Thursday, October 21, 2010

Websoulsurfer's Picks - 2010 BBA Walter Johnson NL Pitcher of the Year Award Award

Thursday October 21, 2010

2010 BBA Walter Johnson NL Pitcher of the Year Award Award

This award was a no brainer for me.

Roy "Doc" Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies in a landslide.

Even before his no hitter in playoffs he has been dominant for the Phillies this season.

Halladay racked up an NL Leading 21 wins, with 9 of his 33 starts resulting in complete games. Only three TEAMS other than the Phillies had more complete games thrown. He also had a MLB leading 4 shutouts.

His 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 219 SO were 2nd best among NL pitchers with 30 starts (2nd in ERA to the Cardinals Adam Wainwright, in WHIP to teammate Roy Oswalt, and in SO to the Giant's Tim Lincecum). And he walked the fewest batters per 9 innings at an astounding 1.08 BB/9. That is nearly HALF as many as the next nearest player at 2.04.

In the advanced stats he led the NL in xFIP (a fielding independent pitching stat) with a 2.92! His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was an unconscious 6.6!

In a word Halladay was DOMINANT! No one else even came close.

Since they ask me to give both a 2nd and third place finisher, I will list the two unlucky saps who finished behind Halladay. Let me start by saying that I dont even consider pitchers with less than 30 starts.

2nd - Adam Wainwright - He faded down the stretch but still managed 20 wins and a 2.42 ERA as well as a 6.1 WAR and 3.15 xFIP. A VERY nice season. Just no where near as dominant as Halladay

3rd - Mat Latos - On the basis of his MLB record 15 games with 2 runs or less given up and 3.36 xFIP.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 BBA Goose Gossage NL Reliever of the Year Award.

Tuesday October 19, 2010

I had a difficult decision with this award and the choices that had me pulling my hair out were only between Padres pitchers.

Brian Wilson of the Giants had 3 more save opportunities to get only 1 more save than the Padres Heath Bell AND Bell gave up only 1 home run. 5 blown saves for Wilson vs 3 for Bell. No contest there.

The real choice was between the Padres' Bell, Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson.

Bell notched 47 saves with a 1.93 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and a 2.05 FIP. His 11.09 K/9 was in the top 10 in baseball.

Adams was also outstanding with 38 holds, an ERA of 1.76, a WHIP of 1.07 and a 2.31 FIP. He was invaluable to the Padres. He was part of an almost unbeatable trio. He also provided leadership in the pen.

Gregerson turned in a MLB record 40 holds. His WHIP was baseball leading 0.83 for any pitcher with at least 65 IP. His FIP was an outstanding 2.86. He posted an awesome 10.23 K/9. The only thing that kept me from choosing him immediately was a 3.22 ERA overall and a bad stretch in September where he posted an ERA over 6.00.

What tipped the balance for me was something they don't measure in stats. It was leadership in the pen. This player designed the bullpen's popular t-shirt, mentored many of the young pitchers and turned in an outstanding performance for the year.

The Websoulsurfer pick for the 2010 Goose Gossage NL Reliever of the Year goes to the San Diego Padres Mike Adams.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BBA Connie Mack Manager of the Year Award

Tuesday October 12, 2010

Well here it is. My first installment of the Annual BBA Awards.

As usual we start with the Manager of the Year Award. This season the BBA has named it the Connie Mack Award in honor of the 5 time World Series Champion Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Athletics.

The Websoulsurfer pick for the Connie Mack Manager of the Year Award is:

Drum roll please...

Bud Black of the San Diego Padres.

Widely thought to be the worst team in the NL prior to the season, after leading the NL & NL West for most of the year, the Padres finished with 90 wins. Only one game out of 1st place.

Bud Black pulled a rabbit out of his hat with this Padres season and deserves to be named Manager of the Year, and maybe the 21st Century.

So there it is.

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

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Do you find yourself not caring much about the playoffs?

Yeah. I am watching the games. But I just don't have the enthusiasm for playoff baseball that I had in years past.

Is it the fact that my team isn't there? No. The Padres have only been to the playoffs a handful of times since I became a season ticket holder.

Is it that the games are mostly teams I have no real emotional tie with for good or bad? No. I hate the Yankees. I dislike the Giants. I admire the Phillies. It would even be nice to see Cox go out with a WS run.

But I still watch the playoff games with a lackadaisical attitude.

I just don't care all that much.

So why?

I think it was the Padres complete collapse down the stretch. I think the players on the team I am a rabid fan of not seeming to care down the stretch rubbed off on me and now I don't care much about these playoff games one way or another. 

I sure hope I get some of my passion for baseball back by the World Series.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Looking Ahead - Your 2011 Padres

Tuesday October 5th, 2010

The 2010 season is over and all we have left as Padres fans is to look forward to 2011.

So lets set the table.

The Ownership Situation -

With the Moores divorce nearing a final resolution after more than 2 years and with Moorad's group near 50% ownership, the Padres in 2011 will have both a solid core of good young players and more money for payroll to work with.

What we can be fairly certain of -

The Padres will pick up his ridiculously low option and Adrian Gonzalez will be the central figure in the 2011 Padres lineup. No, the Padres are not going to trade Gonzalez in the offseason. He is too good and too cheap to trade. Gonzalez back at 1B for the Padres in 2011.

Kevin Correia will be a FA at the end of the season and will not be back as a starter. He has struggled since his brothers death and likely needs a change of scenery from his home town San Diego.

The Hairston boys were a nice story and Jerry Jr had a decent season before the injury in late August, but at $2 million plus each its unlikely that the Padres sign either for 2011.

Tejada is a FA and likely won't be back unless he is willing to take a huge cut in pay from the $5 million he earned in 2010 AND agrees to platoon with Cabrera. I don't see Tejada accepting a $1-$2 million contract or being a bit player and .269/.312 is not worth much more than $1 million , so he is gone.

The Padres will not pick up the $8.5 million option on Chris Young. They may decline the option and still resign him for a lower price. Hoyer said yesterday that he would like to see Young back with Padres in 2011.

Matt Stairs will be coaching hockey where he belongs in 2011. 

Latos will be back and will top the starting rotation. At 23 he is arguably the best young pitcher in baseball.

The Starting pitching led by Latos & Richard and the bullpen with nearly everone back will still be a force to be reckoned with.

There are ALOT of good young players under team control for cheap in 2011.

Bell, Adams, Mujica and Ludwick will be looking at big raises in arbitration for the 2011 season.

The question marks are -
  • Are the Padres going to pick up the options on Garland and Torrealba?
  • Will they resign Eckstein?
  • Will Bell be back at the more than $7 million he will command in final year of arbitration?
  • Will the Padres invite Ludwick back for his final year of arbitration if it means a raise over the $5.45 million he is earning this year?
  • Will Padres pickup the option of Chris Young? Or resign him at a lower price?
  • An even more important question is will the Padres be players in the free agent market?
To me the Padres picking up Garlands $6.75 million option should be a no brainer. He was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA over 200.0 IP. The team went 18-15 in games he started. On the FA market I don't see a better pitcher for less money.

Remember though, Garland can opt out of the contract, too. Its not just the Padres choice. If he wants more money, he can leave. Still I think he is back in a Padres uniform in 2011.

Torrealba is a tougher choice. He has been nothing short of great for Padres this season. Hitting .271 while handling the young pitching staff incredibly well, being a mentor for Nick Hundley and throwing in awesome defense. But, and its a big but, his contract calls for a $3.5 million salary in 2011. That is a lot of money for a platoon catcher.

The Padres don't have a great catching prospect knocking on the door, with Stewart and Ryan being the only real candidates, so in my eye the Padres pick up Torrealba's option.

The other hole in the Padres lineup in 2011 is middle infield. While I except the Padres to resign Eckstein, I don't expect Tejada to be back. Everth Cabrera is still well thought of in the organization and Tejada will likely price himself out of the Padres picture. That is unless he is willing to take an Eckstein-like contract.

The top 2B and SS prospects in the system fall short of being ML ready.

Ludwick will likely NOT be back. He hit .211 as a Padre with less power than Eckstein. .631 OPS in RF? As an arbitration eligible player he is looking at a raise over his $5.45 million salary in 2010 and that just isn't going to happen with the Padres.

Barring any free agent acquisitions or trades, the lineup will likely be -

Starting 8
1B - Adrian Gonzalez - $5.5 million
2B - David Eckstein - $1 million
SS - Everth Cabrera - $430k
3B - Chase Headley - $430k
LF - Aaron Cunningham - $430k
CF - Chris Denorfia - This is a platoon position at this point. $430k
RF - Will Venable  - $430k  (or Ryan Ludwick if cheap enough)
C  - Nick Hundley - $430k

Bench -
Yorvit Torrealba - $3.5 million
Venable - IF Ludwick returns - $430K
Gwynn - If Ludwick DOESN'T return - $430k
Kyle Blanks - LF/RF/1B - $430k
Utilty Player - ???

Starting Rotation -
RHP - Mat Latos - $430k
RHP - Jon Garland - $6.75 million
LHP - Clayton Richard - $430k
RHP - Tim Stauffer - $430k
LHP - Wade LeBlanc - $430k

CL - Heath Bell - Due a huge raise in arbitration - $7-8 million
RH - Mike Adams - Due a huge raise in arbitration - $2.5-3.5 million
RH - Luke Gregerson - $430k
RH - Edward Mujica - $1 million
RH - Ryan Webb - $430k
LH - Joe Thatcher - $430k
RH - Ernesto Frieri $430k (or)
LH - Aaron Poreda or Cesar Ramos

That lineup puts the Padres salaries at just under $40 million in 2011 or about the same as 2010.

Which begs the question, what other moves can the Padres make?

The Padres can resign Ludwick.
Ludwick will be in his last year of arbitration eligibility and will be looking at a raise over the $5.45 million he made in 2010, but his .251 with 17 home runs is really no better than the Padres could expect from Venable or Blanks. He won't be back if he expects to even make as much as 2010.

The Padres can go after Carl Crawford
The 28 year old Crawford is really the only free agent outfielder worth making a run at. He will be looking at a long term contract worth $12-15 million/year. A little rich for the Padres blood. He will probably end up being a Yankee or a Red Sox.

The Padres can go after a FA pitcher.
Cliff Lee, Ted Lilly, & Brandon Webb are all names that will be mentioned often. All will be asking for $10 million plus with Lee likely looking at $16 plus million per season. Maybe Webb will be willing to take a Padres discount to prove he still has it after missing all of 2010, but I don't see the pitching rich Padres going after any of these guys.

The Padres can trade Heath Bell. 
They could likely get a good young OF prospect for Bell and let Adams or Gregerson take over the closer duties. I don't think that will happen though. Bell will still be a relative bargain in 2011 at $7-8 million.

The Padres could go after a 2B, SS or 3B in free agency or trade.
These are the FA options - with thanks to Cots Baseball Contracts

Second Basemen

Willie Bloomquist CIN
Mark Ellis OAK *
Akinori Iwamura PIT
Jose Lopez SEA *
Kaz Matsui COL
Aaron Miles STL

Alex Gonzalez ATL
Cristian Guzman TEX
J.J. Hardy MIN
Omar Infante ATL *
Cesar Izturis BAL
Derek Jeter NYY
Julio Lugo BAL
Jhonny Peralta DET *
Edgar Renteria SF *
Jose Reyes NYM *
Jimmy Rollins PHI *
Ramon Vazquez HOU

Third Basemen
Garrett Atkins FA
Adrian Beltre BOS *
Jorge Cantu TEX
Eric Chavez OAK *
Pedro Feliz STL
Bill Hall BOS *
Brandon Inge DET
Maicer Izturis LAA
Mike Lowell BOS
Melvin Mora COL
Nick Punto MIN *
Ty Wigginton BAL

The guys with the asterisks have an option for 2011. The rest of them are not a very attractive lot. I don't see a single one that is a big improvement in performance for the Padres, but they would be a big increase in salary.

Guys like Beltre, Reyes, and Rollins will have their options picked up and their salaries would be rich for Padres blood even if they could trade for them. Omar Infante would be the only one that has an affordable salary (by Padres standards) but its highly unlikely Atlanta lets him go.

So there it is.
The Padres 2011 team with a payroll very similar to 2010. Hoyer and Moorad have already said the Padres will increase payroll for 2011. Of course they also said the Padres would spend more money in 2010 and they didn't so take that for what its worth.

As eternally hopeful fans we can always hope that the Padres make a big splash on a good young player like Crawford or make a trade for a promising prospect, but likely this is the team we will see on the field in 2011 with some minor changes and additions.

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

Monday, October 04, 2010

2010 Padres Predictions - So how did I do?

Monday October 4th

Now that the Padres season is over I thought I would see how I did with my pre-season predictions of the Padres players performance.

if you want to take a look at the original post from March 31st . Many said I was crazy to be so optimistic about the team and especially about the performance of the pitchers. So you tell me, how do you think I did as a prognosticator?

Here were my pre-season predictions and in Red, how they actually did in 2010.

2010 Padres Projections

Pitching Staff
Starting Pitchers (This will add up to more than 162 starts)

Chris Young - Traded in July after
- 16 starts 97.1 IP 7-3 3.52 era 1.18 whip
4 starts 20.0 IP 2-0 0.90 ERA 1.050 WHIP Injured most of season

Jon Garland
- 33 starts 201.2 IP 14-11 3.83 ERA 1.28 Whip
33 starts 200.0 IP 14-12 3.47 ERA 1.315 WHIP

Kevin Correia
- 31 starts 189.1 IP 12-10 3.89 ERA 1.29 Whip
26 starts 145.0 IP 10-10 5.40 ERA 1.490 WHIP (removed from Starting rotation in August)

Clayton Richard
- 30 starts 169.2 IP 12-6 3.82 ERA 1.38 Whip
33 starts 201.2 IP 14-9 3.75 ERA 1.408 WHIP

Mat Latos
- 22 starts 141.2 IP 6-5 4.03 ERA 1.39 Whip
31 starts 184.2 IP 14-10 2.92 ERA 1.083 WHIP (Faded down stretch)

Tim Stauffer (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 14 starts 82.1 IP 5-5 3.74 ERA 1.44 Whip
7 starts (32 appearances) 82.2 IP 6-5 1.85 ERA 1.077 WHIP
As a Starter – 3-2 39.1 IP 1.83 ERA 1.042 WHIP

Sean Gallagher (Starts the season in Bullpen)
- 12 starts 67.2 IP 3-4 4.26 ERA 1.37 Whip
Gone at end of June. No Starts as Padre 15 appearances 5.40 ERA

Wade LeBlanc (Starts season in AAA)
- 8 starts 48.2 IP 2-1 3.48 ERA 1.29 Whip
25 starts 146.0 IP 4.25 ERA 1.425 WHIP
Faded down stretch. ERA was 3.48 at end of July. Did not make start in Sept/Oct

Heath Bell - traded in July
- 21 saves 2.77 ERA 1.05 Whip
Not traded 67 appearances 70 IP 47 saves 1.200 WHIP

Mike Adams
- 65 appearances 2.55 ERA 1.08 WHIP
70 Appearances 66.2 IP 1.76 ERA 1.065 WHIP

Luke Gregerson
- 65 appearances 3.30 ERA 1.26 WHIP
80 appearances 78.1 IP 3.22 ERA 0.830 Overused and it showed down stretch
Performance will likely decline in 2011

Edward Mujica
- 62 appearances 3.88 ERA 1.22 WHIP
59 appearances 69.2 IP 3.62 ERA 0.933 WHIP

Adam Russell
- 56 appearances 3.79 ERA 1.44 WHIP
12 Appearances 15.2 IP 4.02 ERA 1.213 WHIP - Spent much of the season in AAA and had 14 SV there

Joe Thatcher - (Starts Season on DL)
- 49 appearances 3.18 ERA 1.27 WHIP
65 appearances 35.0 IP 1.29 ERA 0.857 WHIP

Aaron Poreda (Starts season in AAA - Reliever)
- 2 starts, 22 appearances 23.1 IP 0-2 2.78 ERA 1.55 WHIP
Spent entire season in Minors – AA & AAA

Starting 8 (With platoon in CF - 9)
Adrian Gonzalez - Traded in July
- 332 AB .277/.391 24 HR
Not Traded – 591 AB .298/.393 31 HR - TEAM record IBB – 35 of 93 total BB = R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

David Eckstein
- 455 AB .272/.354
442 AB .267 .321

Everth Cabrera
- 570 AB .260/.350 35 SB
212 AB .208 .279 Injured most of season, Miguel Tejada in place when came off DL

Chase Headley
- 550 AB .275/.365 18 HR
610 AB .264/.327 11 HR – he regressed instead of progressing. Fell off face of earth in Sept.

Kyle Blanks
- 530 AB .265/.335 26 HR
102 AB .157 .283 3 HR Injured all season, on DL to stay in May

Tony Gwynn
- 380 AB .275/.355 21 SB
289 AB .204/.304 He stunk at plate, only reason he played as much as he did is outstanding Defense

Scott Hairston
- 425 AB .255/.315 17 HR
295 AB .210/.295 10 HR Only 83 AB after All Star break

Will Venable
- 500 AB .255/.330 22 HR 12 SB
392 AB .245/.324 13 HR 29 SB Ludwick trade & prolonged slumps limited playing time

Nick Hundley
- 405 AB .245/.315 14 HR
273 AB .249/.308 8 HR Hot Torrealba limited playing time

Jerry Hairston Jr
- 400 AB .257/.317 8 HR 10 SB
430 AB .244/.299 10 HR 9 SB

Oscar Salazar
- 240 AB .284/.344 10 hr
On DL much of season 131 AB .237/.318 3 HR

Matt Stairs
- 210 AB .242/.342 6 Hr
99 AB .232/.306 6 HR

Yorvit Torrealba
- 310 AB .235/.295 5 hr
325 AB .271/.343 7 HR Slumped mightily late, was hitting .300 on Aug 19

So come on folks, pick my picks apart. Let me know how you think I did!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Padres complete swoon with shutout loss to Giants

Sunday October 3, 2010

The San Diego Padres completed their month plus long swoon by rolling over in the final game of the season to hand the NL West title to the San Francisco Giants.

The Padres managed just 4 hits in the shutout loss.

With this final loss they proved all the pundits right. They did not belong on the same field as the good teams that are going to the playoffs.

The gave up about a month ago thanks to piss poor play down the stretch from Ludwick, Torrealba, Headley, Gregerson, and Latos amongst others.

Only Adrian Gonzalez, Will Venable, Miguel Tejada, Tim Stauffer and the bullpen can really hold their heads high after the lack of performance in September and October.

It was a sad end to a promising season.

I will be glad to see several non performers like Ludwick, Gwynn and Scott Hairston leave the organization in the coming weeks.

I am pretty sure Torrealba will not have his option picked up either.

Obviously Correia will not be back.

During this off season the Padres will have some huge decisions to make about the direction of the team and which of the core players will be back.

I will have an article coming on the outlook for 2011 soon.