Random Roster Notes

Brian Giles saw his first action this spring on Monday. He went 0-for-2 against the Diamondbacks in Tucscon, but who cares? The important thing is, he was in the lineup and able to play right field. Quoth Giles:

This was a pretty good test. I know it was only three innings, but the conditions weren’t that good out there. It’s a little wet in the outfield, and it’s windy and cold.

Meanwhile, Rule V draftee Callix Crabbe is pushing hard to make the Padres’ Opening Day roster. Batting eighth and starting at third base on Monday, Crabbe singled twice and doubled in three trips to the plate. He’s hitting .415 this spring, which doesn’t tell us as much as his career .369 OBP in the minors but which probably helps his chances.

And in the not-so-good-news department, relievers Kevin Cameron and Justin Hampson are dinged up a bit. Cameron broke his left thumb when a drive off the bat of Paul McAnulty hit him during batting practice. Hampson’s shoulder is bothering him. Both pitchers did a nice job for the Padres as rookies in ’07, working mostly in low-leverage situations. It’s not clear when they’ll return.

Finally, Shawn Estes continues to vie for the #5 rotation spot. He’s not pitching well at all, which isn’t really news. With each passing day, 1997 gets further and further away. Same can be said of everything in the past, I suppose.

That’s all for now; more as it happens. Go Padres!

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

41 Responses »

  1. I don’t want to go all political here, but has anyone else seen/heard/watched Obama’s speech today? It feels like one of those moments that I should remember for my entire life. It’s quite amazing.

  2. My prediction of the Padres cutting Shawn Estes last night was off unfortunately. I wonder why they are even bothering? Maybe they feel that they owe him something because he was injured last year for them? I’m not a huge believer that spring stats matter but I think I’ll make an exception in Estes’ case. Outside of 1997 he’s never really been that good. Trying to fit him into the team sounds like something the Royals or Pirates would be doing.

    However, I’m a fan of signing “retread” or underappreciated pitchers to short-term cheap deals. Since the park is going to make them look better then they really are, they can be traded for more then they are worth or the Padres can get a draft pick if leave the team via free agency. Estes is too old for him to really have any value as is Glendon Rusch probably. Kyle Lohse would have been a perfect match though.

    We talked about this yesterday — the Padres are going to have a terrible time attracting batting talent here because of the park yet the opposite should be true about pitchers. So I think they should be very aggressive in maximizing Petco’s value.

  3. I actually think one of Rusch/Germano will be acceptable as a fifth starter. I feel comfortable taking my shot with one of them.

  4. It is unfortunate about the thumb, but I read he had thrown up his hands to cover his head when it was hit. So thank goodness it was his thumb broken and not his skull! Hopefully they’ll both be back healthy soon.

  5. 1: I know what you mean.

    Germano hasn’t been tied to any story about new pitches, has he?
    Strange. I totally expected that.

    Don’t know why Estes is still here. He’s Oropesa at this point.

  6. MadFriars are reporting that Matt Bush is now throwing every day and is on target to return late in the year (ex. pitch at Instructs in the fall) … http://padres.scout.com/2/738466.html (sub only)

  7. 5: Germano was working on a cutter this spring.


    I don’t know if he’s still working on it.

  8. I don’t think Germano is a terrible option as at least he’s pretty young (turns 26 in August). However, he was a free pickup. I don’t know how a team with aspirations of making the World Series could go into the season with a contributor that they found off waivers. If Wolf stays healthy all season and Prior is effective when he comes back, it’s not a problem they need to worry about. However, if both get injured (or Prior is unable to come back) and Young gets injured, they are going to need to find a lot of starts. If Germano improves a little from last season, he could effectively fill some of them. Rusch I guess is a possibility but he hasn’t been good as a starter since 2004. Who else is there? Enrique Gonzalez or Wil Ledezma? That’s a scary thought.

  9. 8: Let me get this straight. If a Major League team deems a player to no longer be useful, then any serious team should just completely trust their assessment?

    The Mets thought Heath Bell was useless. We thought Jack Cust was useless.

    Seriously, this looks like complaining just to complain. We didn’t sign Kyle Loshe. Lets move on.

  10. Geoff, Rob Neyer blogged about your blog post , “Why can’t the Padres capture our imagination (and money)? ”

    I’m assuming you already know this.

  11. If Rusch or Estes win the 5th spot (big if) do you rearrange the rotation so not throw two lefty’s back to back?

  12. There’s a big difference between trading away a player and waiving them (Bell/Cust vs. Germano). There’s also a big difference between a starting pitcher and a reliever — I don’t have a problem with picking up a guy that was waived and sticking him in the bullpen as it definitely worked with Scott Linebrink. There aren’t too many players that have been successful long-term as either everyday players or starting pitchers that were waived.

    I’m a big believer in Randy Wolf and I hope that Mark Prior pitches like he did in 2002-2004. However, what happens if they don’t pan out? There is no contigency plan. Again, teams that hope to make the WS shouldn’t have a guy they picked up off waivers in a key spot. There is a reason players get waived.

  13. 12: “There is a reason players get waived.”

    You’re right. There certainly is. But just because a player is waived doesn’t mean he can’t be successful elsewhere. Look at Shane Victorino. When the Padres had him as a Rule V guy, he wasn’t ready. But look what he’s doing now. The Phillies gave him a shot and he proved that he was a player worth taking a risk on.

    We have guys in the instance that someone gets hurt. They may not be the sexiest options in the world, but there’s only so much you can do with a 40-man roster. You can’t sign 10 starters to contracts in the event that someone gets hurt. You need that space on your roster. Most FA starters have contracts that allow them to go elsewhere if they don’t make the big-league team.

  14. I just did a quick check of 162 game season averages for some of the pitchers listed here:

    Wolf – 12 wins – 10 losses, 206 1/3 innings and 4.25 ERA

    Estes – 12-11, 203 and 4.71 ERA

    Rusch – 8-12, 184 1/3 and 5.01

    Germano – 8-13, 171 1/3 and 5.08

    If I have to put two of these guys in my rotation give me Wolf and Germano. Germano is still young. He needs a Dave Stewart type of pitching coach. Someone to get in his face and stay there. The kid has the talent. He has flashes of brilliance. He just needs someone to push him to the next level and not cut him ANY slack.

  15. Actually I might be looking at this all wrong. I’m arguing that it seems foolish for a serious contender to go into the season with so many huge question marks. Maybe the answer is that the Padres aren’t a serious contender this season?

    Look at the rotation. Over the past three seasons, Peavy has averaged 32 starts a season, Maddux 34 (no problem there). CY has averaged 30, Wolf 14 and Prior 12 (while missing 2007). Of the other candidates, Estes has averaged 7 (missed 2007), Rusch 9 (missed 2007), while Germano has 23 last season and 56 in the minors the past three seasons (no problem there). That’s a lot of potential missed starts out of the top 5 while the main backups have serious injury or performance question marks of their own. There’s also veterans such as Enrique Gonzalez, Wil Ledezma, Clay Hensley, and Tim Stauffer and the youngsters in Leblanc, Geer and Ramos.

    There seems to be a good chance that Glendon Rusch or Wil Ledezma gets some starts for the Padres this season. What team sounds more likely to use 10 starts from those two, the Padres or the Royals/Pirates?

  16. 15: Who are the Dodgers going to use if Chad Billinsgley gets hurt? Who do the D-Backs turn to when Randy Johnson can’t go? Who’s waiting in the wings to save the Rockies?

    That’s why these guys are 5th starters/long relievers. They aren’t front-line pitchers. If we were asking Estes or Germano to be our #2 or #3 guy, you’d have a point. But all we want is league average. That’s all we need out of our 5th spot for it to be better than it was last year.

    Name me a team that has premier talent as their #6 and #7 starters. There just aren’t that many people out there. Most teams are moving people from the bullpen to the rotation to fill slots (Phillies moving Myers, Yankees potentially moving Joba). Wouldn’t that kind of move cause more alarm?

  17. There’s a huge difference between losing someone as a Rule V pick and just simply waiving someone from your 25 man roster. That’s like saying that the Astros waived Johan Santana — they made a huge mistake but no one thought he was ready for the majors in 2000 (in fact he wasn’t). Germano is in a different situation then Victorino was for the Phillies in 2005, or Crabbe and Guevara this season for the Padres. If players aren’t going to be in key roles, you can gamble on a player’s potential (it worked for them last season with Cameron). But the garbage man in the bullpen (or defensive replacement) is a lot different then the 5th starter. The Phillies dumped Germano because they thought he had no potential and wasn’t going to be good (and this from a team that lacks starting pitching). I think it’s great that he’s managed to overcome that and pitch in the majors but that also speaks toward his long term potential.

  18. 10 … yup, that got a few mentions in yesterday’s comments … you might also have missed this from the China broadcast …


    … it’s been a good week for plugs!

  19. Game on!


    Tony Clark’s double gets Padres on the board in top of 1st …

  20. i know spring stats dont mean much, but is it unrealistic that we might buy low on a guy like Todd Linden, he’s tearing up Spring Training. The A’s basically cut him already.

    and his OPS is some obscene 1.425 or something.

    take a flier on him, it couldnt be worse than sledge defensively and the offensive upside could be really nie..

  21. 20: It’s all on his ability to play CF well. All our corner OF have been hitting.

  22. 20: I thought about that possibility when I first saw Linden’s numbers, but I think we have a serious logjam in the OF right now. Gerut and Crabbe have played very well, and Headley and P-Mac have hit like maniacs. I’m not sure there’s room for Linden.

  23. OT … GY says he’s “out of my element” when it comes to March Madness … I’ve created a “group” at ESPN … join it at your own risk :-)

    Get in the action now: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/group?groupID=26015

    Game Front: http://games.espn.go.com/tcmen/frontpage

    Group: LynchMob Invitational
    Password: mcanulty

    Bring it!

  24. 14: Aside from 162 game averages being pretty silly, especially when it comes to pitchers, imo, judging a pitcher by W-L and raw ERA is pretty useless. You’re better off at looking at ratios such as WHIP, BB/IP, K/IP and K/BB to evaluate performance, and then there are a LOT of other considerations when you turn it around to projecting performance. And, personally, having a pitching coach who will get in a guys face isn’t one I would use; ymmv.

  25. Rich Lederer has done analyses of pitchers according to two axes: K per batter faced and GB per batter faced. Kind of interesting; note especially his comments on the “Southwest Quadrant”.

  26. 14, 24: All the screaming in the world isn’t going to make Germano into anything more than a 5th starter on a good team. He already seems to be getting the most out of his modest (for a professional baseball player) physical talent. You’d think a Realist would understand the relative importance of physical ability and training versus intangibles.

  27. I’m not saying that the Padres should have a replacement for everyone of their players, that would be unrealistic. I understand that if Jake Peavy or Khalil Greene gets hurt and misses the season, the Padres are screwed and won’t contend. However, if in your rotation 3 of your top five pitchers went on the DL at some point last season (and one of them has never pitched a full-season in the majors and another hasn’t had an injury free season since 2003), while among the other candidates you have players with no time in the majors, 2 that missed all of 2007 (and weren’t even particularly effective the few years before that), a pitcher that was cut by the Phillies last season and had a 4.98 ERA in the 2nd half of the season, and guys with a 5.28 career ERA and 5.82 career ERA — wouldn’t you have some worries about the pitching staff?

    And if that team is planning to start a CF who has averaged 114 games the past two seasons and is coming off his worse season since he rookie year and is turning 38 in June while at the same time not have an adequate backup — that has to be a worry, doesn’t it?

    Maybe the Padres aren’t cheap, maybe the players on hand can fill those holes. You would think that the Padres are due for some luck after their bad luck last season.

  28. 27: That is the most dangerous thing about the way the roster is constructed. Their depth for the most injury-prone players consists almost entirely of other injury-prone players.

  29. 19 … McAnulty will an HR!

  30. 17: “The Phillies dumped Germano because they thought he had no potential and wasn’t going to be good (and this from a team that lacks starting pitching). ”

    As I said at the time, that’s why teams like the Phillies lack pitching, they can’t identify assets they already have, let alone target them for cheap pickups. I don’t think for a second that KT and staff knew Germano would be so good initially but they were able to see past the lack of a 96mph fastball and realize the guy can be a contributor. At best he’s a journeyman 5th starter type but if he can at least give you innings and remain competitive that’s enough for his role.

    Don’t count out Hensley, I think he has a real shot at coming back and being at least league average and contributing in that 4th/5th slot. From what I’ve read his shoulder tear was fairly minor and he’s pain free for the first time in over a year.

  31. Is anyone else worried that Khalil might be having some vision problems? He’s had some shaky defense thus far this spring and he’s struggled mightily in ST. He absolutely raked in ST last year, and he just seems to be incredibly ineffective this year.

  32. 19 … Ledezma with 4 IP … 2 H + 2 BB … 3 Ks … 0 Rs … nice line.

  33. 30 … good point about Hensley … I think you’re right that his injury was labeled as “minor” … let’s hope …

  34. 31 … sign me up for “worried about KG” … he’s 0-for-2 with a fielding error today …

  35. 19 … Edgar Gonzalez with an RBI double … Bass with another nice inning … Padres up 5-0 going to bottom of 9th …

  36. TK @ UT looks at roster cuts he is expecting will happen tonight or tomorrow morning …


  37. I don’t know about KG’s vision, but if I were running a franchise or had anything to do with the medical side of the house for a franchise, I would require every single player, including the minor leaguers, to have a complete visual exam prior to starting ST. There is no game which relies more on visual acuity than baseball and with the dollars at stake it seems like a “no-brainer” to me. I wonder how many clubs, if any, do this.

  38. *Many* interesting notes / insights about Jake in this article …


    … I’m not sure how/why he pitched yesterday given the fact that “The doctors and trainers told me not to pitch”??? What’s the point of their opinion?

  39. 35 – Bass! Another scoreless inning…

  40. 36: Cuts were made at 8 EST. 12 Players reassigned to minor league camp, including Edgar Gonzalez. 4 players were optioned to the Minors. Rule V draftee Mike Gardner was outrighted back to where ever the hell he came from.

  41. Trying to put more value in PMac’s Hr against lefty Danks, but he gave up 1 HR in 20 AB vs L batters ( slightly higher vs R batters) in 07. AL average was 1 HR in 29 AB.