of control with a k/bb ratio that regressed as he made his way up the farm system to 1/1 last season in AAA Colorado Springs.

So do the Padres pick him up? Who do they send down if they do pick him up?

Moreno, Gregerson, Silva? Who else has options left? Is he better than Perdomo or other pitchers on the staff that wold have to be exposed to waivers?

We will know Monday.

Edit: I guess the Rockies decided not to wait until Monday to waive Morillo and clear that spot in on the roster as he was claimed by the Minnesota Twins who waived RHP Philip Humber.

$800 million doesn't get you hot water?

Thursday April 16, 2009

$800 million sure doesn't buy much these days as the San Diego Padres found out after tonight's game against the New York Mets in the brand new Citi Field.

Padres players were treated to a cold shower after winning 2 of 3 games against the Mets in the inaugural series in the new stadium when there was no hot water available in the visitors clubhouse.

Even with no hot water the Padres made themselves right at home in the Met's huge new field with their 2nd 6-5 victory.

Say it with me now...First Place Padres, First Place Padres...

For a Former Pitcher, Black Knows Very Little About Pitching

Thursday April 16, 2009

For a manager that was a starting pitcher in the major leagues for so long, Bud Black is sure not acting like he knows anything about pitching.

In just the 3 games in New York there have already been 3 major blunders in the handling of the pitching staff.

1st he left Walter Silva in long after it was obvious to everyone else watching the game that his velocity and control had both abandoned him in the 5th on Monday. Now we find out he is injured. Shouldn't a good manager have noticed at least some of the signs?

On the radio broadcast they were saying he was trying to get Silva to the end of the inning. Well shouldn't Black be trying manage his team and his pitching staff to win the game instead? After all the Padres are not exactly short on relievers right now. Pull the ineffective Silva and put in a reliever. Yes the Padres came back and won that game, but it was despite Black's handling of the pitching, not because he did anything right.

The very next game he leaves a rookie reliever in for a second inning. WHY? The Padres have EIGHT relievers on the team. Relievers ARE generally more effective going just one inning. That is why on every team in the major leagues today there are situational pitchers and guys that only pitch the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. Doesn't he know that? If not, why not? The Padres lost that game because of his inept handling of the staff.

And tonight. After Edwin Moreno gave up a single and a home run and then walked a guy, does Black pull him? Nope. Black allows him to finish the inning out. Again Black got lucky and the next batter hit into a double play, but how long is his luck going to hold out?

A few more like this and I will start calling for his head regardless of the team won-loss record.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that the Padres are 7-3 right now. I am still chanting First Place Padres at every chance I get.

I just think maybe the manager needs to contribute to that process, not make it harder. Especially when it comes to handling the pitching staff

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Place Padres, First Place Padres,

Monday April 13, 2009

First Place Padres.

I like the sound of that so much that I may keep saying it over and over again until my head hits the pillow tonight.

Or chant it like a mantra until I reach nirvana.

I know that I have been arguing that:
A - This Padre team was not as bad as the pundits and most fans thought they were.
B - That their offensive production in 2008 was actually the best in the NL West when you adjust it for playing in Petco Park.
C - That the bullpen that KT has cobbled together seemingly with spit and chewing gum in the last 3 weeks of spring training was going to be much better than most people expected.

But even I never expected a spunky, firey, fight from behind Padres team that would be in FIRST PLACE with a 6-2 record and have the pitching staff with the lowest ERA in baseball and a bullpen era under 1.50 after 8 games.

After tonight's game;
After the little thought of Padres strode into New York city and Jody Gerut christened Citi (some call it Shitti or Bailout) Field with a home run;
After the Padres spoiled the Mets home opener in their brand new, $850 million ballpark with a gritty 6-5 team win to improve their record to 6-2,
I have drunk deeply of the Kool-aid and I am not sure I want to stop believing they can play like this all season.

So bear with me if I revel in it for a while.

First Place Padres, First Place Padres, First Place Padres...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter! What did the bunny leave in your egg?

Sunday April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny delivered the San Diego Padres a Right Handed SP/RP in former A and Cub Chad Gaudin.

Corey Brock of reports that the Padres signed Gaudin to a minor league yesterday.

The 26 year old Gaudin had a 3.59 era in 26 appearances (6 starts) for the A's and a 6.26 era in 24 appearances for the Cubs after being traded in early July last season as part of the deal for Rich Harden. Overall Gaudin was 9-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 50 appearances in 2008.

In 2007 he made 34 starts for the A's and had an 11-13 record and a 4.42 era over 199.1 innings.

Since he was used only as a reliever last season and in spring training by the Cubs, Gaudin would have to begin in the pen or spend time in the minors to build up his arm strength to start for the Padres in 2009.

Expect to see him join AAA Portland until the Padres have an injury or see ineffectiveness in the pitching staff. So far there is no spot for him on staff that is already overmanned with few pitchers having options.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Padres are the Come Back Kids in 2009

Friday April 10, 2009

Four games are in the books in 2009 and the San Diego Padres have won 2. All wins are great and they are even better when they are against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers.

In both of the wins by the Padres they have come from behind to score 3 runs late in the game.

On Tuesday the Padres scored 3 runs in the 6th inning against Dodgers starter Randy Wolf and reliever Guillermo Mota and the Padres bullpen shut down the Dodgers in the 7th, 8th and 9th for the first win of the season - 4-2.

On Thursday the Padres came back from a 3-1 deficit with a 3 run 8th inning that was led by Adrian Gonzalez first home run of the season, a solo shot to deep left field. Heath Bell then came in and got his second save of the young season - 4-3.

Two wins; two late inning, 3 run come backs.

You have got to love the resilience and never say die attitude of the Padres players. Especially against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the consensus favorites to win the NL West.

How excited would you be as a fan if the Padres continued to play .500 baseball all season?

Remember when it seemed the entire world was saying the Padres bullpen was in tatters and going to be a major weakness?

Well, through 4 games 6 of the 7 relievers have combined for 9.2 IP, 5 hits and no runs.

The other reliever, Ed Mujica, has given up 5 hits and 3 runs in 2.1 innings pitched.

Overall the Padres bullpen has combined for 12 innings, 10 hits, and 3 runs allowed for a 2.25 ERA and 2 saves.

This team is certainly not as bad so far as it was predicted to be by many.

Winning teams find ways to come back and win. Lets hope the Padres continue to be the come back kids.

I have had my say. Now what do you think?

MLB Season Update

Friday April 10, 2009

A lot has happened for the Padres and in Major League Baseball since I posted last so let me start with this.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and friends of the Nick Adenhart, Henry Pearson and Courtney Stewart.

3 young lives snubbed out by a drunk driver. So tragic and all too frequent an occurrence.

When will people learn the dangers of driving under the influence? Lets hope these deaths serve as a wake up call for those struggling with alcohol and other substance abuse to seek help or simply not get behind the wheel.

Rest in Peace Nick Adenhart.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Padres get 1st win of the season.

Tuesday April 7, 2009

The San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 tonight at Petco Park.

Starter Chris Young went 6 strong innings giving up 5 hits and 2 runs while throwing 66 strikes in 97 pitches.

Former Padre Randy Wolf started the game for the Dodgers and gave up all 4 runs in 5.1 innings.

Kevin Kouzmanoff lead off the hitting for the Padres with a triple in the second inning and scored 2 runs on 2 hits. Chase Headley doubled down the 3rd base line in the 6th inning, driving in Adrian Gonzalez and Kouzmanoff.

The Padres bullpen had another nice outing, with 3 scoreless innings. So far in 2009 the bullpen has 5 scoreless innings pitched and just 2 hits given up.

Edwin Moreno made his first major league appearance tonight and after walking two, struck out Orlando Hudson and got Manny Ramirez to pop out to end the threat in the 7th.

Former Dodger and Met Duaner Sanchez followed with a 1-2-3 8th.

Heath Bell struck out the side with a walk to get his 3rd career save. Just 549 more to go to become the Padres all time saves leader.

So a good all around pitching effort combined with timely hitting yields the first win of the year for the Padres.

Can they make it 2 of 3 with Walter Silva on the mound tomorrow?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Its Opening Day for the San Diego Padres and MLB!

Monday April 6th, 2009

Its Opening Day for the Padres!

The most exciting time of the year for me. And where will I be come opening pitch?

Sitting on my couch with a torn Achilles Tendon. This will be the first opening day I have missed in San Diego since I moved here in 1985. Woe is me:( BUT I will get to watch it on TV in High Definition, so that is about as good as its gonna get for me.

The Padres open the 2008 season with a payroll $20 million less than 2008 or $53 million according to the Union Tribune, a far cry from the $40 million most people in the media were saying they were mandated to have, and a pretty decent team for all the talk of them losing 100 games in 2009.

(Update - As usual the Union Tribune was wrong. Both about the mandated $40 million payroll and about the Padres being only $20 million below 2008's total payroll of $73 million.

As it stands today - 4/7/09 - and without either of the remaining minor league contracts with options for a major league salary above the major league minimum of $400k for Mark Prior and Eliezer Alfonzo being exercised, the Padres payroll is at $44,526,353.00)

The starting lineup for Opening day appears to be:
CF - Jody Gerut
2B - David Eckstein
RF - Brian Giles
1B - Adrian Gonzalez
3B - Kevin Kouzmanoff
LF - Chase Headley
C - Henry Blanco
SS - Luis Rodriguez

And Starting on the mound for the San Diego Padres today- Jake Peavy

On the bench are:
SP - Chris Young
SP - Walter Silva
SP - Kevin Correia
SP - Shawn Hill

OF - Scott Hairston
OF - Drew Macias
2B - Edgar Gonzalez
SS - Everth Cabrera
C - Nick Hundley

The Bullpen consists of:
CL - Heath Bell
SU - Cla Meredith
SU - Duaner Sanchez
MR - Edwin Moreno
MR - Luke Gregerson
MR - Eulogio (Frankie) De La Cruz
MR - Ed Mujica

Cliff Floyd and Cha Seung Baek are starting this season on the DL.

And now it begins.