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!

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28 Responses »

  1. Fun game to watch last nite, no doubt. I’m hoping that Khalil’s new-old stance (thanks to Anthony for pointing that out) will bring him some of the success he enjoyed earlier this year.

    The catching situation is definitely starting to be a concern for me. As I mentioned yesterday, I really think it would behoove the Pads to try to acquire a franchise catcher. Where or how they might do this, I have no idea.

    Oh, and reagarding Khalil. If he stays healthy all year and keeps up the D he has shown thus far this season, he could end with a .245 average and I would not care. His defense more than makes up for his lack of consistency at the plate, in my opinion.

  2. Before last night’s game Greene’s XBH pace (ESPN) was for 57 doubles, 11 triples and 23 homers. Yummy. But then there’s that .267 OBP to fret over.

  3. PF … what’s the arguement for Ichiro! over Andruw? It seems to me that Ichiro! carries more marquee-value relative to Andruw. What I mean by that is … well, I’m envisioning a metric like this … on-field-value / off-field-value … where higher is better … don’t get me wrong, I like Ichiro!, but I’d rather have Andruw’s power … which I expect to be expensive … and I’m willing to accept an argument that he’ll be overvalued on the free-agent market … but surely Ichiro! will also …

    re: Eddie Kunz … another player I’ve seen play here in Corvallis for a couple of years now … *not* eye-popping … not at all … I’m shocked he’s on anyone’s list …

    Which reminds me … I went to a game last Friday … and Mitch Canham (Catcher) hit a *bomb* in his first AB off a very good ASU starter … and then it was obvious he was getting pitched around in subsequent ABs … so that’s the best I’ve seen him look … but my bottom line stays the same: would not be a good early round pick for the Padres.

  4. They’ve got all the highlights at mlb.com … http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20070522&content_id=1979828&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd … just watch Khalil’s play … very nice …

    Also watch’d KK’s HR … one of the announcers mentioned “the crushin’ Russian” … sounds good to me :-)

  5. If anyone finds a video clip of Khalil’s play last night can you please post a link- I don’t see it on the Padres front page?

    Thanks – from those of us who don’t get channel 4.

  6. 3: I’d prefer Andruw Jones due to his proven ability to hit balls out of Petco but I’d be happy with Ichiro too. I think Ichiro would be more valuable in Petco than in other parks because the things he does well are particularly useful in a place like Petco. It’s not going to hurt his home run power because he doesn’t have any. He’s a fantastic base stealer and defender, two things that are useful in a low scoring environment.

    Then again, Jones is a great defender and hitting balls 450 feet is a valuable skill in any environment. If we’re going to overpay for anyone it should be one of those two guys.

  7. something to keep an eye on — Peavy just one K shy of the pitching triple crown (wins, ERA, SO)

  8. #6: Anthony, your thoughts on Andruw vs Ichiro pretty much echo mine. Ichiro’s skill set (the skills themselves, not the level of skill) is similar to that of Dave Roberts and should play well at Petco. Due to his visibility, Ichiro likely will command more than his on-field contributions merit. That said, he’s one of the most marketable players in the game, so from a business standpoint it might make sense.

  9. I’m not overly impressed with guys whose greatest skill is 110 foot singles. The defense is very nice but there’s been criticism in Seattle that Ichiro is a little too smooth out there: he doesn’t lay out for balls or get intimate with the wall. The excuse always is, “what good is it if I get hurt.” I guess. If he hits .350+, OK then. Much lower than that, he’s the gold version of Juan Pierre.

  10. #9: Regarding Ichiro’s defense, he’s got the best range factor of any center fielder in baseball:


  11. Anyone read this story? I know I have mentioned Elijah Dukes as a player I’d like to see the Padres go after in the past but that was when I just thought he might be a bit of a jerk. After reading this he looks like a complete f-ing a-hole with some serious issues that probably need extensive professional help to correct. It also sounds like he’s making a serious run at the Shawn kemp father of the year award as well. What a dick!!!


  12. Did anyone notice the annoyance behind homeplate during one of the half-innings the Padres were at bat? It was the Friar mascot. I am all for winning, but mascots taunting opposing pitchers DURING play is absolute bush league. (Great game…would have been nice to save Hoffy.)

  13. 10: My “assessment” was at least a tad harsh, I know. But how does a guy with his speed and baserunning skill only get 20 doubles and 9 triples out of 220-something hits?

  14. 13: I’d gladly take 200 singles if some of them happened with runners in scoring position.

    I’ll be very surprised if Seattle lets Ichiro leave. If he does he’ll probably end up in Boston anyway.

  15. Just saw this over on the Padre website and didn’t know if anyone had posted it yet:

    “Friar notes: The Web site http://www.coolstandings.com calculates the Padres’ chances of making the playoffs this season at 65.4 percent. That’s by far the highest percentage of any team in the National League West. San Diego is followed by Los Angeles (31 percent), San Francisco (19.2), Arizona (11.5) and Colorado (0.2).”

  16. 13: I agree that it’s fairly unlikely that Ichiro will leave Seattle, but if he does I think that SanFran is the most logical destination for him. Good ballpark for his skillset, large Asian population (which he’s said is important to him), and lots of money coming off of the books when that Bonds guy leaves.

    I’d like to see Ichiro here. I think that he’ll only need a 4 year contract, where Andruw will require a 6-8 year deal. I also feel like he’s a better bet to age well. Jones has been putting on weight that makes me nervous that he’ll no longer be a CF in a couple of years…

    As Geoff pointed out, it’s also possible to guess that the Padres will recoup a significant chunk of what Ichiro costs in overseas cachet, marketing, merchandise, and ticket sales. I think that he’d be a pretty good fit. I also think that we’re not going to be the team that spends 16-18M/year on him…

  17. Geoff-Noticed the line on Nathan Culp at Low-A. It’s worth noting that Culp was recently named the San Diego Padres pitcher of the Pitcher of the Month for April. http://www.wizardsbaseball.com/news/news.asp?newsId=1012

  18. 14: I’d rather have him over OG, I’ll give you that.

    On RISP, there’s a reason(s) why some call that a junk stat. Should an RBI single that scores a runner from second or third be rated more “clutch” than a double/triple that plates a runner from first?

    By the time you weed out all the uncrucial hits (2-run doubles with a 10-1 lead, for ex.), RISP often suffers from sample size, not to mention luck. Do you factor in strength of pitching faced when comparing hitters? etc. etc.

  19. #16: What scares me, Paul, is that $16-18M might not be enough to procure Ichiro’s services.

    #17: Thanks, Chad, for the heads-up on Culp.

  20. This guy scares me:


    It’d be nice to have Ichiro here. However, if the rest of the lineup is not hitting, it won’t matter that Ichiro will get on base as often as he can. We still need another hitter like Adrian Gonzales that can put some fear into the opposition. Remember when Gwynn used to get IBB with RISP?

  21. Here’s a Sunday’s LA Times take on the Dodgers and Angles pursuit of a power hitting 3Bman that a few weeks ago may have been relevant in SD. They’re target is Glaus, not Rolen.C:\Documents and Settings\Ti\Desktop\Glaus could be a costly answer – Los Angeles Times.htm

  22. 20 … nice pic, thanks!

    11 … yuck, that’s *way* too much detail … there are *many* sad stories in there … heart-breaking …

    re: Ichiro! vs Andruw … the bottom for both of them does scare me … it’s going to be risky for whatever teams signs them to their next contract … when Bonds first signed his mega-contract, it was clear to me that he was worth it … same for the last contract Vlad signed … but, you know what, “worth it” may not be the right term … because it’s not obvious that teams that carry contracts like that can win …

    I’m a believer in “team depth” … and that seems hard to create in today’s free agent environment where every free agent seems to sign a contract that prohibits enough spending on the rest of the team for the team to be a winner … what a Catch-22 …

    So then the focus becomes the draft … how do you find “the next stud”? And do that in the context of winning enough to keep fans happy, which means doing it with first-round pics in the 20+ range?

    One approach is to do what it takes to get *a lot* of picks … hey, that’s what the Padres have done … we’ve got many extra picks this year … cool … let’s “spray and pray” … by that I mean that I hope they use a lot of the pics on “high upside” players … looking for “the first guy from this year’s draft to make an All-Star team” … hey, that sounds like an interesting metric: how many and how soon do players from each draft make an All-Star team? I sorta wish I had the patience to do that analysis … I’ll bet the data is avialable “on the web” …

  23. I don’t think the Giants are a fit for Ichiro….they already have Roberts and Winn signed……looks like they could use a middle of the order guy to replace Bonds. Plus, Ichiro is old and may not be around for the next good Giants team.

    Can’t the Pads just sign both Jones and Ichiro and move Giles to LF for his last season in San Diego.

  24. It’s gotta be tough to be a player on the Portland Beavers right now … http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2007_05_23_tucaaa_poraaa_1 … Mike Thompson with his 2nd best start of the season … 4 ERs in 5 IP … yuck … LaForest with a 9th-inning HR to break up the shutout (but otherwise, he’s hitting only .175) … McAnulty 0-for-4 (to drop to .278) … Stansberry still not back in the lineup …

  25. 25 … I *like* that idea! Run the numbers, can it work? Offer them both 1 year contracts … for what? $20 million? So add $40 million to next year’s payroll … see if that gets us a WS … why not?

  26. #22, Yes, that presents the 3rd base dilemma in simple terms. I thought this perspective would be helpful to see what we we’re up against. Would Glaus put us in the WS? Is that chance worth $40M and someone like KK,etc.?I think that question has been tabled for now,but will come up later , maybe at another position.