Plenty to cover today. Let’s get right to it:
- Too Much Information (Baseball Prospectus). Joe Sheehan likes the Chris Young signing and has kind words for the young right-hander:
I compared Young to Mike Mussina on the air in Indianapolis the other day, and I still like that comp. Both are smart pitchers from top-tier academic schools who mostly work in the strike zone and can be prone to bad games if the fly balls are finding gaps.
- Black’s outlook different (San Diego Union-Tribune). From Tom Krasovic’s piece on Padres skipper Bud Black:
Black, a former pitcher, said it was educational to get a hitter’s view of 333-game winner Greg Maddux. Black, who had batted against Maddux more than a decade ago, said he discovered by standing in against Maddux in recent weeks that the 6-foot right-hander is exceptional at hiding the ball in a natural, fluid way. He said the blocked view begins from the time Maddux removes the ball from his glove and swings his arm behind his left leg and torso.
- Maddux gets the calls (Friar Watch). Long-time reader Anthony has started a blog dedicated to “keeping an eye on the San Diego Padres pitchers.” He’s doing some fascinating stuff with MLB Gameday data, including a look at whether Maddux may have received help from the men in blue during Wednesday night’s victory. Solid effort; I’m looking forward to more of these throughout the season.
- Non-Prospect Diary: Dirk Hayhurst (Baseball America). Padres minor-league right-hander Dirk Hayhurst talks about meeting big-league pitchers Clay Hensley and Maddux during spring training. On the latter:
He said he is always prepared for his outings. He gets his sleep, his food, and his game knowledge checked off the list before a start. Once he gets his needs before the game taken care of, he can take the field with confidence he is ready. This allows him to trust himself out there. He has done what he needs to in order to feel prepared so he can relax and focus on the present.
- Two articles on Will Venable: one at the San Antonio Express-News and another at The Hardball Times.
- Soft-spoken Wizard delivers at the plate (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette). Another article on everyone’s favorite hitting prospect, Cedric Hunter. I’ll take this opportunity to remind everyone that he turned 19 just last month. By all accounts the kids is a special talent, but don’t expect to see him at Petco Park anytime soon.
- Moores says farm must be cultivated (San Diego Union-Tribune). There isn’t a whole lot here that hasn’t been covered elsewhere, but I find it interesting that several of these types of stories have been cropping up in recent days. Where there’s smoke…
- Padres give Merila the family treatment (North County Times). Nice story on bullpen catcher Mark Merila and his ongoing battle with cancer. There’s also an article on former Padres left-hander Rob Ramsay, who has beaten a brain tumor.
by Peter Friberg
You will not see all the notable performances from the night before, but you will see the notable performances from those who are actually prospects.
Jared Wells: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR
Chase Headley: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B
Sean Thompson: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR
Matt Antonelli: 1 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B
David Freese: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 2 RBI, 2B, BB
Nick Crosta: 4 AB, 1 H, 1 H, 4 RBI; HR
G1 — Cedric Hunter: 4 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; SO
G1 — Kyler Burke: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; SO
G1 — Drew Underwood: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR
G2 — Orlando Lara: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR — not pretty…
Jared Wells’ start shouldn’t deserve notice, but last year’s AAA stint was so bad, this ordinary start was relatively outstanding…
Chase is off to an “it’s still too early to get excited, but it’s nice to see nonetheless” .357/.400/.607 start in 7 games.
At the time of submission, I could not find out what happened, but Matt Antonelli left the game after one inning. [Ed note: Antonelli strained his left groin while running the bases -- he's out two to three days.]
I’ll say it again, David Freese is Kevin Kouzmanoff (with a more conventional swing). On a more serious note, the Padres just locked up two of their young stars, Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young. Assuming Kouzmanoff hits like we think he will, Freese’s presence may make a long-term contract for Kouzmanoff unnecessary — options are a good thing.
I’m not completely sold on Crosta as a prospect, but he’s a GREAT story. [Ed note: See March 2006 interview at MadFriars.]
We’ve got two of ‘em, so pay attention:
- Today is the deadline to enter the Big League Baseball Report Ducksnorts 2007 Baseball Annual giveaway. Let Joe know why you think the Padres will defend their NL West title and you just might win a free copy of the book!
- According to the folks at Minor-League Town, I’m giving away a T-shirt. Hey, great idea. So here’s how Guess the Innings will work. David Wells is scheduled to start Friday night’s game in LA. Let me know how many innings you think Wells will pitch (7, 5.2, whatever). Rules are simple: Leave your guess in the comments by 7 p.m. PT. Whoever comes closest wins a Ducksnorts T-shirt of their choosing.
There you go, folks. Read stuff, enter contests, be back here at 7 p.m. PT for the IGD. Happy Friday!