Lots of Lumber, a Little Ballet

For the second straight start, Jake Peavy worked extremely hard in the first inning and then settled down to pitch a good game. I’m mostly encouraged by this. It’s great that Peavy is showing the ability to pitch to contact; maybe next he can figure out how to do that out of the gate:

Jake Peavy in the First Inning
Date Opp Pit H R BB SO
Stats courtesy of ESPN.
5/16/07 Cin 34 4 2 0 1
5/22/07 ChN 30 2 1 1 2

Jake Peavy after the First Inning
Date Opp Pit IP H R BB SO
Stats courtesy of ESPN.
5/16/07 Cin 71 6 5 0 1 4
5/22/07 ChN 68 5 2 0 0 4

So, Peavy can be efficient. Now he just needs to do it more. And, yes, I realize I’m whining about a guy who leads the league in ERA. I’m an ass.

The bullpen had a rough night as well. Collectively they didn’t break, but they sure did bend a lot. Four guys needed 70 pitches to survive three innings, putting six runners on base.

Still, since its April 25 implosion in Phoenix, the Padres bullpen has given Peavy outstanding support, reeling off 11 shutout frames over five starts. And San Diego’s relief ERA (2.15) is almost a full run better than the next best in baseball (Boston, 2.94). Opponents are batting .191/.257/.267 against the guys at the end of the line. The Padres bullpen is turning everyone into Tommy Dean.

Yeah, I’ll take that.

On offense, the Padres broke out for four homers. If you’re keeping score at home, they’ve now outhomered the opposition, 19-5, at Petco Park. They’ve outscored the opposition, 81-54, in 21 games.

Think I’ll take that, too.

Mike Cameron knocked two bombs to left. Both came on “hit me” fastballs, but hey, at least he hit them. Kevin Kouzmanoff drilled one to right (so did Adrian Gonzalez, but we’re used to that). Cameron is batting .293/.346/.533 in May, while Kouz checks in at .325/.392/.575. I think it’s safe to cross those two guys off our “wring hands about” list and turn our attention elsewhere: Paging Josh Bard, Brian Giles, and Khalil Greene.

Speaking of Greene, that Baryshnikov move he pulled on a Ryan Theriot grounder up the middle in the fifth is one for the ages. Greene ranged far to his left, scooped the ball, and while spinning nearly 360 degrees counterclockwise through the air, fired a one-hop strike to Gonzalez to nab the speedy Theriot.

This is what makes baseball fun to watch…

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.


Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


Joshua Geer: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR


David Freese: 2 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 1 RBI; 2 BB, SO, SF
Chad Huffman: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI
Matt Bush: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 1 SO


Nathaniel Culp: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


If Jared can harness his 94 mph four-seamer and his 89-91 mph two-seamer, he can be effective out of the ‘pen.

On another note, I’m not the first one to float the idea, but I’m beginning to think the Padres should target Ichiro for center field this off-season.

* * *

[Ed note: This week, Peter is profiling the top pitchers available in the 2007 draft. He'll cover nine per day. Enjoy!]

Draft Preview: College Pitchers

The following are a collection of collegiate pitchers who are draft-eligible. I compiled the list based on Baseball America‘s top 50 collegians. BA‘s top 50 list is copyrighted, so I removed the ranking order; players are listed alphabetically. Stats are through games of May 20, 2007.

RHP Tommy Hunter (Alabama)

3.59 ERA, 7-4 in 100.1 IP, 93 H, 42 R, 40 ER, 30 BB, 90 SO, 11 HR, .242 BAA

Hunter is another one of the several nondescript collegiate right-handers in this draft. He’ll probably be drafted in latter second or third round. Much like Pepperdine’s Barry Enright and Virginia’s Sean Doolittle, Hunter’s statistical profile suggests more polish than stuff.

RHP Will Kline (Mississippi)

3.92 ERA, 5-2 in 101.0 IP, 84 H, 47 R, 44 ER, 36 BB, 113 S0, 7 HR, .226 BAA

Kline’s profile is actually quite nice. Like Hunter, he projects to drafted somewhere in the second or third round. Unlike Hunter, his strikeouts and low hit totals suggest a certain level of dominance.. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Padres snag Hunter with one of their third round selections.

RHP Eddie Kunz (Oregon State)

2.31 ERA, 2-0 in 35.0 IP, 22 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 12 BB, 32 SO, 0 HR, .179 BAA

Kunz is one of several draft-eligible college closers. Just looking at statistics, he’s not my favorite…

LHP Dan Merklinger (Seton Hall)

4.62 ERA, 5-7 in 74.0 IP, 76 H, 49 R, 38 ER, 31 BB, 78 SO, 3 HR, .270 BAA

Merklinger must have a sexy fastball. BA rates him as a top 50 collegiate, but his hits are a little high (not too bad), he’s walking a guy almost every other inning, he’s not striking out a ton of guys, and he’s even allowed quite a few unearned runs.

[Ed note: According to MiLB.com's scouting report, "Merklinger's fastball is well below-average." The overall report isn't very flattering: "He could be a No. 5 starter or a lefty specialist, especially if his breaking stuff can continue to improve."]

RHP Sean Morgan (Tulane)

4.03 ERA, 7-4 in 96.0 IP, 84 H, 47 R, 43 ER, 47 BB, 116 SO, 7 HR, .235 BAA

The ERA is slightly high, as is the batting average, but the high strikeouts and good hit rate excite me. The collegiate crop of lefties is considered better than their right-handed counterparts… But this right-hander is interesting.

[Ed note: See also MiLB.com's scouting report on Morgan.]

LHP Daniel Moskos (Clemson)

3.07 ERA, 3-5 in 58.2 IP, 56 H, 23 R, 20 ER, 31 BB, 68 SO, 2 HR, .265 BAA

Moskos has started 7 games while appearing in 24 games overall and has racked up 6 saves so far. He reportedly has enough quality pitches that he could be a starter in the professional ranks. He doesn’t have a sublime statistical profile, nor does he have serious red flags.

[Ed note: See also MiLB.com's scouting report on Moskos.]

RHP Wynn Pelzer (South Carolina)

4.82 ERA, 2-2 in 37.1 IP, 39 H, 23 R, 20 ER, 15 BB, 45 SO, 5 HR, .267 BAA

I don’t get Pelzer’s inclusion on BA‘s list. The ERA is high, the hit rate is high, and the home-run rate is real high, especially for a 36 IP reliever… Pelzer is another guy I’d steer clear of.

LHP Aaron Poreda (San Francisco)

2.89 ERA, 7-6 in 99.2 IP, 93 H, 40 R, 32 ER, 18 BB, 66 SO, 7 HR, .252 BAA

Poreda’s statistical profile is that of a classic polished collegiate crafty lefty… Solid hit rate, low walks, low strikeouts, low ERA, a few homers… Not a bad guy to have, but we already have Cesar Ramos and Wade Leblanc. Ramos had a profile like Poreda’s, whereas Leblanc struck out more hitters in college.

LHP David Price (Vanderbilt)

2.91 ERA, 9-0 in 105.1 IP, 80 H, 38 R, 34 ER, 26 BB, 149 SO, 1 HR, .209 BAA

Price is the consensus #1 pick in the draft. Usually we hear about a few guys that are being considered with the top pick. This year, other teams have reportedly stopped scouting the power lefty.

[Ed note: Price was named BA's Summer Player of the Year in 2006.]

Thanks, Peter! Good stuff on the draft, and it’s always nice to hear how the kids on the farm are doing.

Speaking of kids on the farm, if you haven’t yet heard from me about the June 9 meetup and are interested in joining us for the festivities, be sure to drop me a line. I’m planning to buy tickets over the weekend.

That’s all for now. Be back here around 6 p.m. PT for the IGD. Happy Wednesday, folks, and go Padres!