Friday Links (22 Jun 07)

I love that it always comes as a surprise when this team drops a series — nice change from the old days, when you secretly expected the worst before anything even happened. Now the Red Sox are in town, which means that people in other parts of the country might be paying attention. This would be a good time for the Padres to “regress to the mean” and play better than they did against Baltimore.

To the links…

  • Offense missing: Deal with it (San Diego Union Tribune). Tom Krasovic takes a closer look at new Padres catcher Michael Barrett. Quoth Geoff Blum: “This environment will be good for Mike, because Lou Piniella and catchers don’t get along, in my experience.”
  • Padres make deal for catcher who can slug; Barrett acquired from Cubs for Bowen, Burke (North County Times). John Maffei breaks down the Barrett trade.
  • Padres never did commit to huge payroll (San Diego Union Tribune). One of the most sensible articles Nick Canepa has ever written: “…there’s a rather large difference between promises made and not kept and promises inferred and not kept.” The only thing the Padres committed to was winning, and they’ve delivered on that in spades since moving downtown. People who can’t deal with that really need to follow another team, or maybe another sport.
  • Padres trainer ready to become a mom (Padres). Nice article on Kelly Calabrese, who will be out till October 1. The entire training staff gets huge props from the players, so hopefully she’ll be missed but not too much, if you know what I mean.
  • Michael Barrett Heads West and Yankee Talk With Bronx Banter (The Pitch). Joe was good enough to have me on his podcast this week; hint: I’m the guy not talking about the Yankees.
  • Episode 25: Steroids, The MLB Draft and Sam Perlozzo (Suicide Fan). Aaron also had me on his podcast, and once we got rolling, it was impossible to stop us. Whether this is a good thing I leave as an exercise for the reader.
  • On the Dunn rumor (Reds Insider, via Steve C in the comments). Talk of Adam Dunn coming to the Padres won’t die. Whatever.
  • Restocking the Cupboard (Baseball Analysts, via Didi in the comments). With the obligatory caveat that nobody really knows at this point, Marc Hulet likes the Padres’ draft — to a degree (thinks they should’ve gone for a little more upside with all those extra picks, a sentiment shared by many readers here). He also likes Arizona’s, and so do I. That organization is starting to bother me; the Snakes have got tons of young talent and a front office that knows what it’s doing.
  • Stats aside, Padres encouraged by rookie (North County Times, via LynchMob in the comments). Everybody loves Chase Headley. Also, draftees Kellen Kulbacki, Danny Payne, and Jeremy Hefner have signed and reported to Short-Season Eugene.
  • Eugene Emeralds 2007 season preview ( John Conniff breaks down the Em’s roster.
  • The All-Fitt Team (Baseball America, via Didi in the comments). Aaron Fitt identifies a list of “players I have most enjoyed watching and/or talking to in 2007.” Padres draftees Mitch Canham, Eric Sogard, and the aforementioned Payne all make this fictitious squad.
  • Bears Sign Shortstop Donaldo Mendez (OurSports Central). Ex-Padre Donaldo Mendez hit .272 last season in the independent Northern League. Sometimes when we complain about the current state of affairs, it’s good to remember just how crappy things used to be.
Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see Matt Antonelli in the Futures Game. For some unknown reason, the powers that be (Baseball America and Major League Baseball) determined the following U.S. born second basemen are better candidates.

Adrian Cardenas 2B (Phillies), born: October 10, 1987 – Lo-A Lakewood (SAL)
.274/.335/.427 with 14 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR and a 21/38 BB/SO ratio

Chris Coghlan 2B (Marlins), born: June 18, 1985 – Lo-A Greensboro (SAL)
.332/.432/.553 with 22 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR and a 40/29 BB/SO ratio

…and for comparison’s sake…

Matt Antonelli 2B, born: April 8, 1985 – Hi-A Lake Elsinore (CAL)
.310/.399/.483 with 14 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR and a 37/47 BB/SO ratio

Matt is playing in a higher level than either participant, he is roughly the same age as Coghlan (both Antonelli and Coghlan are considerably older than Cardenas), while Coghlan has superior numbers, he’s doing it at a lower level. Antonelli also has more “pedigree” as a first-round draftee and is an exceptional athlete.

Like the MLB All-Star Game, the Futures Game requires that each organization be represented by at least one participant. Yet the Phillies have Carlos Carrasco, and the Marlins have Rick Vanden Hurk; thus Baseball America and Major League Baseball cannot claim they needed the two U.S.-born second basemen slots to fill quotas.

Antonelli should be heading to San Francisco as a Futures Game participant. I am outraged he was not selected.

By the way, congratulations to Craig Stansberry on his selection to the Futures Game.

Update: From Baseball America’s John Manuel:

The answer’s actually very simple and has nothing to do with a “snub.” We have to send a list to MLB with three suggestions for each club for both the US team and the World team. Our US Padres all were/are having better seasons than Antonelli — Chase Headley, Wade LeBlanc and Chad Huffman. Obviously Headley’s since been promoted but the wheels were in motion for this about a month ago. He was our fourth-choice Padres U.S. player but we only get 3. I see some merit to your argument, but I think you’ll see merit in ours — we had other Padres in mind.


Thanks so much John for getting back to us.

I still disagree with Antonelli’s omission. Huffman is having a great season and I like him a lot, but Antonelli plays a premium position and is putting up similar numbers. Similarly, LeBlanc is having a great year, but I think part of his success is over-matching undisciplined Hi-A players. I do think LeBlanc will continue to have success all the way into the major leagues, but I would argue that Antonelli has the potential to be a perennial All Star at 2B… In conclusion, again, I disagree with Antonelli’s omission, but I do understand how we got there.


Clay Hensley: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – injured?
Jared Wells: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR


Nick Hundley: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; 2B, BB, SO


Matt Antonelli: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB


Andrew Underwood: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR – ouch

Short Season-A

Danny Payne: 3 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB, SO, PO


It was an interesting day in a news sense (see my Futures Game rant above) and a boring day in terms of prospect performances…

I have not seen anything that says Hensley is injured, but he is too good of a pitcher to be struggling this much in Triple-A if he’s right. However, keep in mind that, “…if he’s right,” could just as easily be about his head instead of his arm.

Hundley has batted .286 (12 for 42) with 6 extra-base hits in his last 11 games.

Thanks, Peter. Happy Friday, everyone; we’ll have the IGD up and running by 6 p.m. PT. Go Padres!