Geoff Young (left) and Derek Togerson on NBC 7/39's 'SportsWrap', aired March 23, 2008

As I’ve mentioned, Derek Togerson was kind enough to have me on as a guest of NBC 7/39′s “SportsWrap” this past Sunday evening. Our segment was the Padres preview, so there wasn’t really an opportunity to pimp the book. Still, we had a great time talking baseball. Some highlights:

I cited the continued development of Chase Headley as the most exciting item of the spring and said that we’d see him at some point during the season, but that the left field job probably was Scott Hairston’s for now (we taped this on March 15). I also noted that the Padres wouldn’t bring Headley up as a stopgap solution — an everyday job would need to open up for him, and given the age and injury concerns of Jim Edmonds and Brian Giles, this could happen sooner rather than later.

Derek and I also talked about the rotation. I said that Chris Young’s second half was a fluke related to his oblique problem and that assuming he’s healthy, he’ll be a stud. I said that Randy Wolf should be effective, and the key would be whether he could stay healthy; if the Padres get 25 starts out of him, they’ll be in good shape. For the #5 spot, I advised against expecting anything from Mark Prior and said that I wasn’t excited about our other options.

When Derek asked me to “bottom line” the season, I said the Padres would win 85-86 games but not make the playoffs because the NL West is just too strong. As I did last spring, I picked Arizona to take the division. Derek went with Colorado.

Thanks again to Derek and the gang for having me on the show!

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87 Responses »

  1. Ah man I’m sorry I missed this GY, do you know if there is any video of it posted on the web?

  2. Tradegy has hit the Padre family …

    Mitch Canham’s brother, Lance Cpl. Dustin L. Canham, died March 23 in what the Department of Defense is describing as a non-hostile incident in the African of country of Djibouti.

  3. I think you are right, it is Arizona’s division to lose…I think the Rockies are probably a 4th place team…I think I am clearly in the minority here.

  4. GY- Keep the faith!!!! Padres are going to the -ship this year!!!

  5. I don’t buy Colorado as a legit contender this year. I see AZ as our biggest competition, and they were incredibly lukcy last year.

    I think we’ll be OK and I think we’ll fare much better in the division than the rest of the world seems to think.

  6. 2: I completely agree about Colorado. I don’t know why more people are buying the hype, but what they did in September was literally inconceivable. The chances of them repeating that play are minimal at best

  7. Anyone know what’s up with the game tomorrow? I just heard something about an exibition game at PETCO (I have no idea how I missed that). My father and brother in-law are in town from San Francisco and they want to get tickets. Anyone know if they are still available?

  8. The dodgers scare me a bit more than the rockies do, but then again the dodgers always scare me until about May when half of thier team goes on the DL.

  9. Re: 6 still has tix available if you still work down town I would walk to the box office on your lunch break and check it out.

  10. I’m afraid I could see this team losing 86 games as easily as winning 86.

  11. 2- Thats a sad story. Does anybody remember the name of the Cpl that was drafted out of the Marines at MCRD San Diego?

  12. Re: 10 I think they win 86 games if Greene plays 150 games, Wolf makes 25 starts, Giles plays 150 healthy games, they figure out CF and Hoffy forgets about last October. Any combination of those things not happening could set them up to lose 86 games.

  13. Re: 13 also if P-Mac/Gerut put up average ML #’s in LF and Germano shows the same progress during the season as he did during ST then I think the Pads have a shot at winning 88 to 90 games this year.

  14. My pessimism is based on the OF situation, fragility of the starting rotation and the possibility we’ve seen the best from Greene and the other infielders. Of course, I’m the dope who predicted a .960 OPS from Kouz.

    Now if the IF has a collective fairly monsteriffic season, Hairston produces and the starting staff stays mostly healthy, then … 86+ here we come. I’m not that bullish on AZ either. I want to see those youngsters put up the numbers they’re supposedly capable of. It’ll be fun to watch the Dodgers’ OF situation, too. Just gotta stay away from Dodger Thoughts if Pierre gets too many ABs at expense of Kemp or Either.

  15. 9.

    Thanks Steve! I was already planning on going over to the stadium at lunch to find out :) .

  16. 12:

    Cooper Brannan is the Marine the Padres signed last season.

    I think people don’t realize how dangerous being in the military is, combat or no combat. For example, the unit I was in Iraq with in 2003 lost more to accidents to combat deaths, and it wasn’t really that close. Out of the 4000 or so deaths in Iraq I’ll be a sizable percentage of them (at least 10-20%) are from non-hostile causes.

  17. 17 … I saw Brannan at Peoria a couple of weeks ago … so he’s still pitching … reports I’ve read at MadFriars indicate he’s improved a lot in the past year … and still has a long way to go (as do all pro players at the lower levels)

  18. As far as the Padres contending I think the three biggest keys are Wolf being healthy the entire season, getting production out of CF (whether it’s mostly healthy Edmonds bouncing back or Hairston being able to handle it defensively) and getting production out of the 5th starter spot. If all those things happen I think they can contend if the Dodgers or D-backs stumble (I expect the Rockies to be around 80 wins).

    The obviously need to stay healthy too (really the biggest key) because they have zero depth in a lot of places. If Giles and Edmonds are both injured the OF could be horrible if Hairston can’t play CF. Same thing with the pitchers as it will be frightening if Wolf gets injured and Germano (or whoever) can’t fill the 5th slot adequately (seeing a game started by Rusch, Ledezma or especially Estes fills me with horror). And they have absolutely no adequate SS backup, I think an injury to Greene would be nearly as crippling as one to Jake.

  19. #1: I don’t believe so. Copyright and all that.

    #2: Very sad.

    #3: I honestly see the first four spots as something of a crapshoot. The only thing I’m sure of is that the Giants will finish last.

    #5: The Snakes may have been “lucky” last year, but they also didn’t play up to their ability. There’s some terrific young talent in Arizona, and with a full season under their belts, they could become dangerous at any moment.

    #10: A lot would have to go wrong, but yes, that is entirely possible. For one thing, our interleague schedule is brutal.

    #17: Here is a photo of Brannan from ST:

  20. I think we should let the season play out.

  21. Corey Brock has today’s lineup in his blog …

    CF Scott Hairston

    RF Paul McAnulty

    1B Adrian Gonzalez

    3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

    DH Tony Clark

    SS Khalil Greene

    C Michael Barrett

    LF Justin Huber

    2B Callix Crabbe

    SP Chris Young

    … featuring our newest Padre in LF!

  22. 21 … I bet it will, whether we want it to or not! :-) And I’ll bet we’re all wrong … not about everything, mind you … but most the details, anyway …

  23. Matt Murton didn’t make the Cubs roster:,cubs032608.article

    He’s better then Huber I think and if they can get him for nothing I would take a shot. A platoon of him and Giles in RF would be good. Now maybe they can add Anthony Reyes too and that could help some of the depth problems.

  24. #23: I’ll bet you’re right! 8)

  25. BA has a look at the status of all the Rule 5 picks …

    … which says this about Guevara: has posted gaudy strikeout rates in Double-A with his screwball and would give the San Diego bullpen a unique look, one that NL batters don’t often see.

  26. Count me as the wildly optimistic homer. 91 wins, here we come! My fantasy world involves one of Wolf or Prior having a huge year (probably Wolf), Headley coming up quickly and playing well in left or someone else playing well enough to hold him off, and Edmonds having mostly healthy bounceback year.

    So maybe this isn’t particularly realistic, but I think it’s within the realm of possibility.

  27. 24: Isnt Matt Murton contradicting your school of thought? Why would we want a player that cant make a Major League club?

  28. OT … WC @ BP reports this about Milton Bradley … ready to be the Rangers’ everyday DH, he’s taken some turns in the outfield without any setbacks … I’ll be rootin’ for him!

  29. 29: I really think that Rangers team could suprise some people if Bradley and Hamilton can make 140 starts each.

  30. 28:

    It depends on the player. Murton has his limitations of course (why else would he not make the roster?) but his strengths fit in well with the Padres as he’s a great hitter against left-handed pitchers and the Padres have two outfielders (4 if you include Gerut/McAnulty) that probably need to be platooned. He’s not Jody Gerut as he’s actually spend the past 2 seasons in the majors, not sitting at home rehabbing his knees. Just because the Cubs are too stupid to use him doesn’t mean that the Padres should be. Since he has talent he’ll cost more then the other Padre pickups but it probably won’t be a lot.

    As for Reyes, he’s much younger then Rusch and Estes so there’s the potential for him to improve unlike the other two (not to say that Rusch can’t be successful as a reliever since they seem to much more of a crapshoot). Reyes also has a much better minor league track record then the players of a similar age (Germano and Ledezma) even though his time in the majors has been pretty terrible. I also like Reyes because he’s a fly-ball pitcher which Petco will help.

  31. I’ve touched on this before the Padres need to take advantage of Petco Park. Since we can probably assume that they are never going to sign an elite, big name hitter (they either won’t want to come here because their stats will take a hit or the Padres won’t want to pay for them) they have to be aggressive in signing pitchers. Anthony Reyes is a perfect target for them — he’s young so in theory he’s coming into his prime and he’s a fly-ball pitcher that strikes people out. If he successful they can either trade him or let him walk and take draft picks. And if you sign them to one year deals it doesn’t really cost you anything, especially if they fail which a lot of them would (since you aren’t signing sure things). And if the strategy works out, other free agents might take discounts to come to Petco on short-term contracts to enhance their value. If you are going to have to overpay for hitting, shouldn’t the opposite be true?

  32. Um guys, CY just got absolutely DRILLED on a line drive. He’s still pitching, but this is potentially very worrisome.

  33. #24: if Giles is healthy, I don’t really like the idea of platooning him… mainly because he’s a sketchy enough leadoff candidate as it is, and I don’t really see anybody else leading off on a regular basis. Plus, I’m optimistic that he will be healthy and have a much more productive season than last year. Also defensively, there’s nobody I like in RF in Petco better than Brian Giles. He might be getting old, but I love watching him charge out there and he’s got way more experience with the tricky dimensions (the porch and the bullpen mounds) than anybody else.

  34. I’m not sure if it’s related to his getting drilled, but CY is no longer pitching. He finished the third, but Ledezma is now in. Can anyone confirm if this was the plan before the game (i.e. did they read this somewhere)?

  35. Color me pessimistic, but we still don’t hit and lack speed so how are we going to score runs? Predict the second half sees Padre starters and bullpen collapse under the weight of having to win 1-run games every night, similar to last year, oh, and lots of LOBs. Guessing 83-85 wins, but that won’t be enough to make the playoffs. Maybe then, we can start with some good young talent.

  36. 34:

    Historically Giles has been much stronger against RHP then LHP (career OPS of 975 vs. 778). He’s also been bad against LHP the past two years (675 and 624) although he at least had a 346 OBP against them. Since Murton’s career OPS is 892 (ignoring park effects) that’s a sizable improvement over Giles offensively and not much of a defensive decline, if any. If Giles hits again at home like he did last year (awful) then he certainly needs to platooned in Petco (he had zero power against lefties and at Petco, his SLG might have been under 300 at home). I don’t know if I’d platoon Huber with Giles though, he doesn’t have the major league track record that Murton does (only 106 PA’s so far).

  37. #37: good points, good numbers… but who do you have leading off when Giles isn’t in the lineup?

  38. I really like the Justin Huber pickup. This is the kind of move that K.T has had so much luck at mining gold. I have a feeling that Huber will excel as a Padre.

  39. Looks like Chris Young and Barrett were able to catch Willie Bloomquist stealing 2nd before Young’s exit. Hopefully more CS’s to come this season…

  40. 35: This is the time of year they want to stretch guys out so I’d be surprised if it was a planned early exit. Hopefully it’s more precautionary than anything else.

  41. 31 … when was the last time you saw Murton play, and how did he look? I’m wondering if anything might have changed since you last saw him play that would be the basis for the Cubs cutting him?

  42. Well, I don’t think the Cubs are going to straight up waive him (if they do there is no way the Padres would have a chance at picking him up). His numbers in the majors are pretty good (especially his numbers against LHP) and his numbers in the minors are great:

    I think he just got caught up in a numbers game in Chicago as they needed someone who could play CF as their projected starter is rookie Felix Pie (why 31 year old Reed Johnson is that player is beyond me and could explain why the Cubs are the Cubs). For what it’s worth, Murton’s defensive numbers in the outfield are above average according to Baseball Prospectus (of course that might not mean anything).

    I have no idea why the Cubs never gave him a fair shot. He doesn’t have a lot of power for a corner OF but he’s been good at getting on base — historically that’s not a good match for the Cubs. I made the joke yesterday that maybe it’s because he’s a ginger kid — with the amount of day games the Cubs play there could be something to that.

  43. Hey, a Travis Chick sighting in today’s game …

    HRs by Hairston and KG … 3 hits by KK … Huffman/Cooper/Macias now in the game (at RF/1B/CF) …

    btw, MF reported that Macias will go to AA San Antonio … with Vanable in CF at AAA Portland! And similarly, Hundley will be the C at AAA Portland with Colt Morton going to AA San Antonio …

  44. I made the comment about Murton not fitting in well in Chicago because he has red hair and fair skin as a joke but maybe there is something to that? He has 464 PA’s in the day and 465 at night, here’s are his splits:

    D: 269/330/412 13 HR
    N: 324/400/500 15 HR

  45. Padres explode for 6 runs off former-Padre-farmhand Travis Chick!

    Macias, Huffman, Cooper and Durango all in the rally!

  46. Geoff and DS getting a shout out from some of THE heaviest hitters in the sabremetric community!!!

    Congrats, Geoff!

  47. 36: PM you need to read some of the things GY has posted and written about the Padres O splits. We have a good offense; it’s just masked by playing 81 games at Petco.