Is it my imagination, or are these weekly link roundups becoming a tad unwieldy? Would it be better to do a link post every day or two (not as a substitute for my normal daily thing, but in addition to it)? Let me know what you think…
- Mike Bauman at Padres.com notes that Jake Peavy is working on his changeup (h/t LynchMob), which could make him an even better pitcher. Better? Well, he just won the Cy Young Award unanimously, so that might be stretching it. Still, it’s good that Peavy is making an effort to refine his game. That gives him a better chance to maintain his current level of productivity. Love this quote from Peavy:
I’m not anywhere close to where I want to be. In this game it’s hard to be consistent, to stay on top of your game. There’s no doubt in my mind that I know that I’ve got to work, and keep working and continually get better. And I look to do that.
Laurels? What laurels?
- Speaking of Peavy, his number 22 will be retired at Lake Elsinore before the Storm’s home opener on Thursday, April 3. He’s also scheduled to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. That’d be a good time to bust out the changeup.
- Heck, while we’re on the subject, Josh Kalk at Hardball Times offers a detailed look at Peavy’s pitches (h/t Pat).
- The U-T’s Bill Center writes about Adrian Gonzalez’s defense at first base (h/t Phantom). This is the position I played many, many moons ago, and I consider myself a connoisseur of good defense around the bag. Gonzalez isn’t the best I’ve seen — that would probably be J.T. Snow (didn’t see enough of Keith Hernandez back in the day) — but his instincts and footwork are outstanding. Regardless of how much difference it makes in terms of wins and losses, he is a pleasure to watch.
- Speaking of first basemen, the Padres acquired Justin Huber from the Royals for a PTBNL. This is a typical under-the-radar move that many fans will cite as evidence of the club’s unwillingness to spend money but which just might pay dividends. Not long ago, Huber, a former catcher, was a top prospect in the Mets and Royals organizations. Prospect guru John Sickels rated him a B+ as recently as 2006 (h/t LynchMob). From the Baseball America 2003 Prospect Handbook:
Strong and intense, he has the bat speed and power to hit 25-30 home runs a year. Huber understands the strike zone.
Yes, that was 5 years ago. Scott Hairston was the Diamondbacks’ #1 prospect in ’03 and it took him a while to arrive. Maybe Huber turns out to be something, maybe not. What’s the harm in finding out?
- The U-T’s Tim Sullivan talks about Chase Headley and the role “service time” may have played in making the decision to start him at Triple-A Portland (h/t LynchMob). Yeah, that and the fact that he’s never played outfield in a pro game that counts for anything.
- Sure, the outfield is kind of a mess (h/t Coronado Mike), but whatever. Headley will be in San Diego soon enough.
- Tom Krasovic reports that Mark Prior threw about 60 pitches on Thursday, including several to live hitters, and that his fastball was in the low-80s. My advice remains to forget that Prior even exists.
- MB has a new top 30 prospects posted at Friar Forecast. This one is contributed by guest author Padman.
- The Baseball Crank examines the NL West (h/t Pat) and, like everyone else, isn’t impressed with the Padres:
Pity the poor Padres, still working off a 2004-07 blueprint for winning the NL West – over the past 4 years, the division winner has averaged 88 wins a year. This roster might, if things break right, be up to the task of winning in the high 80s against weak intra-division competition – but against a deep and talented trio of opponents, the Pads are just outclassed, and should be officially in rebuilding mode by midsummer, looking to shop Giles, Maddux, Iguchi, and possibly Clark and Edmonds (Hoffman, I assume, will remain a Padre to the bitter end).
He’s got the Padres at 77-85. It is good to be underestimated.
- Tom Verducci at SI.com previews the National League (h/t Phantom). His take on the Padres: “San Diego is a poor offensive team.” Bzzzt, read up on park factors and take another guess. I’m okay with “average” (I disagree, but I’m okay with it), but “poor” simply isn’t accurate.
- SI.com also predicts a 79-83 record and fourth-place finish for the Padres (h/t Kevin). Does this bother me? Not really, but I’m sure I’d feel much worse if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.
- Now that I’ve said nasty things about Sports Illustrated, I should also mention that according to the good folks at Sacrifice Bunt, the magazine recently made its entire archives available online at no cost to you and me. That’s crazy cool.
- Kevin Czerwinski at MiLB.com talks Padres prospects (h/t LynchMob). The continued infatuation with Cesar Ramos baffles me. I hope to heck he makes me take back every last bad thing I’ve ever said about him (well, about his pitching; I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all), but I’m not counting on it.
- Denis Savage at MadFriars gives the scoop (h/t LynchMob) on some minor leaguers who were released. None of these guys made it out of the “Other” section in the chapter on minor leaguers in the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual. You’re still telling folks to buy the book, right? No pressure, but I’m starting to run low on funds.
- Zagz points us to a report that Preston Gomez, original manager of the NL Padres, was critically injured after being hit by a truck in Blythe, Calif. My thoughts are with Mr. Gomez.
- Rob Neyer lists his top 50 players over the next five years (h/t Schlom). First off, big thanks to ESPN for letting everyone read this. Second, Peavy is pretty obvious (although #23 might be a shade low), but nice job slipping Gonzalez in at #38 — ahead of Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard, no less. Well played.
- Fun times for my alma mater (h/t Didi). First USD won its first ever NCAA hoops tourney game. Then Brian Matusz fanned a school-record 16 batters. Then Josh Romanski tossed a no-hitter. I actually got to attend those last two events. First time I’d ever seen a no-no in person. Congrats, Josh, and go Toreros!
There you have it. Again, let me know if you want me to do link posts more often. Also, the Padres and Angels play tonight at Petco Park. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. PT, and the game will be televised on Channel 4SD. We’ll have the IGD up and running about an hour before the shindig begins. Rock on!