Learning to Drive

Hard to offer meaningful commentary on a game that wasn’t televised. I assume from the 10 runs and five homers that the offense performed well. Either that or Micah Owings pitched like… well, you get the idea.

Padres at Ballhype

As you know, I’ve been doing some work with Ballhype of late. Just wanted to give everyone the heads-up on something that I should have pimped a long time ago: a group for Padres fans. This is one more way to connect with folks who dig the Friars as much as we do. Give it a spin if you’re so inclined…

It seems weird that a guy with 10 home runs this late in the season could have three multiple-homer games, but that’s Brian Giles for you. And congrats to Adrian Gonzalez for establishing a new career high with 25 homers.

Gonzalez had a tough stretch earlier in the year after he fouled a ball off his foot, but otherwise he’s been just as good in his second season as he was in his first. Actually, he’s been better in ’07. Forget batting average, and focus on these:

Adrian Gonzalez’ Development as a Hitter
Statistics are courtesy of ESPN and are through games of September 3, 2007.
2006 631 3.90 .083 .196 .364 1.42
2007 601 3.79 .092 .219 .432 0.92

Most of this is pretty straightforward. Gonzalez is drawing more walks this year and hitting the ball with greater authority.

One number I find fascinating is the P/PA. Gonzalez is seeing fewer pitches per plate appearance and yet his on-base skills have improved. This seems like the patiently aggressive philosophy in action: Let ‘er rip or let it go.

The other number that stands out to me is Gonzalez’ groundball-to-flyball ratio. First off, how does a guy with his “speed” break a .300 batting average while hitting a ton of grounders? Second, the fact that Gonzalez is hitting so many more balls in the air this year reinforces what the increased ISO already suggests: he is still learning to drive the ball.

Kinda scary when you think about it…

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see much more minor league baseball. The San Antonio Missions and Lake Elsinore Storm are each head to the playoffs. And I’m not entirely certain what’s going on with the Eugene Emeralds…

[Ed note: The Emeralds have games at home Tuesday and Wednesday night. They are 21 games out of first place, so the post-season appears to be out of the question. ;-) ]

Friday, August 31, 2007


Fresno 10, Portland 9

Yordany Ramirez: 3 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; 3 BB
Clay Hensley: 5.0 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR
Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR


San Antonio 5, Midland 4

Chase Headley: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; HR
Nick Hundley: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; BB
Mike Ekstrom: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR




South Bend 4, Fort Wayne 3

Aaron Breit: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – thank you

Short Season-A

Salem-Keizer 14, Eugene 5

Luis Durango: 4 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; BB, 2 CS – NWL BA leader (.371)
Kellen Kulbacki: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B


Season complete.


I’m encouraged to see Yordany Ramirez post better numbers after being promoted (skipping a level no less): .269/.298/.385 in High-A and .315/.353/.433 in Triple-A.

[Ed note: Beware of small samples; Ramirez still isn't much of a hitter.]

Likewise after struggling for most of the season, Aaron Breit allowed 1 earned run in his last two starts (10.2 IP). Breit has a nice arm and everyone liked him coming into this season. If he resumes his 2006 level of dominance (3.08 ERA) in 2008 he’ll reinsert himself into the Padres long-term plans.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Fresno 4, Portland 1

Will Startup: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR


San Antonio 5, Corpus Christi 1

Nick Hundley: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, SO
Wade LeBlanc: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR


Lake Elsinore 12, Inland Empire 1

David Freese: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB, SB
Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI
Mike Baxter: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR, BB, SO
Corey Luebke: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR


Game 1: Great Lakes 6, Fort Wayne 4

No significant performances…

Game 2: Fort Wayne 11, Great Lakes 2

Eric Sogard: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2B, SF

Short Season-A

Eugene 4, Salem-Keizer 2

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB – Eugene debut
Kellen Kulbacki: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2B, SO


If you aren’t paying attention to Eric Sogard, you aren’t paying attention.

Sogard’s college stats (ASU):

.400/.488/.612 with 12 2B, 4 3B, and 11 HR, 39 BB, 24 SO

Sogard’s minor league numbers:

.255/.336/.365 with 11 2B, 0 3B, and 4 HR, 24 BB, 31 SO

Don’t be surprised when his numbers take a positive jump in ’08 — and no, this isn’t because Keith Law likes Sogard — I’ve been including Sogard in these reports for weeks — it’s because he’s good.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Fresno 7, Portland 6

Cedric Hunter: 0 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 1 RBI; BB – AAA debut: bases-loaded walk
Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR – 3.00 ERA as reliever


Corpus Christi 5, San Antonio 2

Chad Huffman: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SO
Will Inman: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR


Inland Empire 10, Lake Elsinore 1

David Freese: 3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO


Fort Wayne 8, Great Lakes 3

Eric Sogard: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR, SO

Short Season-A

Salem-Keizer 14, Eugene 5

No significant performances…


The more I see of Will Inman’s stats, the more I think he probably should/will be back in Double-A San Antonio for at least the beginning of ’08. He’s easily one the top pitchers in the system, but he isn’t dominating Double-A the way he has dominated every other level.

Inman’s San Antonio statistics:

3-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 41.0 IP with 33 H, 6 HR, 19 BB, 40 SO, and a .224 BAA

Inman’s composite Double-A statistics:

4-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 80.2 IP with 71 H, 13 HR, 35 BB, 82 SO, and a .241 BAA

[Ed note: The main issue with Inman right now appears to be his control. There aren't enough data points to make any firm conclusions, but this wasn't a concern with Inman in '05 or '06, so hopefully it's just part of the learning curve.]

Monday, September 3, 2007


Final regular season game…

Portland 3, Fresno 2

Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; HR, SO


Final regular season game – playoffs begin Wednesday @ Frisco

San Antonio 6, Corpus Christi 4

Matt Antonelli: 3 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; BB, SF
Chase Headley: 5 AB, 0 R, 4 H, 1 RBI; 2B


Final regular season game – playoffs begin Wednesday @ Inland Empire

Lake Elsinore 7, Inland Empire 2

David Freese: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 2 RBI
Kyle Blanks: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR
Jose Lobaton: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI
Ernesto Frieri: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR


Final regular season game…

Fort Wayne 6, Great Lakes 2

No significant performances…

Short Season-A

Eugene 12, Salem-Keizer 7

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 0 RBI, BB
Yefri Carvajal: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; SO
Mat Latos: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – only 1 HR all season


Happy Labor Day! System Sweep!

Thanks, Peter. Game 2 of the showdown in Arizona starts at 6:40 p.m. PT. We’ll have the IGD up and running about an hour before then. With luck, the first-half version of Chris Young will show up and lead the Padres to victory…

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63 Responses »

  1. Anyone have some good links at what the data says about 3 v 4 days rest? My gut says NO, but what about the data?

  2. #51: Jake has started on 3 days rest once in his career, in 2004: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, W.

  3. Thanks, GY. I was thinking more along the lines of the chapter in Baseball by the Numbers, which wrote about it. I read it awhile back, and the general summary was that teams ought to do it more often. I hoped there was a similar, online version of that or similar analyses.

    But that single data point is pretty encouraging…

  4. I’m a little worried about our catcher situation as well. Bard needs to be kept fresh, and we all know what happens when Barrett starts.

    Lynch – I fondly remember both Dave Staton and Ray McDavid…I remember begging my uncle to draft Staton on his fantasy baseball team, telling him he was gonna be the next McGwire, etc.

    Needless to say, it didn’t work out. Although, he did draft him…

    We had some teams in the lower levels back in those days – the High Desert Mavericks, etc. Matt Mieske, Bryce Florie, McDavid, Staton, Jay Gainer (another masher), Ray Holbert, Paul Faries, Jason Hardtke, Scott Sanders, Tim Worrell, Lance Painter, Darrell Sherman, Brian Johnson, Mark Ettles, Candy Sierra…etc.


  5. 53: They had a study on that in The Book. They looked at all starts made by pitchers with at least 800 PA against from 1999-2002, eliminating starts with fewer than 18 batters faced. On three days’ rest, these pitchers had a wOBA against of .369. On four days’ rest, these pitchers has a wOBA against of .352. This difference represents 1.75 standard deviations.

  6. 54 … wow, dig deep, Masticore! Candy Sierra? Ya, he was “the next big thing” on the mound!

    And from the “where are they now” basket, here’s an update on Matt Mieske …


    My Dave Staton story is pretty good … I went to see him play in San Jose in 1990 when he was playing for the Padres A-ball team in Riverside … I asked him to sign my program “Kiss My Triple Crown!” (because he’d won the Triple Crown in the Northwest league in 1989) … he looked at me and said “Really?” and just laughed and signed it … I’ll bet I still have that program stuff’d away … he was a big boy (6′ 5″) …

  7. You guys remember Brad Pounders? What about Shawn Abner (reputedly the “jewel of the Mets’ farm system” before we got him for Kevin McReynolds)? And Robbie Beckett, a lefty who could hit 99 on the radar gun but couldn’t find the plate!

    What ever happened to Dave Staton anyway? I know he came up for a few games with the Padres (in ’93 or ’94, I believe).

    Jimmy Jones, Stanley Jefferson, I could go on and on!!!

  8. One more on Dave Staton … he was a Cape Code STUD …


    “Staton won the home run crown while playing against more celebrated long-ball hitters and fellow Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Mo Vaughn.”

  9. 57 … sure, I remember Brad Pounders … he was at Witchita with Roberto Alomar (and Jerald Clark and Thomas Howard) …


    re: Abner … man, was he a *bad* major league ballplayer :-(

    re: Beckett … flame thrower … he was Mark Phillips before Mark Phillips …

    re: Jefferson … I don’t think of him without thinking of Shane Mack … who was one of the few to have a nice MLB run …

  10. #59: Phillips didn’t throw as hard as Beckett and had much better control. Beckett’s inability to throw strikes is virtually in a class by itself.

  11. I still have my Brad Pounders, Alomar brothers, Randall Byers Whichita AA cards.

    I believe KT pitched for that team as well, but I could be wrong.

    Shawn Abner. What a bust.

    I thought Candy Sierra and Staton were gonna be the next big Padre stars. Yikes.

  12. 61 … Nope, KT played AA at Beaumont in ’83/’84/’85 …


    Perhaps you are confusing him with Kevin Brown? Check out that link in #59 for the ’87 Wichita roster …

  13. I know I have a minor league card of KT’s with the Alomars. It must have been from 1988 Las Vegas then.

    That team had Rob Nelson on it, another guy that seemed sure to mash…