Padres Sign Latos, Beat Bucs

It’s not often that a 9-0 victory takes a backseat to a draft signing. Then again, it’s not often that the Padres sign a guy like Matt Latos.

In case you missed it, the Pads and Latos agreed to terms late Wednesday evening. Jim Callis at BA has the bonus at $1.25 million, well off what Latos reportedly had been seeking.

Needless to say, I am beyond fired up about this signing. Latos, who is scheduled to begin his pro career at Eugene, Oregon (road trip!), immediately becomes the best pitcher in the system.

On a more pimpalicious note, I’ll be liveblogging the MLB draft next week over at Knuckle Curve. As a sneak preview, I’ve thrown together a little something on Latos. If you’re geeking out on the draft, just know that you’re not alone. ;-)

So. The game (recap | boxscore).

The Padres scored two runs over the first seven innings, and seven over the final two. This holds no significance whatsoever, but it amuses me. Now fetch me some grapes.

Anyway. What’s to say? Chris Young dominated the team that originally drafted him (2000, third round), spinning seven scoreless innings. Even better, he used just 86 pitches in the process. Only once this season has Young thrown fewer pitches in a game (84 over two innings on April 15 at Los Angeles).

In fact, Wednesday marked the second straight start that Young worked seven innings while keeping his pitch count below 100. That’s a nice combination. If it weren’t for Jake Peavy (4-0, 0.79 ERA, .164/.218/.207), Young would get serious consideration for Pitcher of the Month in May (4-1, 1.13 ERA, .173/.250/.252).

Mike Cameron collected three hits, raising his May numbers to a spiffy .273/.345/.495. Khalil Greene added two knocks, including an eighth-inning grand slam that effectively ended the game.

Heck, even Justin Hampson got to pitch an inning. I don’t know how he and Kevin Cameron are able to stay so sharp despite almost never getting the call. A day after Cameron made his first appearance in 2 1/2 weeks, Hampson threw 17 pitches to end a 10-day drought.

Hey, we’ve got 12 pitchers on the staff. Might as well use ‘em…

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see the original preamble in this location. It has been removed by popular demand. I wonder if you even noticed…


Clay Hensley: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR


Will Venable: 5 AB, 2 R, 4 H, 3 RBI; 2B, 3B, HR – cycle!
Chase Headley: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2 BB, SO


David Freese: 5 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 0 RBI; 3 2B, SB
Craig Cooper: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2B, 3B, 2 SO


Cedric Hunter: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2 2B, CS


Obviously the big news today was Matt Latos’ signing. Latos is getting stiff competition from Chase Headley (.341/.423/.584) but he’s easily one of the top contenders for the best player in the Padres minor league organization. Now keep in mind that based on talent, Latos would probably go in the 20-40 range in this draft if he was available. Add in the fact that the Padres have the 23rd and 40th picks in this draft (not to mention the 46th, 57th, 63rd, and 64th picks) and it’s easy to see why 2007 is such a huge year for the organization.

Back to Latos: Earlier this week I broke down the competition for the starting position players in 2011. Here’s the likely 2011 rotation:

SP1: Jake Peavy
SP2: Chris Young
SP3: Matt Latos
SP4: Cesar Carrillo
SP5: Wade Leblanc

Clay is not performing like he wants to pitch in a big-league rotation.

[Ed note: On the bright side, reports are encouraging.]

Will Venable and David Freese deserve big congrats on their days: a cycle and a 5-for-5 night, respectively.

Cedric Hunter, a lefty, has been destroying left-handers (.377/.434/.493) this season but has struggled against right-handers; after the two doubles Wednesday night (off a RHP) he’s up to .228/.307/.298 in 114 AB.

Thanks, Peter! Feels good to have Latos in the fold. I’m getting psyched for next week’s draft.

While we’re waiting for that to happen, the Padres seek yet another series victory in Thursday evening’s finale. Greg Maddux looks to turn things around against the eminently beatable Shawn Chacon. Game starts at 4:05 p.m. PT; you know the rest…

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73 Responses »

  1. Thanks GY!

    Dave Oster from the LE Storm is on the radio right now and just said “the writing is on the wall” and said that he expects Matt Bush to now be converted to a pitcher shortly. Interesting I thought. I just want to get some sort of value from that pick. I wonder if he would translate to starter or closer material. Any ideas?

  2. McBryde’s final JC start:

    Season stats at Rose State College (Okla.): 76.1 IP, 65 H, 22 BB, 82 SO, 4.01 ERA. No clue what the level of competition is like.

  3. Peter with the Latos signing how does your top 10 padres prospects look at the moment.

  4. There’s an article on SignonSD that says Bush is “ecstatic” to return to pitching. That makes two good pitching prospects we picked up in the last two days and the draft is still a week away.

  5. they asked Trevor why he switched from SS to pitcher and he said “because I was tiered of hitting .190″

    If I rember Bush can throw in the mid 90′s but does he have any other big leauge quality pitches?

  6. 49, You’re right, no way the Braves trade Salty for a Low A guy. If they try and shop Salty they’re going to be looking for someone that can make an impact in the here an now, and maybe a prospect or two as well. Salty is going to come at a price if he’s shopped at all.

  7. 57 … thanks for the link … this is GREAT news!

    Reading about Bush being able to throw 90s in high school reminded me of this brief note about Mariners Brandon Morrow …;_ylt=Ak81W6UOQ3tHMyAMAzVXBZ0RvLYF?urn=mlb,34972 … who threw 90 in high school, then up’d it to upper-90s his sophomore year at Cal … not saying that Bush can do that … just that there’s precident :-) C’mon Matt, do it! I want to see you pitch in Eugene this summer too!

  8. 58: You gotta wonder how much arm strength Bush has left. When Matt Harrington stopped pitching on a regular rotation his fastball lost 10mph.

  9. Query if changing the preamble is the reason Latos signed?!?

    I don’t think we can rule it out.

  10. 59.

    I’m more worried about his accuracy than his arm strength. He made a ton of errors at SS and I have to believe some of those were because of bad throws. I got to believe not throwing off a mound for 3 years is going to take some getting used to and if he can’t locate he’s toast.

  11. well he is ultimately starting over again so it will be at least 4 more years before he even sniffs the big leagues.

  12. Huge right-handed bat acquired for the outfield:

    Padres claim Bocachica off waivers
    The San Diego Padres today claimed outfielder Hiram Bocachica off outright waivers from the Oakland Athletics.

  13. OT: has anyone checked in on George Kottaras? he is hitting .191 with .286 OBP and a .291 SLG. I guess the east coast has been rough on him.

  14. 63: Nah, he’ll be moving up pretty quickly if he can pitch as well. Probably going to be a potential middle relieve/setup man. I say, definitely, quicker than 4 years if he does well.

    I think Joe Nathan was a converted SS and it took him about 2 seasons. Granted, he’s very good but I don’t think it’s starting over for Matt Bush.
    Anybody knows how long it took Trevor, Woody, and Santana to convert to pitching?

  15. Geoff,

    Rather than a stop off in Sacto, maybe I could get you to come to the Bay Area?

  16. 65: That sucks. I hope he gets better so the Red Sox will still trade with the Padres.

  17. Keith Law on teams’ drafting tendencies:

  18. 60 … yup, Corvallis … see Frappr (

    4 … I’ve never driven from Portland to Eugene … Eugene is to Corvallis a bit what LA is to SD … other than the Emeralds, I try to minimize my exposure :-) … back to the question (drive time from Portland to Eugene) … 3 hours max … straight down I-5 … so might be closer to 2 depending on where in “Portland” you are starting … it’s a short 2 hours from PDX (the Portland Airport) to Corvallis (which is ~10 miles off I-5) … and it takes me about an hour to get to Eugene … and I think getting from I-5 to the Eugene ballpark (which is a *classic*) is pretty straight forward …

    Road Trip? Meet Up? Opening Day is Sunday, June 24th at 4pm.

    The other idea would be 4th of July … it *will* be a sell-out … the fireworks are not *great*, but the ball park and setting are, as I said before, *CLASSIC* … Americana at its FINEST … but I’ll likely be down in San Diego for 4th (a pilgrimage I’ve done the last 2 years as it has coincided with the BP Pizza Feed … hmm … I ping’d the BP guys a month or so ago on that, didn’t get a reply … time to ping again) …

  19. Heads-up, Anthony, and anyone else with a BP subscription … another article today looking at the GameDay pitch data … … a look at “deceleration as pitches make their way to the plate and pitcher fatigue” … amazing stuff!

  20. #67: Brian, I think that could be arranged. :-)