Good Isn’t Good Enough

Tough loss Tuesday. Justin Germano comes up from Triple-A and pitches the game of his life, and the normally brilliant bullpen blows a late lead (recap | box score).

Of course, if the batters could get a key hit every now and then, the bullpen wouldn’t be under such constant pressure to be brilliant all the time. It’s a credit to the Padres’ current relief corps that we’re shocked when they aren’t perfect. This isn’t Luther Hackman and Mike Matthews, or Carlos Almanzar and Rodney Myers.

On the bright side, Mike Cameron is finally starting to get his act together. He’s batting .259/.333/.481 in 27 May at-bats. His overall numbers still aren’t great, but this isn’t the first time he’s gotten off to a slow start:

Mike Cameron’s First 131 At-Bats, 2006 and 2007
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
2006 .260 .342 .336 .076 .235 .101
2007 .206 .281 .290 .084 .296 .082

Although the batting average is down, the rest of his numbers are within range. Cameron, incidentally, hit .271/.359/.527 the rest of the way last season. I’m not saying that we should expect the same results, just that it’s a bit early to give up on the guy.

The other thing that’s encouraging, from a big-picture standpoint, is that despite not playing particularly well, the Padres have an 18-15 record. They have gotten very little production from three spots in the lineup (catcher, third base, center field) and the back end of the rotation, but they’re still winning games. For as frustrating as it is to watch these guys sometimes, the talent level is high enough that even when they’re not at their best, they’re capable of coming out on top more often than not.

The downside, of course, is that the NL West promises to be extremely competitive this season (.524 combined winning percentage through May 8). If the Padres expect to defend their title, at some point they’ll need to make a move and do more than just play decent enough baseball to hang around and let everyone else do the same.

The Friars have 129 games remaining on their scheducle, so there’s no need to panic. Still, it would be nice to see a little more consistency. Talent is great, but using it effectively is even better.

The Padres Prospect Report

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.


Suspended in the middle of the 4th


Sean Thompson: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR (1.52 ERA)


Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B, SO (.305/.373/.495)
Jose Lobaton: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI


Suspended after 3 innings


Sorry, nothing to say. 1) I’m too tired; 2) I’m working on draft prep stuff — coming soon!

Slacker. ;-) Seriously, Peter, thanks as always. I look forward to the draft info.

That reminds me, the U-T has the latest on the Matt Latos negotiations. Sounds like the two sides remain far apart, but I like that Latos met manager Bud Black and played catch with Heath Bell in the visitors bullpen at Turner Field.

Great matchup this evening: future Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. Once again, the game starts at 4:35 p.m. PT. We’ll have the IGD up and running by 3:30. Go Padres!

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19 Responses »

  1. So our great pen has a ridiculously slim margin of error to work with most games and is overworked to boot. How about splitting up Maddux and Wells in the rotation? Even if they pitch well, they max out at six innings which means you are asking a lot of the bullpen when you have them going back-to-back. When Hensley returns he should be moved to the fourth spot.

  2. 1: I like it.

  3. I do too. Was never sure why they had Maddux and Wells go back to back in the first place, particularly since Maddux is on a low pitch count, and is unlikely to go more than 6 innings most starts, unless he has a series of 10 pitch innings. Then again, Hensley hasn’t been a steady 6+ inning guy yet this year.

  4. What about going with something like the following:


  5. 4: The benefit of this rotation is, in addition to alternating innings eaters, you get:

    Power dominant stuff
    Crafty stuff all over the zone
    Deceptively unhittiable stuff
    More crafty stuff all over the zone
    Groundballs (works with either Hensley or Germano)

  6. I think you meant “pp” instead of “ft” for Wells so far.


  7. To all of the above….This is something I’ve been saying from the start of the season!

    I fail to see the benefit of pitching Maddux and Wells back to back. I understand the traditional order of starters usually goes from “best” to “not-the-best”, but we need to play to the strengths of this team (the bullpen!). Having someone like CY pitch the night after Wells would give the ‘pen at least a shot at getting some rest.

    If there is something I’m missing please let me know.

  8. On another, completely shocking note, Dave Roberts is hurt and may need surgery:

  9. Is it possible we are overlooking Germano as a long term option in the rotation? He’s just 24 and has thrown plenty of innings every year.

    If someone could find his stats from about halfway through last season til now I think it would be surprising how good they are. It seems like it take sa little longer for guys who don’t throw in the mid 90′s to figure it out. It is very possible he has.

  10. #1: Sounds like a very good idea.

    #6: LOL.

  11. #9: It’s very possible, though I hesitate to reach any conclusions after just one start. The guy he replaced, Hensley, was a late bloomer as well.

    FWIW, here are Germano’s game logs from 2006:

    Like Hensley, he serves up plenty of grounders. I’d say “wait-and-see” for now, but he’s worth watching. At the very least, Germano is demonstrating the importance of organizational depth when a system features few potential impact players.

  12. So is Germano going to be exposed to waivers if we try to send him back down after Hensley is of the DL? Would we keep him around in the bullpen for long relief instead of trying to get him through to remain a starter in AAA?

  13. Anyone else troubled by the fact that the Padres and Latos are 1 million apart according to today’s UT? Either than means the Pads have low balled him with an initial offer around 500-750K, or Latos is demanding close to 2 million. I somehow doubt the latter case, especially when the article mentions that the Pads are willing to offer him in excess of 1+ million. Hopefully yesterday’s little visit will spurn the talks, but this is not the time to pass on someone with his talent.

  14. Re: 8 wow I cant belive “Iron Dave” went down

  15. 13 – I saw that, and it was fairly dismaying. In my opinion, the club should start treating him as an extra first rounder this year that they happen to need to negotiate a deal with before the draft. Stop all this nonsense about a slight bump above what round he was drafted in – act like he’s a #1 pick and get ‘er done!

  16. Sorry to bum people out about Dave Roberts but he was so badly injured that he homered today.

    To brighten your spirits, the Giants still lost to the Mets 5-3.

    They are still reporting that he has ‘floating bone chips’ and may still have surgery this season.

  17. Re 13 and 15. It is May 9. If it gets down to 5 minutes before the deadline for signing him and they are still $1 million apart, then I will be concerned. Until then, it is all negotiation bluster.

  18. Re 13 & 15:

    Each of the top 10 picks in the 2006 draft received more than $2 million as did Ian Kennedy (from the Yankees @ 21). And other than Adam Ottavino (from the Cardinals @ #30) each of the top 33 received more than $1m.

    So if we put all that together and if the Padres are offering $1m+ it’s consistent with what Latos would get in the late 20′s or early 30′s (about where he would probably be selected). If he wants $2m+, he needs to be drafted top 10 – that won’t happen.

    I still think Latos has the Padres are over the barrel a bit and that Latos can hold out for something in the $1.5m range. Obviously we do not know exactly what the Padres offer is nor do we know what Latos and his “advisor” are asking for. However, I cannot see a situation where the advisor would recommend holding out for more than $1.5m if the Padres offered it ($1.5m is consistent with a 16-20 pick).

  19. Rayner Contreras, Pablo Menchaca, Luis Durango, Javis Diaz and a few other young Latino ballplayers are names you don’t quite often hear about. Why? Because they weren’t part of the over hyped June “Draft”. These are talented prospects that sign for less than what the 30th round players would sign for! Yet, they get pushed aside, overlooked, unrecognized and more importantly pushed down the system in order to make room for the true “prospects” that Grady and the Padres deem worthy of $$million of dollars to sign. ie. Luis Durango was awarded the Batting champion title in the Rookie AZL league in 2006. How do the Padres reward him? They leave him in extended spring training instead of promoting him to Low A- Fort Wayne. Pablo Menchaca has pitched close to 30 innings and allowed only 3 runs, but he remains in extended as well. lThey claim they have more investment in the players like Jared Wells, Matt Bush and other players that may have competed well in high school and college, but should be playing in the rookie league so they can raise their stats. l. I think the article in the San Diego Union tribune (4/15/07) summed it well. No other major league club has fewer Hispanic players than the Padres. That’s sad, considering they’re located 10 mnutes from the largest border to Mexico. Somethings never change. As long as the Padres spend more money on the draftees, the system will continue to benefit U.S born players from American schools than the Latino prospects that come from the school of hard knocks in third world countries.