Sunday, May 31, 2009
The San Diego Padres defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2 today at Coors Field in Denver to improve their record on the season to .500 at 25-25. The Padres 3-3 record on this road trip was a big improvement over their 5-16 road record going into it.
The game was highlighted by Adrian Gonzalez's league leading 20th home run and closer Heath Bell's league leading 15th save.
When was the last time Padres fans could talk about having two league leaders in a positive category on the roster?
Gonzalez crushed a 3 run shot to left field in the 3rd inning that staked Padres starter Chad Gaudin to a 3 run lead. Gonzalez is now the Padres all time leader in home runs through the end of May and he did it in just 179 at bats. Greg Vaughan had been the previous leader with 17 home runs through the end of May in his Padres record 50 home run season in 1998.
Gaudin went 6 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 runs (1 earned), striking out 9 including 6 of the 1st 8 batters he faced while walking zero. Gaudin had been plagued by wildness recently, walking 16 in 15 2/3 ip over his last 3 starts prior to today, so it was nice to see him attacking hitters and throwing strikes.
One day after blowing his first save of the season, Bell came in and pitched a perfect 9th for his 15th save of the season.
As much as I howled about the trade that sent Jody Gerut to the Brewers for Tony Gwynn Jr., I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by the offensive production by Jr. He is 10/25 - .320 with 8 runs scored in 9 games. His defense has been less than stellar, but his offense has been outstanding.
The Padres now return to San Diego for a 6 game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks starting tomorrow. The Padres split a series 2-1 with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia in April as part of a 9-3 start.
Kevin Correia will square up against the Phillies' Joe Blanton in the series opener tomorrow, followed by gimping Padres starter Jake Peavy against rookie Antonio Bastardo in his first major league start on Tuesday.
Can the Padres continue their .739 win percentage at home against the defending World Series champion Phillies and the division rival Diamondbacks?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Well, now we know, Heath Bell is human. He blew his first save and the San Diego Padres lost 8-7 tonight to the Colorado Rockies.
But the game really hinged on errors. Both those called errors and those not called errors.
In the 3rd inning Gwynn Jr twice kicked a ball hit to the gap by Clint Barmes and it was called a triple. 2 batters later Garrett Atkins hit a sacrifice fly to deep center and Barmes scored.
Another error by Gwynn Jr. led to an unearned run. This was a game where the Padres really missed the defense of Jody Gerut.
And there you have the difference in the game.
Bell or another of the Padres relievers may have given up 4 runs in the 9th, but somehow I doubt that given how well they have pitched as a unit for the past 2 weeks.
On a day when the Dodgers also lost, I was hoping to see the Padres would win one and pick up ground in the NL West. It wasn't to be.
I know alot of the focus has been on the Padres dumping salary by trading away Jake Peavy, but I think the Padres may be able to get more value in trading Chris Young.
Young is pitching well and because of his relatively low salary requirements over the next 2 seasons ($4.5 million in 2009, $6.25 million in 2010 and a club option at $8.5 million in 2011) and being locked up for 2 seasons without a no trade clause, Young may actually bring back more value in trade than he is giving the Padres.
Lets face it, while a good pitcher, Young is not a stopper like Peavy. If you have one game you absolutely must win you are not going to run Chris Young out there.
But Young's numbers are very good and he holds high value.
The Phillies have a big need for pitching with Myers out for the season and they have some great young arms they could send back in return.
The White Sox obviously need pitching and would probably send the same package minus Lance Broadway back in trade for Young. The big question is how would he do in that bandbox?
The Marlins are looking for pitching help and could be tempted by Young's low salary in 2010 and 2011, although it is a bit more than they normally pay. Straight up for Uggla?
The Mets could use another starter and Young would be a perfect fit in that huge park. Would they be willing to part with Fernando Martinez and a couple of low level pitching prospects?
Seattle could use another starter and they are rumored to be shopping Bedard which would great a big hole in their lineup. The Padres were very interested in Garrett Olson prior to the season. Could a trade for Olson and a couple of prospects be in the works for Young?
Obviously there is a need on several teams and a couple that may even be good fits for a flyball pitcher.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
A shutout in Coors? yup. The San Diego Padres lost 3-0 to the Colorado Rockies last night in Denver.
From what I have been reading there have been less than 10 shutouts in Coors field history and the Padres have been part of 4 of them.
Chris Young pitched well, allowing only 2 hits and 1 earned run in 6 ip, but both staffs got squeezed a bit by home plate umpire Jerry Layne and Young walked 6.
If Kouzmanoff does not allow a ball to slip under his glove in the 6th, this could have been a 1-0 game.
1-0 In COORS FIELD!
Adrian Gonzalez was pitched around in this game walking 3 times and will continue to be pitched around until a Padres hitter can prove he can consistently hit in the #5 slot.
Right now Padres #5 batters are hitting a MLB worst .231/.286/.319/.604. They badly need someone to step up and make teams pay when they put Adrian Gonzalez on base.
Scott Hairston is howing he is not the answer and has begun his annual swoon vs RHP. In two weeks he has dropped from .297 to .268 against right handed pitching while still hitting .389 against LHP.
Soon the Padres will be forced to platoon him in most situations and Gwynn is no Gerut against RHP.
Still, the Padres should be able to take 2 of 3 against the slumping Rockies. I guess it will depend on which Josh Geer shows up today.
Friday, May 29, 2009
In his Twitter post this afternoon, Corey Brock of MLB.com says that Cliff Floyd has joined the team in Denver and if all goes well in BP and fielding practice, he will be activated for Saturday's game.
Floyd was sidelined to start the season with a shoulder injury and then suffered through fluid and pain on his knee.
Floyd would provide much needed power off the bench. Floyd is a defensive liability at this points o don't expect him to get much time in the field, but he is still one of the better left handed power bats in the NL off the bench so he could prove very valuable in interleague and as a pinch hitter.
I believe that if he does well over the next month as a DH and pinch hitter that the Padres will trade him as the deadline grows nearer.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Padres current 11-1 run has brought them to a 24-23 record.
The Cubs are 23-22 and tied with the Padres at a .511 win percentage. 16 teams currently have a worse record. Only 12 have a better record.
The Padres have two really good runs, 9-3 and 11-1 and one bad run of 4-19. Which really represents the team?
Do you think maybe the so called experts on ESPN were wrong about this team?
Do you think CHONE might be the most accurate prognosticator of team performance - again?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Why does Bud Black seem to believe that starters have to go 6?
Time after time he leaves pitchers in after they have shown they are done.
Correia got hit because he was tired and elevating pitches in the 5th last night, so what does Black do? Bring him back to give up 4 more runs in the 6th.
That loss is squarely on the manager's shoulders. He should know the signs to look for in a tired pitcher, but he doesn't seem to have that ability.
Tonight Peavy struggles through the 6th, elevating his pitches and missing his spots. So what does Black do? He brings him back in the 7th so he can give up another run before giving way to Gregerson. Why did he come out at all?
Luckily, the Diamondbacks bullpen seems intent on giving up as many runs as they possibly can and immediately gave up 3 runs on 4 walks, 2 errors and 2 singles in the 8th inning tonight.
Even Greg Burke giving up a run in the 9th wasn't enough for the Diamondbacks, as the Padres beat them 8-5. It was just the 2nd run the Padres bullpen has given up since Duaner Sanchez gave up 4 runs on May 14th. Peavy went 6 1/3 innings giving up 8 hits and 4 runs while striking out 5 for his 5th win and Heath Bell pitched to one batter in the 9th for his 13th save.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his league leading 18th home run and the Padres 1 through 4 hitters went 8 for 17 and scored all 8 Padres runs.
The Padres are now 24-23 while the Diamondbacks fall to 20-27.
Yes you. Have you cast your 25 All Star Game votes for Adrian Gonzalez yet?
Well what is keeping you from voting? It only takes a couple of minutes. Get to it!
Gonzalez may be the most deserving Padre All Star since Tony Gwynn Sr and without your help he may not make it.
So please, in the immortal words of Chicago politics, vote early vote often.
Why the San Diego Padres CAN win the NL West in 2009.
I keep hearing people saying that the Dodgers have the NL West won and no one else has a chance of winning the division.
I want to present one counter argument to that misplaced thought.
(Note: I starting writing this article several days ago and am just getting around to posting it so, even though I have adjusted several of them some of the stats may be off just a bit, but the general idea is still as sound today as it was Tuesday.)
Before I give you any more commentary let me post a few stats.
Can you figure out why these stats show the Padres CAN still win the NL West?
Brian Giles - .175
Kevin Kouzmanoff - .231
David Eckstein - .225
Edgar Gonzalez - .190
Chase Headley - .234
Chris Young - 4.76
Juan Pierre - .395
Casey Blake - .309
Orlando Hudson - .349
Brad Ausmus - .355
Randy Wolf - 3.02
Jonathan Broxton - 1.17
So what do all these players and their stats have in common?
They are all far off their career norms.
One of the most accurate predictors of human performance is called "Regression (or progression) Towards the Mean".
What that means is athletes tend to move from where they are currently towards their career averages during the course of a season, whether that is regressing or progressing.
In real simple terms, if a player has hit .250 for the first 7 years of his career and is currently hitting .350, he will almost certainly slump from .350 towards .250 as the season goes on.
There are occasional career years or break out years in which a player hits substantially more than his career averages, but in subsequent years they almost always regress towards the career average.
So the players listed above are far off their career norms, and only one, Kouzmanoff is in the age group most likely to have a break out year, so all should regress or progress towards their career averages.
All but one of the batters are more than 40 points off their career averages coming into 2009.
So why does this mean the Padres CAN contend in the NL West?
Brian Giles is hitting more than 120 points below his career average. Considering his age, if he only regresses to f his relatively low combined batting average for the last 3 years, he still will improve by 100 points.
Kevin Kouzmanoff is hitting 35 points below his career average of .266 coming into this season. Kouzmanoff has hit an average of 20 home runs per season and currently he has 4. He has been a player that hit better later in the season his first two seasons, so we should be able to expect an improvement as this season goes along.
David Eckstein has been a very consistent hitter. Not a high average guy for sure, but most years in the .270-.300 range with a career average of .285 coming into the season. Right now he is 60 points below his career averages and chances are he will improve as the season progresses.
Edgar Gonzalez and Chase Headley do not have full seasons at the major league level under their belts so it is more difficult to project improvement this season, but after looking at their minor league stats and last years results it can pretty safely be said that they are better hitters than what we have seen so far.
Throw in injuries to Luis Rodriguez and promising shortstop Everth Cabrera and the Padres hitting should see marked improvement as the season goes on.
Only Scott Hairston is hitting far above his career averages for the Padres.
Chris Young is a full ERA point over his career averages. He is healthy, but has not been consistent so far this season. One game pitching a gem and the next getting blown out. He should also improve.
Heath Bell is below his career average, but as a closer he can see a small increase and still close games effectively.
A large percentage of the Padres position players are due to see an increase in batting average and the number two starter is due to see a full point come off his ERA as the season progresses.
In other words, chances are the Padres will get better as the season goes on.
Now for the Dodgers.
Juan Pierre is hitting more than 90 points above his career norms.
Casey Blake is hitting 20 points higher than his career high and 50 points above his career average.
Orlando Hudson is hitting 45 points higher than his career high and 65 points better than his career average.
Brad Ausmus is playing in rarefied air at over 100 points higher than his career average.
Randy Wolf is more than a full point lower than what his career ERA of 4.26.
Jeff Weaver is more than a full point below his career ERA of 4.72.
Jonathan Broxton is more than 1.8 points lower than his career ERA of 2.98.
These key Dodgers players are due for a fall in batting average and a rise in ERA.
Add to that the continuing struggles of Rafael Furcal. After his injury and subsequent back surgery I posted that no regular in baseball had ever returned from the surgery Furcal had done and completed a full season of baseball and that ALL who have had the surgery had significant drops in production when they did come back.
Furcal is 48 points below his career batting average of .286 and is regressing. He may still improve, but no other player who has had the same back surgery has ever completed a full season or hit his career average ever again in their careers.
Only one Dodger starter is more than 40 points below his career averages, Andre Ethier at .250.
In other words, chances are the Dodgers will get worse as the season goes on.
Will the Dodgers get 8.5 games worse?
Or even meet the Padres half way, with the Padres getting 4.5 games better to the Dodgers getting 4.5 games worse?
That is a question for the baseball Gods.
My point was to show that there is a plausible argument for why the Padres CAN catch the Dodgers and win the NL West.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
The San Diego Padres comeback fell short and they fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 last night in Phoenix.
After starting pitcher Kevin Correia got in trouble by getting pitches up to the #8 and #9 hitters in the Diamondback's batting order and giving up two runs in the 5th, manager Bud Black made a critical mistake in sending him back out for the 6th inning.
Correia left pitch after pitch up in the zone and got pounded for 5 hits and 4 more runs.
Sometimes you wonder what Black is saving the bullpen for?
The Padres hitters once again mounted a valiant comeback against the Diamondbacks bullpen scoring 5 runs in the 8th and 9th innings, but came up just short on Kevin Kouzmanoff's fly ball to the warning track in the 9th.
Brian Giles continued his hot streak going 3 for 5 in the game. Giles has gone 6 for 10 in his last 4 games. He is still hitting just .189 on the season.
Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer went 7 innings giving up just 6 hits and 2 runs while striking out 10 for his 2nd career win in 16 starts.
Tonights rubber game is at 6:40pm pacific and pits Padres Ace Jake Peavy against Diamondbacks rookie Billy Buckner.
Do you think Buckner may have gotten teased just a bit about his name? How many times was he asked about the error in 1986? I don't believe that this kid is related to Billy Buck, but I would love to hear about what having that famous (infamous?) name has put him through.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Yesterday John Kruk once again showed his level of knowledge of the game of baseball with this article.
Kruk claims in the article that the Padres winning streak was:
- Not a big deal.
The Padres swept a 9 game home stand for the 1st time in 40 years of franchise history.
The Padres 9 game home stand sweep was the only the 3rd time that has been done in this decade.
- Only because of
A) The starting pitching staff.
Kruk completely ignored the fact that the Padres relief staff had a 0.27 ERA in 33 innings and while the starters had a 3.05 era in 65 innings so far in the winning streak.
Now that is not to say the starters did not do a good job, it just means the relief staff was incredible and a huge part of the teams success over that period!
b ) Opposing batters being intimidated by Petco.
What a crock of garbage. NO ONE hits well at Petco. Does Kruk even pay attention? He says the Padres are struggling offensively but the winning at home is because visiting batters are intimidated by the ballpark and that is why the Padres are winning? Sorry Kruk, you can't have it both ways. Either the ballpark effects EVERYONE who hits there or not.
- The Padres are struggling with offensive problems.
The Padres out scored the other team in every game for the last 10 in a stretch where they faced Johnny Cueto, Edwin Volquez, Aaron Harang, Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, Zambrano, and Ted Lilly. They must be doing something right offensively to be beating those guys.
The Padres are currently second in the west in OPS+ to the Dodgers and rank 7th in the NL. That means a whole lot of teams are doing worse offensively than the Padres.
Kruk, that says more about your lack of knowledge of what is really going on in the game than anything the Padres may or may not do as a team. In fact the very fact that you didn't know more than 5 players on the Padres is an indictment of your whole staff at BAseball Tonight and makes me very glad we have an alternative in the MLB Channel.
Maybe YOU should study the game a little more. The average fantasy baseball fan seems to know alot more about what is going on in baseball today than you or "Baseball Tonight" staff do.
I have had my say, now what do you think.
Monday, May 25, 2009
If you were wondering what the scoreboard signs welcoming Eaumus Catuli or the t-shirts on some Cubs fans that said Eamus Catuli meant, here is the REAL stroy.
Some Cub fan a few years back that failed latin started a story that it means Go Cubs. You can even see signs on buildings around Wrigley that say Eamus Catuli.
Let me correct them.
1st off it is e amus catuli.
E amus means to go or to walk or to march.
Catuli means young dog or puppy.
So the saying "e amus catuli" literally means to walk the young dog.
I guess it is fitting. The Cubs have been playing like dogs lately and Cubs fans always like to think of them as underdogs since they have not been able to get to or win a world series.
For those angry Cubs fans who have emailed or posted comments:
From the University of Notre Dame Latin-English Dictionary
catul.i N 2 1 GEN S M
catul.i N 2 1 LOC S M
catul.i N 2 1 NOM P M
catul.i N 2 1 VOC P M
catulus, catuli N M [XAXCO]
young dog, puppy, whelp; dog (any age); young of any animal;
catul.i V 4 1 PRES ACTIVE IMP 2 S
catulio, catulire, -, - V INTRANS [XAXEO] uncommon
be in heat, desire to mate; (e.g., a bitch);
On this day set aside so we can show our appreciation for the brave men and women who served in the military to keep our country safe and free, the San Diego Padres fought back from a 7-1 deficit in the 5th inning to post a 9-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Starting pitcher Chad Gaudin's struggles with control continued as he gave up 5 hits and 5 walks while allowing 7 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.
In my opinion, Gaudin's control went away when he shaved the squirrell off his chin.
Adrian Gonzalez hit his league leading 17th home run in the 4th inning for the Padres 1st run.
The Padres plated 5 runs in the 8th and 1 in the 9th to tie the game at 7-7, then Chase Headley hit a 420 foot blast to left field with Henry Blanco on 1st base to drive in the go ahead runs.
Heath Bell came in to shut the Diamondbacks down for his 13th save of the season.
Catcher Nick Hundley and manager Bud Black were thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Eric Cooper on a disputed call at the plate in the 6th inning. Cooper blew the play, but it didn't matter as the Padres pummelled the Diamondbacks in the late innings.
Take a litle sip of the kool aid folks, the Padres are now 23-22 on the season.
And today the Padres win their tenth game in a row!
Padres Injury Update
- Relief pitcher Mike Adams started his minor league rehab assignment on May 21st with the San Antonio Missions. If there are no setbacks, he will come off the disabled list no later than June 20th.
- Shawn Hill pitched from the mound this weekend and will need at least 3 minor league rehab starts before being called up. He is probably a month away.
- Cha Seung Baek is still not throwing and while he is eligible to come off the DL at the end of May, he is not expected back prior to the all star break.
- Walter Silva started a minor league rehab stint on May 5th and has to be taken off the DL by June 4th.
- Mark Prior has not pitched from the mound since suffering a setback in late April. I would be surprised if Prior ever pitches in a game for the Padres.
The Giants are said to be looking for a big bat for the middle of their lineup.
They are supposedly dangling Matt Cain as bait and the names we are hearing they want in return include Dan Uggla and Nick Johnson.
Would either be enough to right the ship for the struggling Giants?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Today San Diego Padres fans got the chance to witness something that the Padres had never done before in 40 years as a franchise.
With a 7-2 win over the Chicago Cubs today, the Padres swept a 9 game home stand!
That is amazing!
In the 1200+ games I have attended in San Diego over the last 24 seasons I thought I had seen everything with the exception of a Padre no hitter or a Padre hit for the cycle.
I was wrong.
So are the no hitter and cycle coming soon?
Chris Young took a no hitter into the top of the 5th, but a single by Mike Fontenot to CF broke it up. Young has taken 2 no hitters into the 8th inning in the past 2 seasons. Will he be the one to finally get a Padres no hitter? Or will it be Jake Peavy who has been lights out in his last two outings.
Today's game was scoreless going into the bottom of the 5th and was shaping up to be a low scoring pitchers duel. Then after a fly ball from Nick Hundley for the 1st out, the Padres strung together a single, double and an intentional walk to load the bases for pitcher Chris Young.
Young came through with a single to center to drive in two runs. The next batter, David Eckstein laid down a suicide squeeze that scored Josh Wilson and Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly threw the ball away so everyone was safe.
The Cubs never seriously threatened even after Reed Johnson hammered a two run shot to deep left field. It was the Cubs 7th straight loss.
Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in 4 runs with a double in the 6th and a 3 run shot to left field in the 7th that put the final nail in the Cubs coffin.
With this win the Padres have fought and clawed their way back to .500 on the season.
The 2nd place Padres are now just 7.5 games back of the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers and just 4 games back in the wild card race.
So folks, its time to take a sip of the kool aid and start to believe.
Wee hours of the morning.
It is soooo much fun to watch the Padres beat the Cubs at Petco. Cubs fans come out in numbers only seen when the Dodgers are in town and try to make themselves at home in our house. They can be arrogant and more than a little obnoxious.
When the Padres beat them it is awesome to be able to throw it back at them.
Tonight Brian Giles drove in two runs for his 2nd straight game and the San Diego Padres defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 at Petco Park.
It was the Padres 8th straight win on the home stand.
Josh Geer pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win, giving up 5 hits and just 1 run on a Derrek Lee home run in the 2nd. Geer struck out 7 and walked none. Geer has been either outstanding or terrible in his 6 starts this season. Tonight he had pin point control and the result was a great outing.
Cubs rookie starting pitcher Randy Wells came into the game having not given up a run in 16 1/3 innings on the year. He went 7 innings giving up just 5 hits, but was stung for 3 earned runs.
Alfonso Soriano took the night off and there were rumors he argued with Cubs manager Lou Piniella after going 1 for 5 with 3 strike outs in last nights game.
Sunday's game will see Chris Young going for the Padres 9th straight win and 3rd straight series sweep.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I keep reading and hearing all this crap about Peavy being a bad pitcher away from Petco and for the life of me I can't figure out what the heck these people are talking about.
For his career, Peavy has a 3.82 ERA on the road with a 1.30 Whip and a .245 BAA.
The last 3 seasons he has been even better on the road at 3.73 era with a 1.27 Whip and a .235 BAA
Not exactly chicken feed, in fact it would have made him the best road or home pitcher on the White Sox and quite a few other pitching staffs.
Over the last 3 years Peavy is among the top starters on the road in baseball.
And when you are looking at his road stats, don't forget:
- 2007 when he had a 2.57 Road ERA with a 1.05 Whip and a .195 BAA,
- Or 2005 when he had a 2.98 Road ERA with a 1.12 Whip and a .229 BAA,
- Or 2004 when he had a 2.33 with a 1.19 Whip and a .246 BAA
When you look at those away stats, also keep in mind that the Padres play quite a few games every season in two of the best HITTERS parks in baseball in Colorado and Arizona, so Peavy is quite used to pitching in an environment that is not pitcher friendly.
Two average years do not make a pitcher bad away from home and in this case they only show Peavy is very, very good away from Petco instead the exceptional pitcher he is AT Petco.
7 Wins in a Row and the Padres move into 2nd place in the NL West.
Just home from the game and it was a beauty! Jake Peavy threw his second straight gem and the bullpen once again shut the door as the San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs for their 7th win in a row.
In his first start as a Padre, Tony Gwynn Jr. led off the game with a walk and doubled in the 5th inning, scoring both times. Gwynn's first two plate appearances as a Padre resulted in a walk and he eventually scored a run both times.
Brian Giles went 1 for 2 with a walk and drove in two runs. For a guy that is hitting only .166, it is amazing that he already has 17 rbi.
Adrian Gonzalez broke out of his slump on this home stand with an opposite field blast in the 7th. Gonzalez is tied with Raul Ibanez for the major league lead in home runs with 16.
Peavy threw 6 innings of shutout ball allowing just 2 hits while striking out 10 in a dominating performance for his 4th win of the season. After the failed trade attempt earlier in the week, Peavy showed amazing poise and focus. Peavy lowered his era to 3.48 for the season.
Luke Gregerson pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Edward Mujica went 1 full inning without allowing a run before giving way to closer Heath Bell with 2 out in the 9th after giving up a pair of singles to Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot.
Bell walked Kusuke Fukudome before inducing a pop foul to the 1st base side from Cubs 1st baseman Derrek Lee for his 12th save of the season.
There was a scary moment in the 1st inning when Eckstein squared around to bunt and was hit by a Zambrano fastball in the upper chest. Eck stayed down for several minutes before getting up and taking his base. This was the 2nd game in a row that he was hit by a pitch after taking a 97 mph fastball in the arm from Giants closer Brian Wilson last night and he was replaced in the field by Edgar Gonzalez in the top of the 2nd.
Peavy plunked Cubs 3B Bobby Scales in the leg in what appeared to be a retaliatory fashion to start the 2nd inning and both benches recieved warnings, but there was no escalation or altercations.
Carlos Zambrano, in his first start since returning from the diabled list, went 4 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7. It was Zambrano's 2nd loss of the season.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Should the Padres trade Peavy and if yes should they trade him right now?
First let me say this, NONE of the reasoning for a trade should be based on how good or bad anyone THINKS the Padres will do this season or next.
I have heard lots of pundits and bloggers saying the Padres are washed up and are years away from contending and all that talk is total and complete hogwash - BS.
No one can be certain what will happen to any given team. Especially a team with as much good to great talent as the Padres.
With Peavy and Young anchoring the starting rotation, Bell at the back end of the pen and Adrian Gonzalez, Brian Giles and several other talented young players like Hairston, Kouzmanoff and Headley, the Padres have as much chance of winning the West or a Wild Card spot as any team in the NL.
The prognosticator with the best record over recent years, the CHONE system by Sean Smith, predicted the Padres would end up at 80-82 and in second place behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. At this point he looks like Nostradamus with the Padres being 3 games under .500 and 1/2 game out of 2nd.
As we have already seen, this Padres team can play with any team in the league, having played and won against the World Series Champion Phillies and the talented New York Mets. We have also seen the Padres team be extremely effective at home. Currently they Padres have the 2nd best home record in the NL at 14-6, that is .700 ball at home . If the Padres play just .400 ball on the road instead of .238, they have the 2nd best record in the NL at 26-15.
The dollar amount spent on a teams payroll is not the only indicator of potential and neither is the previous years win-loss record. As many teams have come from last one year to winning the division the next as have come from 1st place one year to 1st place the next year in this century.
So please, no more of the garbage that says the Padres CAN'T win or that they do not have the talent to contend. It simply isn't true.
So back to the question, SHOULD the Padres trade Jake Peavy?
If YES should they trade him Right Now?
The simple answer and short term answer is no.
The Padres are on a winning streak and playing well. Do not mess with the team chemistry and the streak. Plus with ticket sales already lagging, the Padres would be shooting themselves in the foot by trading away arguably the most popular player on the team.
While Peavy can only contribute to one win every five days, his absence would have a greater effect on the team as each of the pitchers in the rotation would move up a notch and another minor league pitcher (The Padres are already starting Josh Geer who is really just a minor league pitcher due to injuries to Baek and Hill) would have to be called up to fill the number 5 slot. Everyone would have a tougher row to hoe.
The long term answer is maybe.
The question mark here is the package the Padres are receiving in return for Peavy.
Peavy is the type of pitcher who makes the entire squad better. He can consistently put up 20+ QS and 15+ wins per season. More importantly Peavy is a stopper who can take the mound and control the outcome of the game with just his arm.
That being said, Peavy is just one player and can only play every 5th day. His value is high now and will never be higher regardless of how good this season ends up for him statistically. He is at an age that is considered the peak years for ML players.
If the Padres can get at least one player with upside as high as Peavy is currently playing at that they can control for 6 years and 3-4 other good prospects, then the trade would be worthwhile.
Given the fact that maybe one in ten Top 10 prospects on any given team becomes an impact player at the major league level, it would be foolish to make a trade that does not include several VERY high upside prospects for a talent like Jake Peavy.
That fact would have made the proposed trade with the Chicago White Sox an utter failure for the Padres. They would have lost a top 10 pitcher and gained only one prospect, Aaron Poreda, with an upside of being an impact player. The rest, Clayton Richard, Lance Broadway and Brian Omogrosso, are all projected as #4-#5 type starters.
Even the fire ball throwing Poreda is widely seen as a one pitch wonder who is best suited for the closers role.
The package the Chicago Cubs offered in the off season was better because it contained at least two very high upside players and several other players with some major league experience. Several of those players are gone now, but the Cubs still have the high upside type of prospects it should take to consummate the trade.
So the bottom line is:
IF the Padres can get a couple of high upside, impact type prospects in the trade plus a couple of major league ready prospects for Jake Peavy, THEN the trade should and probably will get done this season.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
The San Diego Padres have been active in the trade front today, acquiring Tony Gwynn Jr. from the Milwaukee Brewers and agreeing to the terms of a trade that would have sent team ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for 4 pitching prospects before Peavy exercised his no trade clause.
Now we hear word that the Padres are in discussions with the Seattle Mariners to bring shortstop Yunielsky Betancourt to the Padres in exchange for top Padres prospect Matt Antonelli.
The sticking point right now seems to be only how much of the nearly $11 million owed Betancourt through 2011 that the Mariners would pay.
Initially the Mariners reportedly asked for Chase Headley and were told Headley is not available.
Was the Gerut trade a deal to clear some room to fit Betancourt's salary in the Padres budget?
Will the Padres have a true short stop manning the position soon?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Gwynn scores the winning run and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2.
A very familiar sounding statement in Padres land, but this time it is the newest Padre, Tony Gwynn Jr., coming across the plate.
The Padres starting pitching was outstanding again tonight with Kevin Correia going 6.1 innings and giving up just 6 hits and 1 run while walking none. The only run Correia surrendered came on an Aaron Rowand home run to left in the 6th inning.
Joe Thatcher and Edward Mujica combined for 1.2 scoreless innings in relief and handed a 1-1 game to Heath Bell in the 9th.
After Heath Bell allowed his first run of the season to give the Giants a 2-1 lead in the top of the 9th, the Padres came back in the bottom of the frame to score two runs for their 6th straight win and 2nd straight series sweep.
Kevin Kouzmanoff led off the 9th with an infield single to third and scored the tying run when David Eckstein was plunked in the shoulder by a 97 mph fastball from Giants closer Brian Wilson with the bases loaded. Wilson had walked both Gwynn Jr. and Brian Giles to get to the pesky Eckstein.
Scott Hairston then drove in Gwynn with a single to left for the victory.
Kouzmanoff has improved his batting average to .240 for the season by going 9 for 24 (.375) in this home stand with a pair of home runs and 4 rbi while drawing 2 walks and striking out only twice in 28 plate appearances.
Adrian Gonzalez broke out of a 0 for 17 slump on the home stand with a smash up the middle in the 6th that caromed off Giants ace Tim Lincecum's glove into CF for a single.
Chase Headley's woes continued with an 0 for 4 performance and 2 more strike outs. Headley is now 1 for 13 (.077) on the home stand with 6 strike outs.
Lincecum went 7 innings giving up just 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 10 Padres for another hard luck loss in 3 well pitched games for the Giants starters in this series.
So now the Padres have won 6 straight games and swept 2 straight series!
And Gwynn scores the winning run!
With all the news today about trades and possible trades an update is in order.
1st, Jake Peavy exercised his no trade clause and will not be going to the Chicago White Sox at this point?
YAY!!!! I get to see Jake Peavy pitch in Petco at least one more time and to me, that is pretty special. He is one of the best pitchers I have ever had the privilege of watching play in a Padres uniform and I appreciate each and every opportunity I have to watch him work his magic.
Why did Peavy decline to accept the trade? The PC answer is that he wants to keep his family in San Diego and play in the NL. The real answer is probably more complicated than that and may include the fact that the White Sox are playing worse than the Padres and that the White Sox may or may not have been willing to guarantee Peavy's $22 million option year.
Will Peavy still be traded this season? The answer is probably. To whom? My guess would be, to the Chicago CUBS once the sale of the franchise to the Ricketts family is finalized. According to several sources, the team may finalize the sale as soon as this coming week.
In other trade news, Tony Gwynn Jr. WILL join the Padres and wear number 18. Tony light? pum dum pum.
Many media outlets reported that Gwynn, who has struggled to hit major league pitching in parts of 3 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, would join the Padres AAA farm club in Portland.
Bringing in the good fielding but light hitting Gwynn in exchange for the good fielding and power hitting Gerut appears to be a salary dump and a feeble attempt at good PR on the cheap. If the Padres had thought highly enough of Gwynn Jr to keep him in the major leagues, they could have had him for the price of a waiver claim in mid April when the Brewers designated him for assignment.
Gwynn will never be his father and likely will never be even as good as the 4th outfielder options the Padres have in Macias and Venable.
I would expect that when Cliff Floyd is ready to come off the DL, Gwynn will be sent down to AAA.
To recap, I am happy to say we will have at least one more chance to see Peavy pitch at Petco after he declined to waive his no trade clause and Tony Jr. will be in a Padres jersey tonight.
The San Diego Padres have negotiated their second trade of the day, acquiring Tony Gwynn Jr. from the Milwaukee Brewers organization for CF Jody Gerut according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Padres management has seemingly waived the white flag on a season that finds the team at 18-22 (3rd in the NL West) and are jettisoning salary.
Gerut had a breakout year last season after being called up in June, but has struggled a platoon player this season hitting just .221 with 4 home runs in 113 abs. Gerut, widely expected to be the Padres starting center fielder coming out of spring training has started just 21 games in CF this season while platooning with Scott Hairston.
Gwynn Jr, 26, has struggled in to hit at the major league level in parts of three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and is expected to be assigned to AAA Portland.
Jake Peavy Traded to the Chicago White Sox!
Corey Brock of MLB.com is reporting that Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres has been traded to the Chicago White Sox. The trade is contingent on Peavy waiving his no trade clause.
Its rumored that the Padres would be recieving just 4 pitching prospects. 2007 1st round draft pick Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, and two other low level prospects.
The 22 year old Poreda is a power throwing lefty drafted 25th overall in 2007 out of the University of San Francisco. He is currently pitching for the White Sox AA farm team in Birmingham. He has a high 90's fastball that occasionally hits 100, but has had problems developing his breaking stuff.
Richard is a control pitcher with a good sinker. In the past you would have called him a "Padres type" pitcher. Nothing overpowering, just around the plate and makes guys miss with pitch placement and changing speeds. He projects as a #4-#5 type starter.
Now this deal is far from a done deal. According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Peavy's agent Barry Axelrod expressed doubt to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com that Peavy would accept the deal. Peavy has made clear his desire to stay in the National League.
"If I had to make a bet on it, I would guess that Jake would say he's not ready to take that step today,'' Axelrod said. "But he wouldn't necessarily preclude it at any time in the future.
"We aren't hiding anything from anybody. Jake has a strong preference to stay in the National League. He has a comfort zone there, he's been successful, and he's won a Cy Young Award. I don't know that on May 21, that preference has eroded very much. From our point of view we may say, 'Let's give (the Padres) more time and see if a National League team might step up over the next six weeks.'
''If this were any one of three or four other teams and they called about him, Jake would jump at it. He would be willing. They know who they are. They know that certain places are more enticing to him.''
Tom Krasovic of the Union Tribune is also reporting that Peavy is not likely to accept the trade.
With the names mentioned so far it seems like a mighty light deal for one of the top 10 starters in the game. Especially considering the 5-1 deal the Diamondbacks gave up for Dan Haren and the 5-2 deal the Marinerspaid for a one year for Erik Bedard.
If the Padres do not recieve Gordon Beckham as part of the deal, many will be calling for Moorad's head in the days to come.
Time will tell what happens. Stay tuned.
It kills the concentration of the opposing pitcher when a speedy guy gets on base.
It kills the possibility of a double play. It kills in so many ways on the diamond.
We heard so much in spring training about the speed of Everth Cabrera who stole 73 bases in the minors last season and how his speed could be a game changer for the Padres. Cabrera has been timed at 6.70 in the 60 yard dash. That is quick.
Do you want to know what REAL speed is?
The 6.22 Luis Durango has reportedly ran in the 60 yard dash. That is BLAZING!
60 yards is 54.864 meters. Durango's time in the 60 YARD dash translates to a 6.73 60 meter dash. I am pretty sure that would get him a spot on Panama's Olympic team.
Uber High School Athlete Donovan Tate is expected to go in the top ten in the June MLB draft based on his athleticism and has been widely been reported to be the fastest athlete projected to be drafted. He runs a 6.40 60 yard dash.
That means Luis Durango has amazing speed. And he can both hit and be selective at the plate. Last season he hit .328/.415 and this season he made the jump to AA and is hitting .351/.425.
Think about a 2010 or 2011 Padres team that has Cabrera at short and Durango platooning in the outfield? WOW!
So why do I say platooning in the outfield?
#1 - Durango is 5'9" and 140 lbs soaking wet and has NO power. None. He occasionaly turns a single into a double, but he has so little power that he had only 15 doubles and 4 triples in 406 abs last season because the ball reached the wall off his bat just once and he turned that into an inside the park home run. His slugging percentage last season was .392 and this year it is just .383.
Can you say Juan Pierre?
#2 - This is the first season Durango has used that speed to consistently steal bases. Right now he has 20 SB vs 7 CS in 38 games played.
Last season he had just 15 stolen bases vs 8 cs at Low A Ft Wayne and High A Lake Elsinore.
The speed is just starting to translate into stolen bases and he hasn't quite learned how to read pitchers well enough to be good at it.
When he does get it, watch out. He should be a fixture as a #4 outfieler/utility player for years to come at the major league level.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It was deja vu all over again as the San Diego Padres won their fifth straight game by a score of 2-1 over the San Francisco Giants again tonight, making this the longest winning streak since a five game win streak at Petco June 4th - 8th last season.
The pitchers lines were eerily similar to last nights game as the Padres starter Chad Gaudin went 6 full innings giving up 5 hits and 1 run and a trio of relievers gave up just one hit holding the Giants in check for 3 innings. Heath Bell remained perfect throwing another perfect inning for his 11th save of the season.
Once again the Giants starters were lights out with Jonathan Sanchez giving up just 2 hits in 6 innings. As it was last night, unfortunately for him the Padres were able to get 2 big hits, a double and a home run, to drive in 2 runs against him.
Do I hear strains of the Twilight Zone in the background?
The Padres beleaguered and besieged bullpen has not given up a single run in this home stand. All I can say is WOW! What a change two guys can make.
Kouzmanoff crushed the game winning home run to DEEEEP Left field in the 4th inning, giving him just his 3rd of the season. After going 6-13 in the series against the Reds and getting 2 hits tonight, Kouzmanoff is showing signs of finally breaking out of his funk this season.
Can the Padres win against Lincecum tomorrow and sweep two straight series? Even better, can they win 3 straight series at home?
FIVE in a Row folks. That is some kind of nice! FIVE in a row!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Padres winning streak is at 4 games.
Look what happens. I go away from posting on this blog and other sites for a couple of days and suddenly the Padres are on their longest winning streak of the season. The San Diego Padres have now won four straight games after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds and winning one tonight 2-1 over Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants.
I must admit that I only got to see 7 innings of Jake Peavy's complete game win against the Reds on Sunday. I was running a fever in the morning and I was not quite sure my wife was going to let me out of the house, but once again treachery and old age won out over sweetness and common sense. For those other 21,000 that were there that day and that are now feeling a cold coming on, my wife assures me it is entirely my fault.
Peavy must have felt like Picasso, because he painted a masterpiece. 9 innings, 4 hits, ZERO walk and just 1 earned run on what may have been his only bad pitch of the game. How good was he? Of the 121 pitches he threw, 92 were strikes. Only 1 player had an extra base hit. Only 1 player got to 2nd base. In fact through 7 innings, only one Reds player was on base at all.
You have got to feel privileged any time you get to see a pitching performance like that.
Tonight we got to see another pitchers duel in which both Chris Young and Barry Zito pitched a great game. Unfortunately for Zito, who pitched 8 full innings and gave up just 5 hits, the 2 home runs he gave up to Scott Hairston in the 1st and Hundley in the 2nd were enough to hang him with the loss. It was Hairston's 5th home run of the season and Hundley's 2nd home run in as many at bats after his walk off blast against the Reds in the 16th inning on Saturday.
Despite a 3.62 era, Zito is just 1-4 for the punchless Giants.
CY went 6 strong only giving up only 5 hits while striking out 6. Young gave up only a single run in the 6th when Kouzmanoff and Eckstein were unable to turn a double play on a ground out by Emmanuel Burris with men on 1st and third.
A trio from the Padres bullpen shut the Giants down for 3 innings and Heath Bell stayed perfect on the season while picking up his 10th save.
Adrian Gonzalez continued his struggles on this home stand (and at Petco overall) by going 0-4 tonight. For the home stand he is just 2 for 18 with just 1 run batted in. A .111 batting average.
Just a few moments ago I saw one of the most promising statistic of the year come across the TV Screen during the replay. What was it?
It was a graphic showing the NL teams with the lowest number of extra base hits this season and the Giants headed the list with just 94 extra base hits and it rose to 108 extra base hits for the 5th worst team, the Reds.
Why was that promising? The Padres were not on the list for the first time since 2007. The Padres are tied with the Cubs at 112 extra base hits going into tonight's game.
A side note - Bruce Bochy, former Padres manager, got his 1176th loss tonight tying him with Frank Robinson for 28th all time. While Bochy has no shot at passing Connie Mack and his 3948 losses over 53 seasons, at his current pace Bochy has a good shot at passing Bucky Harris for the 2nd most losses in just 11 more seasons. Go for it Bochy!
(A trivia question for you all. What manager has the best win-loss percentage since Jackie Robinson became the 1st African American player in modern baseball in 1947?)
Now back to the Padres -
Is it time to bring out the kool aid again?
Far from it, but it is so nice to see four wins in a row after 11 losses in a row on the road.
So, for now it is nice to report that the Padres winning streak is at 4 games.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Nick Hundley crushed a walk off home run to the upper deck in left field in the bottom of the 16th inning to give the San Diego Padres 6-5 win tonight over the Cincinnati Reds.
Yes you read that right, 16th inning. The game lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes.
Giles led off the game with a home run to RF and the Padres used nearly every player on the on the team by the time this one was over 16 innings later.
22 of the Padres 25 players were used and when the game ended, the Padres had just Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Chad Gaudin available to pitch OR hit in pitchers spot in the 17th.
Starter Josh Geer went 5 2/3 innings and gave up 5 runs on 2 huge home runs. The much maligned Padres bullpen then held the Reds scoreless for 10 1/3 innings.
Luis Perdomo went 3 innings and to get his first career win.
For the Reds, Starter Edinson Volquez and loser Micah Owings both went 5 2/3 innings each to sandwich 5 Reds relievers.
The Padres had not won two games in a row since April 18th. It was also the last time the Padres swept a series. can they do it again tomorrow?
The Padres have started a winning streak!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Been a while since we have been able to say that!
This win was a team win. Everyone contributed!
Kevin Correia pitched 7 strong giving up just 5 hits, 3 runs and limited his walks to 2.
That is nearly a miracle in and of itself.
And the Padres came back from a 3-1 deficit to score runs in the bottom of the 6th and 7th to win the game over the Cincinnati Reds.
Adrian Gonzalez continues to be ON FIRE, hitting his major league leading 15th home run of the season in the bottom of the 1st inning. Don't look now, but Adrian is on pace to hit 67.5 home runs for the season. I don't think he will get there, but 40 is certainly within reach and reason for the younger Gonzalez.
Brian Giles was batting leadoff tonight and contributed a hit and a run.
Kevin Kouzmanoff came up with a clutch double in the 6th to drive in Jody Gerut who singled. Gerut also also hit a Sac Fly fly in the 7th to drive in a run.
All of the starters had at least one hit with Eckstein and Hairston also driving in runs with singles in a three run 7th.
Bell came in with 2 out in the 8th and induced a pop out from Brandon Harris, then overcame a lead off double and a walk to get his 9th save of the season.
Bell is perfect in 9 save opportunities and maintained his 0.00 ERA.
So say it with me folks. It feels too good not to.
Padres Win! Padres Win! Padres Win!
Friday, May 15, 2009
That didn't take long.
According to Corey Brock of MLB.com on his Twitter, the San Diego Padres have designated Duaner Sanchez for assignment, giving the team 10 days to trade or place the reliever on waivers. It is expected that Sanchez and his 9.00 ERA in 12 appearances this season will easily make it through waivers. The Padres can then assign him to their minor league system.
The Padres also claimed the well travelled 29 year old infielder Josh Wilson off waivers, after the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment earlier this week.
Wilson is a career minor leaguer and has hit .233/.290/.324/.614 at the major league level over 127 games and 4 seasons.
His best season was 2007 when he hit .251 while playing in 90 games, starting 72 at SS, 2B and 3B.
Wilson also pitched one inning in 2007 and 2009 and now has a 0.00 career era. Maybe he can help out in the pen when he isn't playing middle infield.
Wilson will help out in the middle infield while Luis Rodriguez and Everth Cabrera are on the DL.
Dont expect much from Wilson. He is as bad or worse with the glove than Edgar Gonzalez of Luis Rodriguez at SS and has not been a great hitter at either the minor league or major league level.
The Padres also sent down RH reliever Edwin Moreno and called up RH reliever Greg Burke and LH reliever Joe "Becky" Thatcher.
Burke has been dominating at AAA as has Thatcher.
Those of you who follow this blog know I am not enamored of Thatcher. Thatcher has shown he is one of those guys that allows way too high of a percentage of inherited runners to score, while keeping his own ERA down. He doesn't help a team to win, but his stats look good.
Lets hope Thatcher has learned something in his time at AAA This season.
Changes the Padres don't need to make
and Ten Changes they DO need to make.
I keep reading alot of articles saying the Padres need to make drastic changes in their roster and to a certain extent those calls for changes are well placed. After all the Padres are in the midst of a 4-19 collapse with 11 straight losses on the road.
For all of you, including Tim Sullivan over at San Diego's rag they call a newspaper, who are stupid enough to want to replace Kevin Kouzmanoff in the starting 8 with Will Venable, keep in mind that Venable has more strike outs than hits as well this season, and that is at the AAA level.
In other words, Venable is NOT hitting any better than Kouzmanoff and you want to give him a regular starting job?
That is downright idiotic. At least we know what Kouzmanoff can do and we also know that Kouzmanoff is a slow starter who will probably end up around .270 for the season with around 20 home runs if the last two seasons are any indication.
I do believe the Padres need to make some changes, but throwing a #4 (at best) or #5 outfielder like Venable into a starting position is ludicrous.
As a FOURTH or FIFTH outfielder, Macias at least plays spectacular defense so the runs he takes away with his defense may compensate for his mediocre bat on a part time basis, but Venable is playing below average defensively in CF this season, so his defense would not.
Venable is not good defensively in CF as either Gerut or Hairston. Last year it graded out with Gerut at +5.8 UZR, Hairston +3.3 and Venable +2.4. At a +9.5 career UZR, Gerut is one of the better defensive CF in the game.
And how long will it take Headley to begin to play defense at 3B at the level Kouzmanoff is currently playing? How many games will be lost until he does. 1, 2, more? Remember, Headley has not regularly played the position since 2007 and he does not even take gound balls at the position in practice currently.
How many of you really believe, based on 44 abs against RHP this season, that Hairston should be a everyday starter? Especially given how poorly he has done of 650+ career at bats against RHP. Hairston's BA against RHP since May 1st of .242 has been much closer to his career average of .234/.294/.414/.709 and, as they always do, will continue to regress towards the mean as the season continues. ( VS RHP in 2008 - .224/.309/.399/.708)
Hairston is good against LHP. Always has been (career - .287/.337/.549/.886, 2008 - .280/.316/.580/.896) and this season he has been a monster (.381/.447/.762/1.209). So platoon Hairston at ALL of the outfield positions against LHP if you want, but don't give him ANY position as an everyday starter. We have seen that dog, and it don't hunt.
And if you trade away Peavy now, what is that saying to Gonzalez and the players you do want to sign long term about the teams commitment to winning? In my opinion it kills any chance of getting Gonzalez signed to an extension. Would you sign a contract knowing the team is not going to be any better than it is right now for several years to come?
So those are changes the Padres absolutely should not make.
So what changes do I think the Padres need to make?
#1 Fire Bud Black - It is Black's job to get these guys to relax and perform and he has failed. No, he has not been given a big league squad and there have been a lot of injuries, but this team is still better than the 4-19 record they have in their last 23 games.
#2 DFA Duaner Sanchez, and cut Luis Perdomo. Bring up Greg Burke and Even Scribner or Gabe DeHoyos to replace them and go with just 12 relievers. My last post was dedicated to Sanchez so I am not going to rehash that. Perdomo has simply not shown he has what it takes, yet. He may in a couple of years, but taking a Rule V guy that did not dominate at the lower levels is risky, and this gamble did not pay off.
#3 Get Kyle Blanks ready to play LF. The Padres are already starting to get him some playing time in LF and once he is able to adjust to AAA pitching (he has hit just .200 over his past 10 games), he should also have had a chance to start 40 or 50 games in LF and be ready to make the jump later in the season.
#4 Get Headley some time at 3B. As I mentioned above, Headley has not played the position reguarly since 2007 and is not taking ground balls at 3B now. Sit Kouzmanoff against some RHP that have been historically bad matchups for him and let Headley get a few starts at 3B. By the time Blanks is ready to be called up, Headley will have been able to play at least 5 or 6 games at 3B and have taken grounders in practive for a couple of months.
#5 Play Jody Gerut. Gerut is a rhythm hitter and needs at bats daily to hit well. Gerut and Hairston is a great platoon by the numbers, but Gerut struggles against all pitching when he isn't out there daily. Gerut is also a better fielder than Hairston and has good power. As Tampa showed last season and several clubs are showing this season, good defense that takes away runs is as important to winning as bats that add runs. This is especially true in Petco, where runs are at a premium.
#6 Start looking for new trainer and strength coach. While some of the injuries cannot be blamed wholy on them, their job is to condition the athletes on the Padres to minimize injuries, and given the fact that the Padres have been consistently among the top 5 in player days on the DL each of the past 8 seasons and are on pace to break 1100 player days on the DL this season, they are failing miserably.
The Padres are the only team to have over 880 player days on the DL in the last 10 years and they have done it 5 times including the only 2 seasons over 1000 player days on the dl since they began keeping records of this stuff. REgardless of whether the players or anyone else says they like the trainers hee, their results stink.
#7 Figure out how to turn Kouzmanoff's bat around. This guy hit everywhere he went before the Padres started tinkering with his swing. Maybe it is the Padres approach and not Kouzmanoff that is to blame here. SO Lefebvre do your job and figure it out. You can't trade him while he is hitting .229 and sending him down does no good since Headley would take a month or more to readjust to third base.
So get Kouzmanoff hitting so you CAN trade him for help at SS or for the pitching staff when Blanks is ready to come up and take over LF.
#8 Put Brian Giles back into the front of the rotation and sit him down and say, "Brian, we know you are having problems off the field. It is time to focus on doing your job and let baseball take your mind off those things. SO get out their and do what you do best, hit the damn ball."
If you want to rest him, send Hairston or Gerut or even Macias out there against a few lefties since Giles has hit just .255 off LHP over the past 3 seasons and just .111 this season.
#9 Trade for a decent everyday SS. Cabrera did well while he was here but it was 13 abs and he isn't expected back until Late June at the earliest. Luis Rodriguez is not the answer when he comes back. He is a below average defender and he is a slightly above replacement level hitter. He could be a good platoon player, but playing everyday seems to be beyond his abilities.
So who can the Padres trade for? They are not going to get a top level prospect like Alcides Escobar or Yunel Esobar or even Jason Donald, but maybe a player like Argenis Diaz or Reid Brignac who is blocked by a ML player and a top prospect will be available for a package of prospects.
#10 All Padres fans need to remember 4 words -
REGRESSION TOWARDS THE MEAN!
What does that mean? It means that players will regress towards their career averages as the season progresses unless there is some underlying problem like an injury. So put them out there and let them play their way out of their slumps. Eventually they will start hitting enough ABOVE their career averages to end up near their career averages when the season is over. In other words there will be a hot streak to average out a slump at some point if you just shut up and let them play.
I have had my say. Now What do you think?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Why is Duaner Sanchez still a San Diego Padre?
Sanchez continued his complete collapse as a pitcher with a 1.2 inning appearance in which he allowed 6 hits and 4 earned runs as well as allowing an inherited runner to score.
This outing raised his ERA to 9.00 on the season.
He has just three scoreless innings in his past 10 appearances.
So why is he still a Padre?
San Diego Padres shortstop Luis Rodriguez is headed to the disabled list with an ankle injury he sustained rounding first base on Wednesday.
This injury continues a pattern of highly elevated level of injuries that stretches back to 2001. The Padres were on pace for nearly 1100 player days on the DL before Rodriguez came up lame with an ankle injury that could sideline him for a month.
The Padres have almost a complete dearth of major league ready middle infield depth after allowing Travis Denker to be claimed on waivers in April, one of the biggest bone head moves management has made this season.
The shortstop that is closest to major league ready, the slick fielding Sean Kazmar, is currently hitting .162 in his first season at AAA Portland. The only other option is Brett Dowdy, a lead glove with a decent bat but no power.
So what options does that leave the Padres?
The Padres could play Chris Burke daily, but Burke has hit just .226 against RHP.
They could move David Eckstein to short until Luis Rodriguez returns and play Edgar Gonzalez at 2b, but Eckstein is 34 with rapidly fading range and Edgar Gonzalez is a butcher in the field.
Everth Cabrera is still at least a month away from returning from his own stint on the disabled list and while a promising prospect, he has only had 13 abs above low A.
If Kouzmanoff was hitting they could make a trade to bring in at least a good SS prospect or some help for the pitching staff, but he is currently hitting .216.
So what will the Padres do?
Probably nothing. There is not much they can do other than start Burke daily and bring up a temporary fill in from the farm.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Will Kyle Blanks be in San Diego soon?
The San Diego Padres offense has been sputtering as of late and you can hear the groundswell of fans clammering for the Padres to call up promising young prospect Kyle Blanks.
Corey Brock, beat writer for the Padres on MLB.com, talked about Blanks on his blog earlier this afternoon.
He asked if Blanks should be brought up or allowed to get some time in LF at Portland and a little seasoning against AAA pitching before getting the call.
With all the hulabaloo I thought I would throw in my two cents.
In my opinion Kyle Blanks is the type of athlete that could adjust to LF or RF for that matter, but the key word is adjust. Bringing a 22 year old kid up to the major leagues and asking him to not only adjust to a much higher level of pitching, but also a whole new position is asking for trouble. I don't think he would do well at either to start.
Kyle Blanks has hit well at each level he has played at as a professional and will undoubtedly be a good major league ball player. In fact his batting has improved as he took the steps up the ladder.
But Blanks has been given a full season at each level to hone his craft and learn to adapt to a higher quality of pitchers. The jump from AAA to the majors may be the biggest jump of all and we would be asking Blanks to do it after just 2 months at the AAA level. Givin his performance as of late, that may be a mistake.
Over the past week Blanks has faced some of the best pitching to date this year including major league pitchers John Lackey and Ervin Santana, who are on rehab assignments with Salt Lake City, and Sean O'Sullivan the Angels top RHP prospect.
Blanks hit 5/26 - .192, with 2 home runs, 1 walk, 11 strike outs, 5 runs scored and 4 rbi in 7 games.
In other words he struggled a bit.
That is not to say that Blanks will continue to struggle, just that it is the first time he has had an extended stretch batting against that caliber of pitcher. He needs time to adjust.
What do I think the Padres should do with Kyle Blanks?
Give him some time at AAA to adjust to the pitching and some time to play LF.
Once Kevin Kouzmanoff starts hitting in June as he has done each of the past two years, start shpping him with the goal of trading Kouzmanoff away around the deadline to bring in some pitching or middle infield help.
Then if Blanks is looking steady in LF and has continued to hit at least at his currrent level of .289/.391//.544/.935, bring him up to San Diego.
Once you bring up Blanks, play him daily. Just put him in LF for the rest of the season and let him know he can go out and play without any pressure to produce immediately.
Then you can move Headley to third base, his natural position.
In the meantime give Kouzmanoff an occassional day off or let him be the DH against the AL and give Headley some games at third to get him re-acclimated to a position he hasn't played regularly since 2007.
With the plethora of good fielding outfielders coming up the farm system, the Padres will have several to choose from to fill RF after Giles is not renewed for 2010 or they will have $9 million extra in the budget to go out and get a free agent outfielder to compliment Gerut and Hairston.
Jason Bay, Rick Ankiel, Rocco Baldelli, Bobby Abreu, and Xavier Nady are all names that could and probably will be considered to fill the roster spot being vacated by Giles. although Bay and Abreu will probably be out of the Padres price range.
I think this will serve the Padres well and put them in a better position to win in the rest of 2009 and the years to come.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
Monday, May 11, 2009
Fire Bud Black!
Yes I know I have said that before, but I have just finished reading Geoff Young's post today on his blog Ducksnorts.com and I am hopping mad at Black right now.
What got me so angry? This:
Meredith entered the game with one out and the bases loaded, which as I noted in the Ducksnorts 2009 Baseball Annual is not when you want to use him. Here’s an updated look at his numbers in those situations through May 10, 2009:
When Not to Use Cla Meredith, 2007-2009 PA BA OBP SLG *Includes third base only, first and third, second and third, and bases loaded. Runner at third* 111 .446 .477 .565 High-leverage 203 .354 .399 .519 Overall 693 .297 .345 .391
As you can see, Meredith becomes a very different pitcher in pressure situations.
If Black does not know what Meredith's tendencies are he has no business being a manager in the major leagues.
If Black DOES know Meredith's rendencies, WHY would he bring Meredith into 8 games THIS SEASON with runners in scoring position and another 2 in high leverage situations?
Either way Black does not belong in a position where he has to make those calls.
Fire Bud Black! Do it today!
Reliever Arturo Lopez was sent down to AAA Portland and outfielder Drew Macias was called up to San Diego after yesterdays game in Houston.
The left handed Lopez had a 19.29 ERA in 4 appearances as a Padre and had given up 7 hits, 3 walks and 5 earned runs in 2.1 innings.
Macias is joining the Padres for his third time this season. He must feel like a yo-yo. Macias, who is known for his exceptional defensive skills, has hit .259 in 25 games for Portland so far this season.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
San Diego Padres Farm System Update
According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union Tribune, Kyle Blanks will begin playing left field for AAA Portland on Monday.
If Blanks is successful at this experiment in left field, Kevin Kouzmanoff may be traded to make room for Chase Headley at third base.
Headley is the template for the Padres move of an infielder to a corner outfield position. Headley made a successful transition from 3B to LF last season and his defense has improved this season. Blanks has superior speed to Headley, though at 6'6" and 285 he is far from the prototypical LF.
Blanks hitting .291/.391/.527/.918 with 7 hr in 31 games is forcing the Padres hand in finding a place for him to play on the big league squad.
Elsewhere in the Padres farm system,
- Kellen Kulbacki is made his first start of the season on Saturday for the AA San Antonio Missions after shoulder surgery in the off season.
- 2003 1st round draft pick Tim Stauffer is throwing well in extended spring training and should be ready to join the Missions later this week.
- Mat Latos has not allowed a run in 3 starts and 11.2 innings with the low A Ft Wayne Tincaps so far this season and may soon be promoted to High A Lake Elsinore.
Who Will the San Diego Padres Draft in the June MLB Amateur Draft?
The draft is approaching and the Padres have their highest draft pick since 2004.
At the number 3 overall pick, impact type players are certain to be available when the Padres turn comes up.
For 2009 there is a glaring dearth of positional players that are expected to go high in the draft, but as many as 3 of them may go in the top 10 overall picks.
In the first part of this article I profiled 4 players that the Padres have either been rumored to be interested in or whom the Padres are currently scouting heavily.
In this section I will profile 6 players I think are high tools type players or players that the Padres should be scouting heavily.
So who will the Padres pick and why?
LHP Tyler Matzek of Capistrano Valley HS (CA)
This 6'3" 190 lb lefty is among the most polished high school pitchers I have seen in many years. His delivery is absolutely effortless and his mechanics are spot on.
While his fastball sits at 91-93, he can crank it up to 95 when needed and he has a two Plus secondary pitches in an 1-7 curve that is nasty and a slider that breaks late. He also mixes in an improving change up that could be a 4th plus pitch.
He may not have #1 upside, but I can see him being a very good #2 in the major leagues for years to come.
He may go as high as number two overall and the Padres could gain something they have not had in years, a dominating lefty starter.
I can see him going to the Padres with the number 3 pick.
OF Donovan Tate of Cartersville HS (GA) (Boras)
The 6'3" 210 lb Tate may be the best overall athlete expected to be drafted in the first round. He is already committed to North Carolina as a Quarterback and wants to play baseball for the Tar Heels as well.
Tate has blazing speed, his 6.4 in the 60-yard is .3 faster than any current player in the Padres system, and he throws a 92-93 mph fast ball.
But it is as a hitter and an outfielder that most teams are looking at Tate. Tate is projected to have 80 speed, 70 arm and 60+ defense, while hitting with 20+ home run power as a professional.
The drawbacks are that Tate is very raw as a hitter and is lacking in patience at the plate. Combine that with Boras as an agent/adviser and the fact that he has already committed to the University of North Carolina in football and that his father, Lars Tate, was a former NFL player and you have a potential signability problem.
Tate may be the first high school player taken in the June Draft and he may fall out of the top 10 rounds depending on how hard teams feel it may be to sign him.
RHP Aaron Crow - 1st round pick of the Washington Nationals (#9 overall) in 2008 out of the University of Missouri and current independent league Forth Worth Cats pitcher. (Boras)
Crow is a 6'2" 205 lb power pitcher who is a fierce competitor. His fastball touches 96 mph and he normally sits 93-94 with with good command to both sides of the plate. He also throws a hard biting slider and a change up that shows real promise.
He was drafted with the 9th overall pick by the "Natinals" in 2008, but they failed to come to terms and Crow went on to pitch for the Cats.
A potential drawback is a hitch in his pitching mechanics that has many scouts leary of future injuries. It is the same type of mechanical flaw that most feel led to Mark Prior's devastating shoulder injuries.
Where Crow goes in the June draft will depend heavily on how he pitches for the independent league Ft. Worth Cats who started their season May 4th. Crow threw 4 scoreless innings in his first start before giving way to the bullpen.
RHP Zack Wheeler of East Paulding HS (GA)
The 6′4, 180 Wheeler is long and lanky and undoubtedly will grow into his body over time. His fastball sits at 90-93 with good late movement and can hit 96. Many scouts believe that his velocity will increase as a professional as he adds some bulk.
Wheeler's secondary pitches include a + hard slurve at 74-78 and change up that still needs work. He has a consistent delivery and good command of his fastball and slurve.
Wheeler projects as a #1-#2 type pitcher and also to go in the top 10 on draft day and may go as high as #3, but is likely going to be drafted after the Padres pick at #3.
LHP Mike Leake of Arizona State University
At 6'0" 180 lbs, Leake is not an imposing figure on the mound, but he gets outstanding results.
This season he has gone 12-1 in 13 appearances with a 1.47 era. In 97.2 IP he has given up just 59 hits while striking out 104 vs just 18 walks.
His 2 seam fastball sits 88-92 with lots of late movement. He has good command over all of his pitches. His change up and curve have a sharp break and has went to a slider more this season. None of his pitches are ++, but he throws strikes and keeps batters off kilter by changing speeds and location. His delivery is smooth and compact and he works very quickly.
Of all the people on this list, Leake may have the quickest path to the major leagues, but his ceiling is lower than many on here. In most books he projects as a #2 or most likely a #3 starter.
Leake will probably be on the board long past the Padres pick at #3, but he will definitely be drafted in the top to middle of the 1st round.
LHP Matthew Purke of Klein HS (Tx)
At the beginning of the season Matthew Purke topped many lists of high school pitchers. A good but not outstanding prep season has seen him fall from a consensus top 5 pick to somewhere in the top-mid 1st round.
The 6'3" 185 lb Purke throws from a 3.4 arm slot which gives his fastball good sink. His fastball sits at 89-92 and regularly touches 94. He has a plus curve, but his slider and change up need work. What worries many scouts most is his long delivery and "inverted w" mechanics. This means his hands break low and this puts stress on his shoulder as his hand catches up with his stride.
Purke will probably still go in the top 10-12 in the 1st round, but I do not believe he will go at #3 to the Padres.
A few other names have been thrown around by many of the MLB draft mavens, but the Padres are not known to have heavily scouted them so I would place them on a list of interesting players, but not likely to be drafted by the Padres at #3.
RHP Tanner Scheppers of the Independent League St. Paul Saints
RHP Shelby Miller of Brownwood HS (Tex.)
RHP Jacob Turner of Westminster Christian Academy (Mo.)
Now the big question.
Who do I feel the Padres SHOULD take in the draft?
If he is available I think the best pick on the board is Dustin Ackley. He is a true 5 tool player.
Who do I think the Padres WILL take?
If he is still on the boad I believe the Padres will take Ackley. He is simply the best player on the board other than Strasburg. If he is not available I believe the Padres will either take Alex White of North Carolina or Aaron Crow of the Ft Worth Cats.
I have had my say. Now what do you think?
San Diego Padres get swept by the Sad Sack Astros in Houston.
2009 is starting to take the same path as 2008.
Yes I know I am being negative and there is a lot of baseball left to play, but this Padres team was favored to win this series over a 12-17 Astros team that was hitting under .250 coming into this series while playing in one of the best hitters parks in baseball.
The Astros pitching staff was in tatters leading the NL in hits allowed and trailing only the Washington "Natinals" in WHIP.
So what happened to set me off on this rant?
- The Astros pitching staff shut out the Padres in game one.
- Brian Moehler, who came into the 2nd game with a 14.00 ERA and a BAA against of .479 in 3 previous starts and shut out the Padres for 5 innings before giving up just one run in 7 innings. Possibly the worst starter in baseball and he looks like Maddux against the hapless Padres batters? Give me a break.
- And today the Padres most consistent starter gives up 7 runs, 5 earned in 3.1 IP.
I do know that the Padres lead the league in injuries once again this season so I am cutting them some slack.
The Padres have 5 pitchers currently on the DL including 3 starters and their most effective reliever from 2008.
The big bat the Padres were counting on off the bench has been on the DL since before the season began and the promising young speedster SS broke his hand and is out until the beginning of July.
What else can happen to this team?
The pesky second baseman David Eckstein, the player that typifies the kind of hard nosed, do all you can with what you have attitude the Padres need to win, gets hurt today and is headed to the DL.
Cha Seung Baek left his rehab assignment in Portland yesterday with soreness in his elbow and is headed back to San Diego for an MRI.
The hitters on this team seem to have given up or to be fair, maybe have just have tightened up so much that they simply cannot hit with men on base. A .217 BA with men in scoring position is bad enough. The Padres .115 BA with the bases loaded is simply not acceptable.
So whose fault is it?
Managing the game and inspiring the team.
I have absolutely no confidence in the Padres manager Bud Black to do the right thing in important situations in games or to inspire the team to excel.
It is the managers job to bring pitchers into the game in a timely and efficient manner to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Black has failed.
It is the managers job to call for bunts and hit and runs and when a batter should swing away. Black has failed on a consistent basis to do so effectively in key game situations.
It is the manager and hitting coach's job to get the guys to relax and hit. They have failed.
The Padres players have been among the most injured in the league for much of the last 8 seasons. Part of that is the older players often coming off injury plagued seasons that the Padres have been forced to pick up because of a limited budget.
Part of the blame for the rash of injuries must be assigned to Trainer Todd Hutcheson and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jim Malone.
If it was a fluke thing and the Padres had one season like 2008 every 10 years or so it could be passed off to chance, but to have been in the top 10 in baseball for number of player days on the DL every season since 2001 is not chance.
It is the training staff doing a poor job of conditioning the athletes.
What SHOULD happen to this team?
Fire Bud Black. Now!
To begin the season I was among his biggest supporters, saying to give him a full season without MLB record injuries to see if he could give fans a winning team, but he has failed to execute in so many situations this year, from when to pull a pitcher to when to bunt to whom to play, that I am no longer willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and I truly hope the FO is no longer willing to lose like this either.
As fans we show game after game that we care. It is time for the Front Office to show they care as much as the fans do.
It is time for someone in management to get angry about this. Black is incapable of getting angry, so the ownership or Kevin Towers need to say enough is enough and start making changes.
Bring in Bobby Valentine or Davey Johnson or even Ned Yost. Or any firey manager for that matter. The Padres need to change things up and the first thing that needs to be changed is the attitude and personality of the manager. Bochy was an easy going guy and so is Black. Bring in a fire breathing butt kicker who has won as a manager before.
Sit Brian Giles against left handed pitching. You think Giles' .151 BA is bad, take a look at his .098 BA against LHP. That is right .098. 5 hits in 51 at bats. Maybe platooning him for a month will light a fire under him and he can be the Giles of last year for the 2nd half of this season.
Play Jody Gerut EVERY day!
Gerut was the best leadoff hitter the team had last season and he hit .308 against lefties in 40 games. Maybe you sit him occasionally against the toughest LHP, but for the most part just let him play and get a rhythm going. Oh, did you notice who Gerut hit his HR off today? That is correct, a lefty.
Platoon Chris Burke and Luis Rodriguez.
With Eckstein headed to the DL it will muck up the middle infield since the Padres really have no one they can call up, but for now give Edgar Gonzalez 2B and platoon Burke and Rodriguez.
Bring up Greg Burke, DFA Duaner Sanchez and send down Arturo Lopez.
Burke is absolutely dominating AAA. He has given up just 7 hits and 4 walks in 15 innings while striking out 14 in the worst pitchers league in baseball. His ERA is just 1.80 and he has 6 saves in 6 opportunities.
Sanchez on the other hand is done. His confidence is shot. He absolutely refuses to throw a pitch near the strike zone. Especially not his fastball. Pitch after pitch is off the outside corner and misses by a foot more often than not. He has NO confidence in his fastball and has thrown more than 30% changeups and far too many sliders off the plate. When he does come inside with a fastball he is already behind in the count and it is getting crushed. His ERA is 7.56 and he has given up 12 hits and 7 walks in just 8.1 IP. Opposing batters are hitting .364 off him and on the road it gets worse.
There is little chance that Sanchez gets picked up on waivers so designate him for assignment now and let him go to AAA and regain some confidence.
Lopez has a 19.29 ERA in 4 appearances after today's game. Any questions?
Get a fifth bat on the bench.
The Padres need a right hand hitting bat on the bench. Call up Emil Brown or even Luis Durango.
The Padres are hitting .219 vs left handed pitching. .219!
Get another BAT up here who can help out.
Ok, now I have had my say and my rant is done.
What do you think?