Opportunity Knocks, but It Can’t Come In

Not a lot to say this morning that hasn’t already been beaten to death. The Padres had opportunities Tuesday evening (recap | boxscore) but failed to cash in on them. Loading the bases and making a guy throw 34 pitches in the first inning is great; leaving all three runners stranded, not so much.

David Wells pitched okay. Not great, but okay. Well enough to win most nights. He certainly isn’t the focus of my frustration.

What I do find irritating is the continued absence of a right-handed bat off the bench (Geoff Blum? Rob Bowen? Jake Peavy? Greg Maddux?). Terrmel Sledge is 0-for-15 against left-handers this year, and it would have been nice to have the option of lifting him in the eighth against John Grabow. But with two pitchers on the staff (Kevin Cameron and Justin Hampson) who generally don’t get into actual games, that’s not possible.

Speaking of Cameron, it’s great to see him finally get into a game again (first time since May 11), but the timing strikes me as odd. With everyone fully rested after an off-day, I’d expected to see someone a little more tenured come into a two-run game in the seventh.

Unless there is a physical issue we’re not aware of, it seems weird to me that you’d give a guy 18 days of rest and then throw him into a relatively high-leverage situation. Like, I’m guessing the Padres have been down two runs late in a game at some point during that stretch.

If Cameron was hurt (and even if not, make something up already — dude sat for 18 days), it sure would have been nice to have a right-handed bat on the bench. Craig Wilson (released by the Braves and since signed by the White Sox) probably was worth a flier. Is Eduardo Perez still looking for work?

I dunno. Cameron bats right-handed. Can he hit at all?

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.


Mike Thompson: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR
Royce Ring: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR


Will Venable: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SO – batting leadoff
Chase Headley: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO
Nick Hundley: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 6 RBI; 2B, HR, 2 SO
Sean Thompson: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


David Freese: 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; HR, 2 SO
Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2 HR


Rayner Contreras: 3 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; HR, BB


As of this morning, the Padres have today and tomorrow The Padres have until 9:01 p.m Wednesday to sign Matt Latos. to sign Matt Latos. Denis Savage, of MadFriars.com, has the latest info and indicates that the Padres are not optimistic they’ll get it done.

If the Padres do not sign Latos, expect them to take some shots at players who are considered tougher signs because of their college commitments.

Thanks, Peter!

Chris Young gets the call for the Padres tonight. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. PT. See you at the IGD…

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41 Responses »

  1. wow the padres went from first place to third place with one loss to a bad team, tight race this year should be fun.

  2. I did not have Chan 4 avail yesterday, so I listened to the radio…frustrating game, but I do want to relay one thing that Jerry Coleman said that still has me laughing…There was some moaning and complaining about the umpiring job yesterday…somewhere in the 3rd or 4th inning Jerry aims the following jab at the home plate ump…”it would be easier to get the calls right if you lost some weight!”

    I have never laughed so hard at something Jerry has ever said more than that. There was some general silence in the booth for a few seconds, then Masur just picked up the play-by-play…it was priceless!!

    Oh yea, can I get anyone to join the FREE PAT THE BAT club? The Phils are a disaster and NEED arms for the pen…The Pads offence is, well, offensive, and we need a bopper…seems like a good match!


  3. Anyone ever notice how white NOG’s teeth are? He’s got a pretty mouth! :-)

  4. I’ll pass on Pat the Bat, his big contract ($13 million) and his .145 batting average on the road, and I usually don’t like all the trade speculation – but one guy who may be available according to Buster Olney is Mark Texiera.

    He’s a first baseman, but he has played some outfield, either RF or LF and will be a free agent at the end of the year. He’s represented by Boras and his splits are much better at home, but he still has a road OPS of .866.

    He could be a very good one year rental that wouldn’t cost that much.

  5. Remember the Spring talk of Sledge batting leadoff and that he has deceptive speed which will allow him to steal 15-20 bases ?

  6. Are you kidding? Texiera, if he is traded, would be the most expensive player traded at the deadline. he’s a legit cleanup/franchise player type. Not that many of those floating around. He’ll go for a lot.

  7. I wouldn’t mind if the Padres brought in a guy like Jeff Conine to platoon in left.

  8. 6: He won’t go for a lot because he’s repped by Boras. It’s a virtual guarantee that he’ll test the market. Besides, Tex is considered a great defensive first baseman; he ain’t playing no outfield.

  9. 6. Not really. He’s going to be a free agent at the end of the season and he would be nothing more than a rental with Boras as his agent.

    The Rangers might be willing to deal him to avoid what happened with the Nationals last year and Soriano – where Bowden kept holding out for too much and in the end got nothing more than a draft pick.

  10. 8. He is a very good first baseman, gold glove – but AG can’t play the OF and Tex can.

    As I wrote its all speculation on my part, no official rumor or source, since we are just throwing names out there.

  11. Hey guys,

    The Friberg Report is excellent but I would suggest losing the preamble. You know, the part about how we “will not see” all the notable performances but “will see” only the notable performances from players who are “actually prospects.” I find it kind of distracting, maybe because I see words and think there may be new information but it is always the same.

    Another thought would be to revise the paragraph to delete the part about what we “will not see.” Just tell us what we’ll see; for example “Here are last night’s/last weekend’s notable performances from Padres minor league prospects.” That says it all right there.

    Also, on the statistics portion, I think it would be easier to read if you list the stats in a more traditional manner. For example, last night’s Venable entry would read “Will Venable 2-5, 2 R, 0 RBI; SO – batting leadoff.”

    Just some thoughts. Keep up the great work. I look forward to it everyday.

  12. Ryan, we’ll take that under advisement, but the statists are in the same order as the box-line in a newspaper – about as traditional as it gets (both hitters & pitchers)… So I’m not going to change that.

    As for the preamble, Goeff, what do you think? Other readers?

  13. 12 … I’m with Ryan on the preamble … this is too informal of an environment for caveats … you can include whomever you want each day … if it’s not noteworthy to you, then it’s probably not noteworthy to me … I trust you … and that’s another reason to not need the caveat in the preamble :-)

    BTW, today’s report from 1969 reminds me what a stud Rusty Staub was … http://www.baseball-reference.com/s/staubru01.shtml … check out his 1969-71 for the new Expos (.426, .394, .392 OBPs … 166 OPS+ in ’69 on an expansion team is mind-boggling) … He ended his career as the only major league player to have 500 hits with four different teams. He and Ty Cobb share the distinction of being the only players to hit home runs before turning 20 years old, and after turning 40 years old … that’s what I mean by “stud” …

  14. I like what Wade LeBlanc is doing this season at Lake Elsinore … http://padres.scout.com/2/647440.html

  15. Re: 12

    Since Peter makes the effort to put these reports together, I think he should write whatever the hell he wants. It is not just about laying out raw data. His quirky preamble reminds you this was complied by a person, a real fan, not a machine.

  16. Towers and Black do realize that they are able to have a 25 man roster, don’t they? I can understand somewhat keeping Kevin Cameron on the roster (although I don’t think a competitive team should really waste their time on a Rule V guy). However, why is Hampson on the roster? Everyone knows that their bench is weak, especially now that OG is out. But they’ve done nothing to improve it. And they are going to have another mess in a few days when Hensley comes off the DL. He can’t go into the bullpen as he would never pitch, it looks like Portland is the best place for him right now. They have to get rid of some pitchers. Whether that means Hensley or Wells, or Linebrink and others out of bullpen, their seriously flawed roster has to be fixed. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like Sledge is going to be the answer in LF and Cruz isn’t much better, that is where they need improvement the most (plus a better hitting bench, carrying two utility players and no right-handed bat isn’t exactly optimal roster construction).

  17. Re: 16 this is what happens when you have a former pitcher as a GM and a manager. I agree that sledge has not panned out but I think Cruz has done a good job for the role that he is in.

  18. #16 – You hit the nail on the head. GYoung mentioned the redundancy of having Blum and Robles on the roster, and now the Pads have the same redundancy in the outfield with McAnulty and Sledge, along with guys at the back end of the pitching staff that rarely get work. It’s adjustment time for Towers. Especially if Brian Giles is shut down for an extended time because of his knee. I don’t want to lose too (even one or two) many winnable games because the Padres have to start Sledge against a tough lefty or have to pinch hit Geoff Blum as a right handed pinch hitter late in the ballgame (Blum is absolutely putrid as a right handed hitter). If the Pads were going to cast off Jack Cust for nothing (even after T.Sledge’s .200 April) maybe they should have kept Jon Knott as insurance.

  19. 16, 17: If you keep Sledge as the LH part of a platoon, he’s fine. What we’ve needed since opening day is a RH hitter who can do anything at the plate besides stand in the right-hand hitter’s box. Blum may as well go up there with a table leg. There were a lot of RH hitters available over the winter, during spring training, and after the season began.

  20. re 11 – don’t need the preamble either, as LM says, we trust you. I do find the stats a bit unnecessarily hard to skim. Get that it’s exactly like the box score, so probably less time intensive, but it does make it harder for the reader to skim over quickly.

    That said, it’s a free service, so throw up the #s on there any freaking way you want! If I was paying for it I’d care.

  21. Prospect Report: Sticking my nose in, I wouldn’t mind having the report as a link. It makes it harder to find recent entries and their associated comments, because each report takes up a large chunk of real estate. But that be more work for both Peter and GY.

  22. I agree with TW. Crudge is a fine left fielder. When Crudge plays left and right, as it does now, we have problems.

    As for the righty bat: Jonny Gomes, Jonny Gomes, Jonny Gomes. Andrew Brown for Jonny Gomes.

  23. 5: Yup, so much for him trying to get his OBP around .400.
    12: Revise the preamble to read like something Les Nessman would say.

    Texeira is having problem hitting away from Arlington, plus, he’s not going to platoon in OF.
    No Pat the Bat. He won’t hit at Petco either and he’s expensive.
    How about trying to get Marlon Byrd from Texas Rangers? He’s not doing anything there? He’ll be cheap platoon for LF.

    What about Kevin Mench? He’ll be cheaper than Pat the Bat.

  24. I like the Andrew Brown for Johnny Gomes suggestion. Pat the Bat is way too much money to pay for a guy you “hope” starts to hit. I think Aaron Rowand would be a much better trade if we are talking about the Phillies and I really don’t like Rowand at all.

  25. 23: Byrd hit .223 in 197 AB in Washington last year. Everything about this year screams “small sample size”. He’s not any kind of appreciable upgrade at all over what’s already there.

    To the Gomes suggestions, we talked about the Gomes situation on our show last night, and he needs to get out of Tampa. He’s done there. Tampa does have a bullpen need, and as much as I would be hesitant to get rid of Brown, he may be enough to net Gomes. Just be advised…his defense is horrendous. If you can take the good with the bad, he’s a decent pickup.

  26. 25: I’d still prefer Hart, and with the Brewer bullpen exploding today they might want one of our arms, but I’ll take Gomes, however bad his defense might be. His bad defense could be minimized by using him mostly as a pinch-hitter. Right now the last three spots on the roster are killing us.

  27. 26: I had a chance to see Corey Hart play up close and personal here in Nashville over parts of the last couple of years, and he would be a hell of a pickup. He has great size, pop and speed. He looks kind of strange stealing bases at 6’6″, but he’s a nice player.

    The Brewer outfield situation is pretty crowded, and Hart is probably the guy it would take the most to get (when compared to Mench, Gwynn, et al), but would bring the highest yield.

    Hart also provides the versatility of playing first and third.

    If Hart is at all available, I would be on the phone with Doug Melvin five minutes ago discussing it.

  28. 27: Yeah, we’re not getting Hart for Brocail, unfortunately. We have to be prepared to move Linebrink or Meredith and a prospect (Ramos)?

    The best part about Hart is that he’s a legitimate replacement for OG if OG’s power is well and truly gone. He’s not just a platoon bat like Gomes, Mench, or Eduardo Perez.

  29. Linebrink or Meredith is probably a good starting point (and I would obviously pick Linebrink to move, given a choice), and there would need to be another player involved.

    The Brewers are fairly strong at catcher (Lou Palmisano, Carlos Corporan, etc.), second base (Hernan Iribarren) and several other spots throughout their minor league system. I wonder if there is anyone blocked in the Padre organization who may be of some benefit to the Brewers. I might have suggested Luis Cruz before a) J.J. Hardy started to hit and b) Luis Cruz stopped.

    Another starter may be of benefit in this proposed deal, even though the Brewers have the likes of Yovani Gallardo and Mark Rogers in their system.

    It’s an interesting point to ponder — thanks for making me exercise my brain a bit. :)

  30. 29: That’s the problem dealing with Milwaukee. They don’t have any holes among major league position players. Their farm is better than ours. They have no incentive to move Hart unless they get exactly what they want.

    Linebrink and Hensley or Germano feels like a bit much, but it does give the Brew Crew a reliever and a starter to replace Bush. Would they value Blum’s Post Season Experience over Graffanino?

  31. 30: You know, I thought of either Hensley or Germano when we first started this discussion. Germano has had the most recent success of the two, so that may improve his value a bit, but he appears to have fallen out of favor a bit with the braintrust.

    I don’t think they’d be trying too hard to get Blum when they already have Graffanino and Counsell, plus Chris Barnwell at Triple-A. Barnwell had a little bit of success in Milwaukee last year, and would likely get the call if a utility infielder were needed.

    I wonder if they may be convinced into making a 2-for-2 deal involving a Jared Wells or a Kevin Cameron from the SD side and maybe a player from a position of excess in their minor league system. Who exactly that player would be, I’m not prepared to say, but it’s another possibility.

  32. The San Diego lovefest for “Crudge” gets to me. I am not totally convinced that the 30 year Termel Sledge even warrants getting 250-300 at bats in a platoon situation. He has average speed, is below average defensively and has decent power but certainly not consistent power. He also strikes out a bit too much. I like Termel off the bench and as a spot starter (Aldrete/Crowley) but not playing even on a semi-regular basis. I hope I am wrong about Sledge and I very well could be because the fact remains that he has only roughly 600 MLB plate appearances.