How the (NL) West Will Be Won

Fun weekend in Philadelphia. Fun road trip. Four out of six against two playoff contenders back east? Works for me.

Now the boys return to Petco for a huge four-game series against Arizona. We can whine about the fact that the Diamondbacks are outperforming their Pythagorean record by 12 games or we can acknowledge the impressiveness of this freakish achievement and start focusing on things we can control, like winning games here and now.

I respect what the Diamondbacks are doing. They are challenging our assumptions about the relationship between runs and wins. They are forcing intelligent people to work overtime trying to figure out what makes them tick. How can that not be good for the game?

What amazes me about the Snakes is that they have no outstanding offensive performers. (Sound familiar? According to the recently discovered SkyKing 162, it should.) Pitcher Micah Owings has the highest OPS+ (125) on the team, with Eric Byrnes (114) leading the charge among regulars. Chris Young (the other one, not ours) has hit 28 homers but driven in just 51 runs. That is really hard to do, although hitting .193/.256/.340 with men on base helps.

The rotation has been solid, but with the exception of perpetual Cy Young candidate Brandon Webb, unspectacular. Doug Davis and Livan Hernandez soak up innings, and Owings has that whole “great hitter” thing going for him. The bullpen, though, is where this pitching staff shines. Arizona features five relievers who have worked 40+ games and posted sub-3.00 ERAs. Combined, they’ve given the Diamondbacks 267 innings of 2.66 ERA. (The Padres “big five” have a collective 3.21 ERA over 285.1 IP.)

All four games between the two teams, who are separated by three games in the NL West entering the series, start at 7:05 p.m. PT. Here are your pitching matchups:

Mon: Jake Peavy (14-5, 2.21) vs Livan Hernandez (9-8, 4.96)
Tue: Justin Germano (6-7, 4.24) vs Brandon Webb (14-8, 2.63)
Wed: Greg Maddux (10-9, 3.90) vs Micah Owings (6-7, 4.69)
Thu: ??? vs Yusmeiro Petit (2-4, 5.48) or Doug Davis (11-11, 4.09)

I have no idea who will start for San Diego on Thursday. Could be Chris Young, could be Clay Hensley (if Young goes to DL), could be Jack Cassel. Probably won’t be Tim Stauffer

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see LynchMob post the PPR for awhile… And thus, you can resume complaining about my selectivity. ;-) Just kidding, but I had to stick with my, “You will not see…” theme. Seriously, big thanks to Howard and Geoff for covering for me while I was in Virginia for two weeks.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Tacoma 5, Portland 2

No significant performances…


San Antonio 9, Frisco 0

Chase Headley: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B, 2 BB, SO
Chad Huffman: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 4 RBI; HR, BB, SO, SF
Joshua Geer: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


Lake Elsinore 2, Inland Empire 1

David Freese: 3 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B – 52 XBH on season; 30 doubles



Short Season-A

Tri-City 4, Eugene 3

Kellen Kulbacki: 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR, SO
Mat Latos: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR


AZL Royals 10, AZL Padres 4

Edgar Garzon: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B
Simon Castro: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR


Mat Latos is quietly having quite a debut season… His 4.05 ERA and 48 hits in 46.2 IP are less than impressive. But his 17/60 BB/SO ratio with 1 HR allowed is pretty sick and likely indicative of future success…

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Tacoma 6, Portland 0

Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR


San Antonio 1, Corpus Christi 0

Chase Headley: 2 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2 BB, SO
Cesar Ramos: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR


Island Empire 7, Lake Elsinore 4

No significant performances…


Game 1: Fort Wayne 5, South Bend 4

Eric Sogard: 2 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; BB
Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SB

Game 2: South Bend 4, Fort Wayne 1

Eric Sogard: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; HR, SO

Short Season-A

Vancouver 7, Eugene 3

Luis Durango: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SB
Kellen Kulbacki: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR
Jeremy Hefner: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR


AZL Padres 13, AZL Athletics 7

Jeudy Valdez: 4 AB, 3 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; BB, 2 SO, 2 SB


Jared Wells has been deemed a failure… And he has failed, as a starting pitcher. However, as a reliever he has posted the following numbers:

2-1 with 3.26 ERA in 38.2 IP with 36 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 0 HR, 17 BB, 42 SO

…Conversion complete.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Portland 5, Tacoma 3

Jared Wells: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR – One-out save!


Game 1: Corpus Christi 3, San Antonio 2

Mike Ekstrom: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR

Game 2: San Antonio 4, Corpus Christi 0

Matt Antonelli: 1 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; 2 BB, SF
Will Venable: 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR,
Chase Headley: 3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 2 SO
Colt Morton: 3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 3 SO
Dirk Hayhurst: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR


Inland Empire 6, Lake Elsinore 2

David Freese: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; HR, SO
Cory Luebke: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR – Hi-A debut

[Ed note: Monday U-T has an article on Luebke.]


Fort Wayne 5, South Bend 1

Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR, BB, 2 SO, SB
Aaron Breit: 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR – more please!

Short Season-A

Vancouver 9, Eugene 8

Kellen Kulbacki: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 4 RBI; HR, BB, SO, CS
Jeremy McBryde: 4.0 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR


AZL Rangers 6, AZL Padres 5

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; BB, SB


Nothing more to say…

Welcome back home, Peter, and thanks for once again delivering the goods. Go Padres!

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44 Responses »

  1. Nice to have you back peter!

  2. Welcome back Peter!

    Dude Kellen Kulbacki had a nice weekend!!!

    I see that you mentioned Dirk Hayhurst in the PPR today. Although he’s not a real prospect and probably will never see the bigs I really like this guy. He does a really cool piece every once in a while for Baseball America called the Non Prospect Diary. He talks about day to day stuff for a regular guy in the minors. Here is the link to the last one that I thought was really good.

  3. I think this video is appropriate for this week!

  4. The real disaster is going to come on Friday when we are treated to antoher Stauffer/Ledezma start

  5. Sick of hearing that SD is last in hitting? We’re not . Arizona is now last in the NL in BA and OBP. SD is 2nd to AZ in the division in homeruns. We’re definitely trending up heading back to Petco.

  6. #3. Very nice! I had forgotten how damn good The Simpsons used to be.

  7. Does anyone have any idea what Seattle’s plan is for the catching situation? They have Jeff Clement coming up and Kenji Jojima at the bigs. I would love to have either of those dudes behind the plate for the Padres in 08. Obviously with the DH they could keep both guys if they chose to bring up Clement but I wonder if they would have any interest at moving one.

  8. #7: Jojima isn’t going any where, and Clement’s defense has been suspect and has been DHing a lot. If they were to move anyone it would most likely be Clement as they seem pretty darn happy with Joh behind the dish.

  9. At this point in the season, my biggest concern is our pitching situation. The word on CY has been conspicuosly mum since mid-week last week, and I’m concerned that he may not be progressing as well as had originally hoped.

    I hope that Germano can continue to find quality starts, but I’m hesitant to lay our playoff hopes completely at his feet. That said, if CY does get healthy, we could dominate any series with Peavy/Young/Maddux. Given the way that playoff series’ are structured, we could conceivably make it with just those three, right?

  10. 8.

    Yeah I kinda figured that. Clement is the one I am more interested in anyways. If he has defense issue’s how good is his bat?

  11. Well Johjima has 1 more year on his current deal at 5.2M for 2008. Additionally he is actually not a FA after 08(as has been widely reported) he will still be under their control for another 3 seasons after 08.

    The 1 guy from the Mariners organization whom would be a perfect fit in San Diego(but they would never deal) would be Adam Jones.

  12. 9: Look at the other guys being started in the fifth spot for other teams. Brian Lawrence with the Mets, Petit with the D-Backs, Wells with the Dodgers, Dessens for the Rockies, Carlyle for the Braves, etc. Every team has huge pitching issues.

    In a short series, the Padres matchup up extremely well with any team with Peavy-Young-Maddux. Against the Mets, Peavy goes against Maine, Young against Oliver Perez, and Maddux against Pedro (ooh, that would be a great matchup). Against the Cubs, it’s Peavy-Zambrano, Young-Rich Hill, Maddux-Ted Lilly. Against the D-Backs, Peavy-Webb, Young-Davis, Maddux-Hernandez. Almost all of those matchups overwhelmingly favor us.

  13. #10: Eh so so I guess, he’s hitting .267/.365/.492. He’s got 19 Dingers this year – he’s a dead pull hitter. He’s upped his walks a bit and brought down his strike outs a tad as well.

    And the more I look at it, the more I noticed he’s splitting even time between DHing and being behind the dish.

    Here’s his stats via First Inning –

  14. 2 … WOW, now I’m a Dirk fan also … THANKS, KRS1 … the honesty in that diary was wrenching …

  15. 13.



    Seriously. I think he gives really good honest insight.

  16. 15 … agree’d … because my definition of “really good honest insight” is something that someone else says or writes that aligns with what’s inside me but that I don’t have the guts to reveal (ie. struggle with publicly) …

  17. I’m wondering why the Padres keep optioning Hensley? I guess that means that Young is going to make his start (or go on the DL) since Hensley would have to wait 10 days before being recalled unless he replaces someone going on the DL. I’m not sure how the whole option thing works — who has them, how many you get — does anyone know? Of course, I’m not too happy with the way they’ve been jerking Clay around — does anyone think that Ledesma is better than him?

  18. -Every player has 3 options, which are actually option years because only 1 is used per season.

    -A player can be sent back and forth as many times as the club wishes during those 3 years

  19. #19 Learned something new today. Thanks Mark!

  20. Oops..I meant I was replying to #19, not that Tony learned something today.

  21. I should add that options are only used once players are on the 40 man roster

  22. 19/22 … right on … here’s what MLB says …

    I recall that this skips a few corner cases …

  23. From ESPN Today…Subscription req’d so I thought I would share the Padres piece…
    The Padres’ G-force
    The Padres found something on their recent road trip that they had been missing for most of the season — their offense. The Padres’ batters knocked out 81 hits in the six-day road trip, batting .345 as a team. The hot hitting came at a good time for the Padres, who are vying for a playoff spot but rank third from the bottom of the league in team batting average.

    A big part of the damage over the past week was done by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and shortstop Khalil Greene. The two infielders had identical road trips. Each went 12-for-28 with four extra-base hits, and both swung the bat more aggressively than they had prior to the trip back east:

    Hitter Before past six games Past six games
    Adrian Gonzalez 48.8 percent 59.4 percent
    Khalil Greene 49.0 percent 59.6 percent

    Gonzalez can be a selective hitter when he has the count in his favor. He has taken 31 percent of pitches in the strike zone on hitter’s counts this season. However, over the past two series, he pulled the trigger on nine of the 10 pitches he saw in the strike zone and ended up with three hits in four at-bats.

    Greene is more of a first-pitch taker. He has let 71 percent of first pitches in the strike zone go by without taking a hack this season. But he swung at eight of 17 first pitches in the zone over the past six games and went 2-for-3 in those at-bats.

    The similarities continue for Gonzalez and Greene when looking ahead to Monday’s matchup against Diamondbacks starter Livan Hernandez. Greene is 2-for-14 (.143) and Gonzalez is 3-for-13 (.231) against Hernandez in their careers. But both hitters have taken Hernandez deep — Gonzalez doing so twice. All three home runs came on sliders from the Arizona right-hander.

    Both hitters have hit right-handed fastballs very well over the past week. Greene is 5-for-9 with a double, and Gonzalez is 4-for-8 with two homers against righty heat. Let’s see if that and the other mirrored trends continue in San Diego.

  24. 25: Great piece Mike! Who would have ever thought that Khalil and Adrian would have identical offensive stats in a series? That’s definitely a big step forward for Khalil.

  25. What would be more helpful is having KG not swing at balls out of the strike zone when he is behind in the count.

  26. 27: Bingo. Easier said than done, apparently.

  27. I understand the cursory logic of dropping Wells; he had been horrid away from Petco, looked done. But, given we don’t really have a 5th starter, was the front office saying the Stauffer/Ledezma/Somebody was better than Wells? Or were there financial considerations, like LA is picking up Wells salary? Does anyone know how that works?

    If there were not any considerations, I disagree with the drop. Yes, Wells has been bad, but he has had some good starts, so he seems better than the dreary options.

  28. Basically, they didn’t feel that Wells was a better starter than Germano/Hensley/Ledezma (hah!) at this point, and he can’t warm up quickly enough to be a useful reliever. He’s either a starter or nothing, and if he’s not a starter he’s just wasting a bullpen arm. I would rather they found some weird reason to DL the guy and bring him back up in September when the rosters expanded. Two weeks off of the rigors and grind of August baseball certainly helped Boomer regain some of his form against the Dodgers, but the Padres couldn’t afford to do that while he remained on the roster.

    As for Hensley: if they could send Ledezma down to AAA I think they would have done so instead of sending Hensley down, but that’s how it goes when you’re trying to keep your roster healthy in August.

  29. Wells did give up 10 runners in 5 IP which is hardly an improvement, Ledezma is out of options.

  30. 30: I think the plan was for Clay Hensley to be the 5th starter. Unfortunately, CY went down, necessitating the Stauffer/Ledesma combo. And that combo better come with fries.

  31. 32: right, duh, my math was off; normal is: peavy-cy-maddux-germano-hensley

    cy goes down, we are dipping into the 6th starter, which we don’t really have.

    do we get any financial pop from LA picking him up or is it that we eat it and LA negotiates a separate deal?

    man; i like tim; it hurts to watch someone so mismatched.

  32. Well, the Pads were/would be paying him $170K a start for starts 11-27. Am I remembering correctly that incentive?

  33. There were rumors that Wells wanted the team that signed him to honor the terms of his Padres contract meaning that he would make money for every start between 11 and 27. I assume that the Dodgers are honoring that contract.

  34. Anyone know the starting lineups ?

  35. OT – Infielder-outfielder Russell Branyan was designated for assignment to make room for Utley. Branyan was 2-for-9 with two homers and five RBIs in seven games.

  36. So were calling up Ramos to take the 5th TBD spot right?

  37. Lynch! Thanks…need to look at the DBacks lineup so I can research some heckling material!

  38. The D-backs lead-off hitter’s OBP = .288 … hmmm ….

  39. Anybody have any real good info on Chris Young (AZ) here’s all I could find out

    Dec 20, 2005: Arizona Diamondbacks traded Javier Vazquez and cash considerations to the Chicago White Sox for Orlando
    Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino and Chris Young.
    Jun 5, 2001: Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round in 2001

    prone to groin injury

  40. Whoa check this out Chris Young Stats VS Scott Hariston…CYAZ is the reason why we got Scott.

    Scott Hariston
    2006 before callup
    .323 Avg | 22 2B | 26 HR | 81 RBI | .407 OBP

    Chris Young
    ..276 Avg | 32 2B | 21 HR | 77 RBI | .363 OBP

    I think I found some heckle material

  41. 25 A little evidence at a time.It’s a slow process, but someday ………