Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do the draft experts really know what they are talking about?

Wednesday June 17, 2009

I keep hearing from so called experts at Baseball America, ESPN and other sources that the Padres don't have any athleticism in the minors.

I beg to differ.

The Padres have the fastest player in the minors in Luis Durango, who has Olympic caliber sprinter type speed. A 6.22 in the 60 yard dash is extremely fast.

Luis Durango, Cedric Hunter, Brad Chalk, Andrew Cumberland, Jaff Decker, Blake Tekotte, Lance Zawadski, and James Darnell are all the toolsy or athletic types that BA and the other so called experts praise in other systems, but seem to overlook in the Padres system.

And those are just the position players. Mat Latos, Wynn Pelzer, Simon Castro, Jeremy Hefner, Corey Kluber and Cory Luebke and several others are the hard throwing, TOOLS type pitchers these "experts" are screaming about in other organizations.

Then there are the young kids in the DSL like Adis Portillo, Alvaro Aristy and Jonathan Galvez that certainly should fit the bill, but are all but totally ignored.

I also keep hearing that the Padres changed their philosophy in drafting 4 high school players in their first 6 picks of the draft.

To my way of thinking, in the 2009 draft the Padres continued a trend that goes back many years in picking just 7 HS players in this draft while taking 43 college players.

Just because they took such an outstanding athlete at #3 does not mean that their philosophy changed. It just means the Padres have not had an opportunity to pick a player with that much upside recently. They have been picking in the bottom half of the 1st round, not the top 3.

And the so called experts seem to forget that last season the Padres took high school player Jaff Decker with a 1st round pick (#42). The year before they took high school player Drew Cumberland (#46) in the 1st Round. And in 2006 they took high school player Tyler Burke (#35) in the 1st round.

In the ten drafts prior to 2009 the Padres have taken 8 HS players in the 1st round. That is 8 HS players in 10 years.

I have not done the research, but I would be willing to bet sight unseen that 80% is a pretty high ratio of high school players taken in the 1st round for any team.

So either the so called experts have an agenda they are pushing or they should pay a little more attention to what is really happening.

The Definition of Pathetic

Wednesday June 17, 2009


So what are those numbers?

Those are the batting averages of the non pitchers that came to the plate for the Padres tonight.

Wow! That is scary.

Not scary good or scary to the opposing pitcher, just scary. I cannot honestly say I have seen a more pathetic group of batting averages ever. It may well be the worst collection in any game in post WWII baseball.

Yes, I know that Petco depresses batting averages. In fact I have made that argument many times before myself.

But there is no excuse for having no one on the active roster that has more than 100 abs hitting over .270. NONE!

I like that Kouzmanoff is starting to hit with some power and that he is hitting .270+ in June.
I like that Junior is still hitting over .300 after 72 abs. Its not going to last long, like Venables hot streak last season, but I like it right now.
I like that Hairston will be back in a week or so. Hairston was hitting WAY above his career averages and is likely to fall off, but if he returns to his pre-injury form it would be great!

But it is inexcusable to have 6 players STARTING that are hitting under .250.

It is unexcusable for a team that supposedly preaches patience at the plate to have 4 players on pace to strike out more than 100 times.

It is inexcusable for a team to have a slugger like Adrian Gonzalez with so little protection in the lineup that opposing teams have walked him 19 times already this month.

Where is the outrage from management? We fans are all feeling it. We are tired of watching this team underachieve. When is KT, or Moorad or Moores or someone going to step up and publicly say this is unacceptable?

I don't want to hear some meely mouth garbage that "If we fall completely out of this thing in the next month than I think you're going to see a lot of younger players getting the AB's" . That is a defeatist pile of garbage. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.

What I want to hear from SOMEONE in managment is:
"This level of play is unacceptable. We are going to make changes to help this team be more competitive right now. If for some reason we are unable to turn the season around sufficiently, new players and possibly a new coaching staff are on the way. Its time for this team to step up."

Bud Black's JOB is to figure out a way to get talented players to do their jobs at least marginally well.

He has failed.

No the poor pitching is not his fault. That is almost entirely on injuries. When you have 6 or 7 pitchers on the DL and 8 members of your pitching staff that should be in the minors, you are not going to win many games.

What is his fault is a total lack of hitting. He can't swing the bat for them, but he damn well better figure out a way to get them to hit better than this. Maybe he needs to put the fear of God in them. A angry meltdown from the mild mannered Black would sure shake up things. Maybe more time in the cage or watching video. A different hitting coach. A different hitting philosophy. Or maybe just stop trying to change how guys hit and let them do what got them here.

I don't know. It is not my JOB to know. It IS his job.

What I do know is what he is doing is not working.

I don't expect this pitching staff to keep the Padres in enough games to have a winning record.

I DO expect at least half of the starters to at least hit .250. I do expect to see improvement and adjustments as the season goes on. Is that asking too much?

Apparently it is from this bunch so far this season.

Ok. My rant is over, at least for now.

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

More San Diego Padres Injury Updates

Wednesday June 17, 2009

In his interview on XX 1090 Sports Radio yesterday, San Diego Padres General Manager said Shortstop Everth Cabrera will be ready by Friday. He also said that Cabrera may get alot more at bats than he did early in the season. Since Cabrera only had 13 abs before being injured, it won't be hard to have more abs.

Scott Hairston has been hitting off the tee the last 3 days and may begin a rehab assignment by Friday and be ready to come off the DL for the Seattle series next Tuesday - Thursday, so there is some good news in Padres land.

In a move to apparently fill some of the gap left in the minors by all the injuries to Padres pitchers, according to XX 1090, the Padres reportedly signed Brian Lawrence to a minor league contract. Lawrence last pitched in the ML in 2006 and was pitching for the OC Flyers of the independent GBL league. He is starting tonight for AAA Portland.

The Padres also acquired AAA Lefty Mike O'Connor from the Washington Nationals. Once one of the top prospects in the "Natinals" system, the 28 year old O'Connor has been pretty much written off as a potential major leaguer, but he is good filler for the Padres AAA club that has sent much of its staff to San Diego recently.

Another Padres Pitcher Lost to the DL

Wednesday June 17, 2009

With the shoulder injury that forced Luke Gregerson onto the DL, the Padres now have 6 pitchers on the DL.

6 Pitchers on the DL. Most teams don't have 6 PLAYERS on the DL.

In addition to Gregerson, the Padres also have on the DL:
  • Mark Worrell who is lost for the season,
  • Cha Seung Baek who is on the 60 day DL and not expected back this season,
  • Shawn Hill was just moved onto the 60 day DL and may not be back this season,
  • Luis Perdomo who is on the 15 day DL and due to his Rule V draft status may not be activated until late in the season if at all
  • and Jake Peavy who is out until the All Star break at the least and probably until August.
Add to those 6 pitchers the Padres hottest batter, Scott Hairston, and a promising young and speedy shortstop in Everth Cabrera, and you can see why the Padres are having such a hard time winning games on a consistent basis. Not enough major league players left healthy on the major league roster.

Currently the Padres are on pace for 1140 player days on the dl, or the 2nd most in MLB records. Only their 2008 season's total of 1244 exceeds that number. It means 30% of the team is on the DL on average all season. That is Astounding bad luck!!

And now we find out Chris Young may be headed to the DL as well.

That would leave the Padres with just 4 pitchers who spent significant time on a ML roster in 2008. Corriea, Bell, Adams, and Meredith.

It will also leave the Padres with a starting rotation that consists of Kevin Correia (our new #1), Chad Gaudin, Walter Silva, Wade LeBlanc and Josh Geer (or Ekstrom or Banks).

Does that sound like a AAA rotation? It should. It would be the AAA rotation on any other team in MLB and should be even for the Padres.

Once again, injuries have shattered any hope of a decent season for the Padres.