Padres Take Round One Against Rivals

Real-world stuff kept me from watching all but a few innings of this weekend’s heated series against our archrivals in Seattle, but it’s good that the Padres were able to take two out of three. No matter what else happens this season, if we can beat the Mariners, it will have been a success.


At the very least, Justin Germano is making things interesting for Bud Black and the Padres, who should be getting Clay Hensley back before too long. Hensley faced 19 batters and threw 66 pitches in his rehab assignment for the Portland Beavers on Sunday. Germano’s next start will come Saturday night at Petco Park against the Milwaukee Brewers. Beyond that, who knows?

Meanwhile, after the Padres left 15 more men on base in Sunday’s game, I have trouble accepting that they are outhitting the opposition with RISP by a wide margin (.266/.353/.397 to .248/.333/.348). I guess that’s why we look these things up every now and then.

Poor situational hitting has left a nasty mark on the Padres, no doubt. Still, you should see the other guy…

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.

Before we get on to the report, Baseball America‘s Jim Callis chatted with subscribers on Friday. Jim was late, however, and reportedly John Manuel stood in until Callis was available. There had been a lot of talk about the money [right-hander Matt] Latos wanted and whether or not he could get it. To me, the biggest variable (which hadn’t been discussed) was where Latos would get drafted if the Padres did not sign him. From the chat:

Peter Friberg from asks:
If the Padres do not sign Matt Latos, where will be drafted, late 1st, sandwich, 2nd?

Moderator: Latos has one of the best arms in the draft, but he’s basically shooting to set the draft-and-follow bonus record, and at this point, he’s not as good a prospect as Adam Loewen was when he set the record in 2002-2003. I don’t see the Padres giving him $3 million, nor do I see any other team doing that, so in turning down $1.3 million from the Padres, Latos might not be helping his cause. He’d go around the supplemental range because while he has electric stuff, his makeup is still an issue (immaturity, lack of competing) and he’s not as sure a bet as, say, LHPs Ross Detwiler or Daniel Moskos, or RHP James Simmons (ed: Simmons was the player BA predicted the Padres would draft at 23). For me, Latos is a back-half of the first round pick if he goes back in the pool.

Friday, April 18, 2007


Mike Thompson: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR


Chase Headley: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR, BB, 2 SO
Nick Hundley: 6 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; 2B
Will Venable: 5 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; SO
Jonathan Ellis: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


Matt Antonelli: 8 AB, 5 R, 6 H, 3 RBI; 2 2B
Craig Cooper: 7 AB, 3 R, 2 H, 4 RBI; 2 HR, BB, SO, 2 SF
David Freese: 5 AB, 5 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2B, BB, SO, HBP
Kyle Blanks: 7 AB, 6 R, 6 H, 2 2B, HR
Chad Huffman: 5 AB, 5 R, 5 H, 5 RBI; 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB
Yordany Ramirez: 7 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 7 RBI; 2B, HR, SO
Matthew Buschmann: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 0 HR


Cedric Hunter: 5 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; SB
Kyler Burke: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; 2B, SO
Aaron Breit: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR


There’s been a lot of talk of moving Chase Headley up to Triple-A at the mid-season mark and promoting David Freese to Double-A to take Headley’s place at third base. I’m not so sure I’m a fan of that idea. The Padres are trying to do two things with the minor league organization:

  1. The Padres want to infuse the organization with younger, upper-tier talent.
  2. They want to surround that young talent with polished, mature guys who can help the younger guys develop character and get used to winning. The Triple-A Portland Beavers are a mess. It might not be the best thing for Chase to hang around with a bunch of losers in Portland.

Lake Elsinore scored 30. 30! While this may have been one of those Lancaster wind-aided affairs, the Storm shut out the Lancaster JetHawks in their home park. Yes, the score was 30-0. That’s a beat-down in football. In baseball it’s an embarrassment. Wow. We can probably dismiss the stats, but it gives you an idea of why you don’t want to be a pitcher in Lancaster… Well, except that Matt Buschmann showed it can be done.

Aaron Breit has struggled quite a bit this year. It’s nice to see a solid performance out of Breit. Breit is one of the few “impact arms” in the Padres’ system.

Saturday, April 19, 2007


Pete Laforest: 2 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; HR, 2 BB – played 3B


Chase Headley: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 3 SO – worst game of the year?
Roger Deago: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR


Matt Antonelli: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B
Kyle Blanks: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 5 RBI; 2B, HR, SO
Chad Huffman: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; HR


Cedric Hunter: 5 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B
Rayner Contreras: 3 AB, 1 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 2 BB, SO
Kyler Burke: 5 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; SO – heating up?


Deago shows up here so I can say why he won’t show up again. Deago will turn 30 this June. He’s not a prospect.

[Ed note: Deago made two starts for the Padres in 2003. To echo Peter's sentiments, if he didn't get a shot at age 26 with a 98-loss team, then we shouldn't expect him to do so now.]

Sunday, April 20, 2007


Clay Hensley: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR – rehab start
Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR


Will Venable: 4 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO


Matt Antonelli: 7 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; HR, BB, SO
Craig Cooper: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI; HR, BB, SO
Kyle Blanks: 6 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2B, HR, SO
Chad Huffman: 4 AB, 4 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; HR, 2 BB, 2 SO
Yordany Ramirez: 6 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 8 RBI, 2B, 3B, HR, SB – cycle!


Kyler Burke: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI
Ernesto Frieri: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR


Is that really Jared Wells?

After a hot start, Will Venable is now hitting .269/.316/.325.

After Friday’s contest, Kyle Blanks was second in the Cal League in slugging with a mark of .585 according to It’s significant to note that the 20-year-old is also hitting every bit as well at home, one of the few pitchers’ parks in the Cal League, as on the road. After Sunday’s contest, Blanks’ splits are as follows: home: .329/.375/.644; road: .350/.422/.613.

In the three weekend games at Lancaster, the Storm scored 63 runs and allowed 20. And they say playing at Coors is like playing on the moon…

Kyler Burke has gone 8-for-16 in his last 4 games. Obviously that’s more likely to be a hot streak than a sign of things to come, but it’s still encouraging. A “not encouraging” sign: 16 strikeouts in the last 11 games (only 5 BB).

Thanks, Peter! We’ll get back to the draft preview on Tuesday with a look at some of the top college pitchers.

Off-day today, then the Cubs come to town for a three-game series. Get down to the park or hang out here. Should be fun…

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35 Responses »

  1. Peter do you think the pads will overhaul Portland at the end of the year? Get rid of alot of the dead talent, or will most guys in AA not be ready to move up?

  2. Of course…

    There will always be a need for organizational soldiers… But with Carrillo on the shelf, there is not one legitamit prospect on the Portland roster.

    There are also only a few prospects in AA, so while next year’s team will look different, AAA is always a home for career baseball players who might not be good enough for MLB rosters. This organization is getting better – FAST! But it’s not a top-tier organization and the talent at the top if particularly weak.

  3. Remember the Seinfeld episode where all the good things were happening, bizarrely, to George and all the bad things to Elaine? Jerry in that episode called himself “Even Steven” and sure enough all good was balanced with bad for him during the show.

    This is a good way to describe these 07 Padres thus far this year. Do you realize we:
    a) have not swept anyone
    b) have not been swept?

    Overall, series win/loss/tie is at 8-4-2. Won 4 more series than we’ve lost yet only 4 games over .500.

    I really worry that come September we’ll be in agony thinking of the close losses in April/May as we fight with the Dogs for the division/wc again.

  4. #2: Hey!

  5. Hensley was on 1090 XX this morning, he said the coaching staff has told him he will go back in the rotation. He’s hopeful he can start on Friday if the leg doesn’t stiffen up this week.

    I think that’s the right call. Germano has been great but his lack of strikeouts is going to catch up with him eventually.

  6. Why is the conversation Hensley vs Germano? Sure Hensley goes back into the rotation … he’s #4. The question is this: is Germano better than our #5? I’m pretty sure that right now he is … I’d rather have him in the rotation than David Wells … that seems clear. And I understand what is not clear is the psychological (and perhaps political?) issues. I just don’t see how Germano’s “body of work” so far this season (ie. what he’s done both at AAA and for the Padres) merits anything less than staying in the rotation. The bottom line should be “what have you done for me lately” … and Germano has a very good answer to that question … Wells does not.

  7. #6: I doubt that the Padres will seriously consider dropping Wells from the rotation. My guess is that Justin Hampson is the odd man out because he has options, and Germano will assume the spot occupied by Mike Thompson to start the season.

  8. My guess is the Padres will try to flip Germano. A bit cold-hearted but what are you going to do? Clay had an outstanding season last year vs. Germano having an outstanding three starts. No one in the bullpen deserves to go anywhere (Cameron cannot, because he is a rule V), we’re at 12 pitchers already. Germano’s BABIP is .200, something that is going to be hard to maintain.

    On a slightly related topic, I have not analyzed pitcher statistics that closely, but the simple rule that I seem to be reading is that low BABIP is more or less luck. While searching for Germano, I noticed a bunch of Padres relievers down there as well:

    Cameron, .158
    Linebrink, .163
    Brocail, .175

    Maybe the collection on one team suggests great defense/good ballpark, but it makes me a bit nervous.

  9. #7 Agree. No way they do Wells like that. For now, I would rather see Hensley in the bullpen until the Germano magic wears off, but I agree that Hensley back in the rotation seems more likely.

  10. Re: 2 what I meant was do you think they are ready to drop the thompsons and stauffers yet or do you think they will still need to hold onto them for lack of depth in AA.

  11. Steve, I think both are done. And it might not even take until the end of the season. At the mid-season mark, teams often promote some players to make room for the new imports (draftees)… So when those promotions take place, the Padres will need to make room for those players by releasing other players. I think Stauffer & Thompson are good bets to get the boot (fortunately or unfortunately)…

  12. 11 … I think it’s too soon to boot Thompson and Stauffer … and I’m not sure it’s necessary … if it is, then so be it … but I don’t see anyone at AA who needs to be promoted to AAA … so I’ll bet that we don’t see those cuts/changes just yet … unless, of course, ERAs continue to be double-digit, then of course they get let go …

    9 … sounds reasonable to me … and it give Hensley a better environment to heal … and figure out what some of his early-season struggles were all about …

    7 … GY … I understand and agree with you … what I was asking is “why” … and when I tried to answer why, I didn’t like my answer … so I’m hoping the Padres either have better reasons or come to a different conclusion …

    4 … well said, Paul! Just so you know, that was my first thought too … we haven’t *all* forgotten about you! :-)

  13. OT … an interesting note in a TSN article today …

    Doug Melvin might be the first general manager to get this request: a player asking for a weekend off to attend his father’s Hall of Fame induction. Brewers OF Tony Gwynn Jr. was reluctant to ask during spring training because he wasn’t sure he was going to make the club. Once he secured his roster spot, he sought–and was granted–permission to take two days off in July to attend Tony Sr.’s big day in Cooperstown.

    … cool! Which reminds me, TG Jr is coming to down THIS WEEKEND! He’ll make his first Petco appearance on Friday … now *that* is a game I’d like to be at!

  14. #12: Gotcha, LM. I’m assuming the Padres will point to Wells’ track record vs Germano’s. As Anthony points out, Germano’s strikeout rate is worrisome, as is his lack of overpowering stuff. It’s entirely possible that he’s another Brian Tollberg. It’s great when those guys step up and come through in time of need (as Thompson did last year), but I wonder how much exposure Germano can get before the league catches up to him?

  15. 12: You might move Geer up. He turns 24 in two weeks. But overall I wonder if the PCL teaches players much, especially older players like we have. It might, but I’m not convinced it’s any better than letting them have a full season in AA and then flow into AAA or the majors as needed the next year.

    Hensley vs Germano vs Wells: If we’re going by hot hand, Hensley comes in 3rd. Germano can’t live with that strikeout rate, but his K’s were at least average in AAA before the promotion.

  16. Re: #12 (Paul),

    What is he going to become? He’s already 26 years old (so there’s no projection left) he had 50 errors at 3B, so he can’t play there. He’s as bad defensively as Sledge’s reputation was coming in to 2007 at LF, and he doesn’t have enough power to play 1B…

    At best he profiles as a .300 hitter with 15 HR at DH… He might be useful as a pinch hitter, but since he can’t play defense and since teams are carrying more pitcher than they used to, it’s hard to justify a spot for a guy who only brings batting gloves to the park.

  17. 16: McAnulty’s defensive rep in LF is overblown. He’s an adequate LF. Sledge has solidified the bad reviews he got last year.

    That’s not McAnulty’s “at best.” At best he’s a 300 hitter with a 380 OBP and 20+ HR in full-time duty. That’s pretty valuable, even if certain decision-makers can’t see it.

    People thought Agon wouldn’t hit for enough power to play 1b. McAnulty’s not going to play 1b for us, but he’s a possible 850 OPS bat. There are several major league teams getting less of out 1b than that right now. As a Padre he’s a 4th OF / PH, but 75% of our minor league pitching prospects are destined to be relievers if they even make the majors.

  18. Sledge earned his bad rep after struggling while healing from leg issues. He actually played a capable CF when he was first coming up w/ Montreal/Washington…

    As for your relievers comment, I agree… Heck, “75%” is a low number.

  19. 17 … my heart says his best is as you say … my mind says he’s very unlikely to do that (20+ HRs in full-time duty) …

    So, is this is question that should be on the table … how long before McAnulty replaces Sledge on the roster? Does McAnulty have to earn that? (ie. he’s certainly not lighting up AAA so far)

  20. #6 Your”re especially right when you look at Wells outside of Petco:
    ERA9.00, WHIP 2.22, OBA .574, 3HR in 18 innings. Of Germano ‘s 3 games, 2 have been on the road, making his ERA of.047, OBA of .185 and WHIP of 0.74 all that more impressive. Maybe he gets spot starts for Wells on the road, but more likely he waits for another injury.

  21. I don’t think P Mac will replace Sledge at all, barring some kind of trade. Sledge is much better defensively, or at least is perceived that way. He also looks like more of an athlete so will always get the benefit of doubt.

    KT should be peddling him to the Yankees, they have a colossal hole at 1B. Much like our 3B situation last year, anything would be an improvement for them. I would imagine McAnulty is just being kept around as injury insurance in case OG, Sledge or Adrian go down.

  22. What’s to become of Paul Mac? On May 14, Roto Authority says “Looking for the next Jack Cust?” ….”Scott Hairston or Paul MaC”. och.

  23. what could they get for P-mac? I think he would be a valuable 4th OF/1B/PH ala mark sweeney.

  24. I agree with Tom, PMac is a better outfielder than he’s given credit for and he was largely sent down as part of a numbers game. With the exception of Vince Sinisi , who is having a very good year, but gets no love, and Craig Stansberry, there isn’t a whole lot of help around him at LE. I think there is still a chance you might see PMac before the season ends if Sledge and Cruz start to cool down. I still think he’s flat out one of the best hitters in the organziatin.

    Wells, Stauffer and Thompson are all having bad year – and I agree with Peter they will probably be gone next year, but I don’t think they are going anywhere this year – unless there is some sort of deal.

    I think Headley will be moved up, mainly to give Freese a shot at AA and give the Padres two solid options at 3b going into 2008

    Geer is an intersting guy – throws four average pitches, but changes speed and throws strikes. I keep thinking he’s going to get shelled – kind of like Gabe Ribas as he moves up – but he keeps proving me wrong.

  25. Although PMAC,s total #’s arent that good. In May he’s: AB .313, OBP.392 & slg .484. At some point the duplicity of Robles and Blum might be eliminated in favor of PMac as a PH. Does anyone know the status of his knee? Maybe that contributed to his batting struggles earlier this year?