Friday Links (29 Feb 08)

Happy Leap Day. If you haven’t participated in the Opening Day Roster contest, what’s up with that? The winner receives a copy of the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual.

Meanwhile, we’ve got links:

  • reports that Brian Giles is feeling good. So is his surgically repaired right knee. [Kevin]
  • John Walsh at Hardball Times is searching for baseball’s best pitch. The fastballs of Heath Bell, Chris Young, and Jake Peavy get some love, as do the slider of Peavy and Young (!). [Masticore317]
  • Rich, Sully, and friends are doing their annual Two on Two over at Baseball Analysts. As always, their commentary makes for an entertaining read, and this year’s take on the NL West is no exception. The gem here comes from Rich:

    See I believe San Diego’s offense is nearly as underrated as the pitching is overrated. The infielders can flat out hit. Adrian Gonzalez is perhaps the most under appreciated hitter in the league. He blistered the ball on the road (.295/.358/.570 with 20 HR) and during the second half (.302/.356/.538). Kevin Kouzmanoff improved his OPS from .673 in the first half to .890 in the second half. While a liability in the field, Kouz should rank as one of the best offensive third basemen in the NL this season. Khalil Greene has been needlessly dissed for far too long. Throughout his career, the four-year veteran has hit .228/.288/.370 at home and .280/.335/.515 on the road.

    Whoa, enough of the crazy talk. Someone should write a book with this sort of thing in it. And people should buy that book. Lots of copies, even. [Jim Parish]

  • Baseball America has released its list of Top 100 prospects for 2008. Two Padres are represented: Chase Headley at #32 and Matt Antonelli at #50. [Tom Waits]
  • According to the U-T, Paul McAnulty is getting some work at third base again this spring. Further down, there’s a little blurb on first-base prospect Kyle Blanks, who homered at Petco Park when the Storm played a game there last summer. Punch line: That was Blanks’ first trip to a big-league ballpark. [LynchMob]
  • Jason at examines the spring training position battles. He likes Tim Stauffer as the #5 starter. Gutsy call there.
  • John Sickels compares Padres right-hander Mat Latos and Angels right-hander Jordan Walden. Speaking of gutsy calls, Sickels rates Latos as the 46th best prospect in all of baseball. [LynchMob]
  • Tim Sullivan at the U-T talks about Chris Young’s desire to make greater use of his change-up this year. That’s great, but what interests me is this tidbit from GM Kevin Towers:

    At the A-ball levels, that is the one pitch that we’re adamant about our pitchers learning. It is truly the equalizer. There are pitchers in the major leagues who have a below-average breaking ball — (Greg) Maddux — who win on fastball command and a change-up.

    It’s a difference-maker. Guys who are able to throw a change-up in the big leagues and command their fastball can be successful with those two pitches.

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone who follows the Padres and their emphasis on disrupting a hitter’s timing. I wonder if other organizations are as aggressive about teaching their young pitchers to change speeds? [Phantom]

  • Rookie left-hander Wade LeBlanc is being mentioned as a darkhorse candidate for the #5 spot. You guessed it, he’s got a killer change-up.
  • The guys at MadFriars chat with Matt Eddy, who wrote the chapter on the Padres in this year’s Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Speaking of the MadFriars, I’ve got a Q&A with Denis and John scheduled to run early next week. You won’t want to miss that.
  • Herija Green at Bugs and Cranks thinks the Padres are a “fourth-place” team. How original.
  • Someone in Chicago doesn’t hate Mark Prior. Presumably he’ll be run out of town as well.
  • Don’t look now, but the Padres have a tough interleague schedule. We’ll see what impact this has on the race.
  • Former Padres shortstop Bill Almon has been nominated for the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Almon was the first pick overall in the 1974 draft, when the Padres took him ahead of Dale Murphy (#5), Garry Templeton (#13), and Lance Parrish (#16), among many others.
  • Tom Krasovic at the U-T takes a good look a the Padres left field situation. Krasovic gets extra bonus points for working in a Bill James reference.
  • I’m rooting for Jody Gerut to make the club. From a recent U-T article:

    Gerut majored in history at Stanford, with an emphasis on Russian history in the 20th century. “My thesis was on Soviet patent law, which is a contradiction in terms.”

    I’m pretty sure “expertise in Soviet patent law” qualifies as an intangible.

  • Brock for Broglio interviews Tom Tango. Closer to home, MB at Friar Forecast chats with Padres front office staffer Chris Long. Good stuff.

Catch even more links at

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Dup dor a’az Mubster.

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114 Responses »

  1. Last year when we moved Cust (even after he bashed a half dozen homers in first week and a half) the point was made at that time by many on this blog that there was no room for him on the roster at that time. (Cruz, Sledge, Branyan were ahead of him on the depth chart).

    This year when I cried for a decent vet to be inked via a free agent signing the same arguement was made that the “in house” candidates were better and that any free agents would be “too expensive”. Now we are looking at the likes of Gerut, Davanon, Ambres to be top candidates to get 200 plate appearances this year -now we are actually considering the prospect of throwing Tony Clark out in left and the Pads could have had a vet like Shannon Stewart or a Kenny Lofton (or the countless others who signed for dirt cheap) for next to nothing…

  2. 100: The disaster occurred one week before the end of the season. Nobody’s available at that point. Even if they are, it’s for a week, they’re ineligible for the playoffs. What CF vet do you think was still on waivers at that point who would have been better than Clark? Does anyone really believe that the Braves put Andruw on waivers for S’s and G’s 7 days before the end of the year? He may been on, but that usually happens between the non-waiver deadline and early September.

    Even the Red Sox, one of the deepest franchises around, would have been using a Brady Clark-type player if Crisp and Ellsbury BOTH got hurt on the same day one week before the end of the season. Or they’d have shifted the overmatched Drew to center, about the same as us using OG there. Probably the same number of balls drop.

    Clark was fine in CF for 6 games until game 163. And anybody can have a bad game. Mike Cameron had a few early in the year.

    101: Agree on Cust. I think way too many people bought into “he’s so bad defensively we couldn’t possibly use him.” When Agon was struggling badly it would have been great to give him a few days off. He could have played LF in smaller parks and been the first option as a pinch-hitter, instead of Blum. Jenga was a better overall fit as a starter, but he wasn’t around full-time, either.

    Stewart and Lofton are quite likely to be not-better than the players in-house. Stewart’s OPS+ the last 3 years have been 87, 88, and 101. One out of three years he’s been average. Lots of people are average.

  3. Nice inning for LeBlanc against some semi-respectable Mariners. If Jerry Coleman can be believed, he induced a chopper from Vidro, struck out Norton on a curveball (I’d guess it was really a change), and got a solidly hit grounder to second from Beltre. He got ahead of all three batters.

  4. And Headley just cleared the batter’s eye on a homer. Nice.

  5. Next at bat, Headley doubles off of the center field wall.

  6. Woooo! Padres win! Sinisi drives in the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth!

  7. haha for fun

    5th starter

    Leblanc +1 (1 IP, SO)
    Germano +1 (2.1 IP, 2 SO)
    Stauffer +1 (2 IP, BB, SO)
    Rusch -1 (1.1 IP, 1 ER, BB)
    Estes -1 (2/3 IP, 6 ER, 2 BB)
    J Wells 0 (2.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 SO)

    IF Bench
    Crabbe +2 (2 1B, 2B, 1 RBI) 3-6 6 AB, 3 Gms
    Rodriguez- 0 (1B, 2 RBI) 1-3 3 AB, 2 Gms
    E Gonzalez +1 (BB, 2 1B, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI) 4-6 6 AB, 3 Gms
    Stansberry -1 (2 BB, 1 RBI) 0-4 4 AB, 3 Gms
    Robles- 0 (1B) 1-5 5 AB, 2 Gms

    lemme know what you think, or any arguments.

    good win today

  8. wells had one bad game one good one… whereas rusch had just one game and it didnt go as well. just to explain that one

    robles i guess could also be a -1

  9. 107: You need a left field battle with Hairston, Headley, Gerut, and Davanon. I think you should keep Crabbe at only +1. He got picked off today and his single was mostly seeing eye.

  10. a few interesting notes from Corey Brock at …

    Single-game tickets for the 2008 season went on sale Saturday through,, by phone at 1-877-FRIARTIX and also at the PETCO Park box office. The Padres sold more than 50,000 tickets during the first three hours. The regular-season opener on March 31 sold out.

    Black said that relievers Kevin Cameron (hamstring) and Justin Hampson (shoulder) continue to progress, though there’s no timetable for a return to action, but neither is expected to pitch in a Cactus League game for a week.

  11. 94: Yes, you’re right, but I was trying to make the point Tom Waits made more directly in 97; I meant it was a tough break to lose both Bradley and Cameron to injury at that point in the season and any team would have had a hard time replacing those sorts of players, at that time of the season with someone much better than Clark.

  12. OT, but baseball-related. I went to the USD-Missouri game out at Cunningham Stadium today…first college game I’ve ever been to, so it was a little bit of a different experience, but still cool. Cunningham is a very interesting facility, but it’s a neat little place to watch a game. USD took home the win 5-4 with a nice 3-run rally in the 6th. The best part about it? Being able to watch live baseball again. Spring is here. :-)

    Anyway, I took a bunch of photos during the game for my own enjoyment; I posted them online for a Missou fan who wanted to see them, so I thought I’d pass the link along here as well. Enjoy!

  13. #112: Pretty sure the best part is that USD won. ;-)

    Glad you got a chance to experience the college game. It is different but a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing pix.

  14. 113. I guess I’m impartial since I go to Cal State San Marcos, but it was nice to see the local boys pull out a win. ;-)

    Glad you enjoyed the pictures…I usually shoot at least 1 Pads game a year, so when that comes up I’ll post those here as well.