I Brake for Money

Posting will be light this week, as I’ve got to overhaul a client web site. It’s a small site, but they need a quick turnaround. More importantly, the gig pays actual money (for the actual mortgage on my actual house), which comes in handy when your primary source of income is a book that nobody buys.

The farm reports and IGDs will run every day, but we’ll be doing open threads most of the rest of the time. I’ll try to come up with halfway decent prompts that you can discuss or ignore.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some other cool stuff going on behind the scenes. I can’t say anything about those just yet, but expect to hear more in the coming weeks. You’ll know when they arrive.

Padres are in Houston tonight and Tuesday, then back home to face the Giants for two and the Snakes for three over the weekend. It’d be good to get five wins out of that.

Tonight’s IGD will be up around 4 p.m. Go Padres!

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33 Responses »

  1. If we take 5 of the next 7 I would be STOKED!!!

  2. So glad to be out of Phoenix. That was a brutal 3-game swing (driving over during the 22-inning affair and then Friday’s and Saturday’s beatings).

    At any rate, going to Chase Field just reaffirms my love for the Padres. If people think we have attendance issues or unenergetic fans, you should REALLY go see a a 3-game weekend series at Chase.

  3. If you live in the NW (or have one of those satalite feeds that get all the Fox channels), then you can watch the Portland Beavers on TV tonight … 7pm …


  4. #3@LynchMob: Cool do they televise many Beaver games up there?

    I always thought it would be really cool if channel 4 did a Padres Minor League game of the week, it would be a good marketing tool if the Pads are planning on building from within.

  5. That link in #3 shows the full 20-game schedule … I don’t recall them doing this before … but I do recall an occaisional game or 2 …

    BTW, the scheduled starter for the Beavers tonight is Shawn Estes … and the Beavers’ opponent tonight is the Angels affiliate (Salk Lake City Bees).

  6. #5@LynchMob: Yeah that TV deal is new to this year. New Owner, wanted his team on TV more – so they signed a deal with FSN for 20 games this year. And IIRC it’s the biggest TV deal in the PCL.

  7. Good news … Clay Hensley will pitch an inning for the Storm tomorrow (Tuesday) …


    … and this article also mentions that Prior took a step back … suffering stiffness in his shoulder on April 12 … and will play catch on today in Peoria.

  8. Overview so far.

    Home vs. Road.

    Record: 5-5 vs 4-5

    Hitting: BA/OBP/SLG/RS
    .239/.299/.332/31 vs .239/.303/.330/31 (wow, what a consistency)

    Pitching: ERA/WHIP/BB/K/RA
    2.80/42/78/1.14/35 vs 4.56/29/50/1.42/47

    And, the starters are 8-3 and have given up 41 runs in 122 IP while the bullpen has given up the same runs in 60 IP, thus, not surpisingly holding 1-7 record.
    The starters have done an even better job considering that Maddux and Wolf had just given up 13 runs in the last two games with the team going 1-1. The bullpen, despite the excellent effort in the 22 inning game at home, needs to start contributing better outings for the team to turn around.

    However, the offense needs to get going consistently. Just looking from the RS vs RA, there is no way the Padres are going to win games unless the hitters start to produce more hits and XBHs to start scoring runs.

    In their Ws, the offense scored 4, 2, 3, 4, 8, 7, 1, 6, 9 or 4.89 runs/game, while the Ls, they scored 6, 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2, 0, 1, 3 or 1.80 runs/game. What a big difference.
    The Padres are 3-2 in shutouts and 0-2 in extra innings (both a 1-run affair).

    If the offense doesn’t improve, we are in for a long suffering season even when the bullpen improves and the starters regress a little.

  9. The thing is, I can actually see the bullpen and offense improving, while I can’t really see the starting pitching getting less consistent – these are all veteran guys who, besides Germano, have a long track record of success. It’s 20 games, folks. Small sample sizes. Take a deep breath. The Diamondbacks aren’t going to play 700 ball all year.

  10. Despite four games against Houston and San Francisco, this week is going to be tough. The Oswalt-Germano matchup tonight definitely does not favor us, and then we get Cain and Lincecum in the two games against the Giants.

  11. #11@David Coonce:

    Completely agreed. That D’backs team is also incredibly volatile. They are young and inexperienced, and once they hit a losing streak (which they will at some point), it will be interesting to see how they react.

    Justin Upton is a great player, but he’s also a powder keg bound for a meltdown sometime this year. He was absolutely furious with Byrnes yesterday and he looked like he wanted to murder the guy that snatched Khalil’s flare double off the ground. The bullpen is their greatest weakness and will start blowing more games for them (the 2 runs we scored in the 8th were probably more important than the 5 we scored in the 6th). Also, I imagine that big-league pitching will start making adjustments and stop trying to blow these kids away. Once Maddux made some adjustments on Friday, he pitched much better. Someone like Justin Germano should theoretically be successful against that team.

  12. #13@Phantom: Really? I didn’t see Upton as overreacting in either case; I certainly didn’t think he was “furious” with Byrnes and didn’t notice anything like “murder” on his mind with the fan. Still, I understand your point about him being young and likely to struggle, but I don’t think you’re being fair in your assessment of his reactions yesterday.

    Perhaps you’re thinking of Elijah Dukes? ;-)

  13. #13@Phantom: I didn’t see anything in Upton’s reaction to the collision or on Khalil’s double.

    Speaking of Upton, is it a good thing that the Padres didn’t have the first pick in the 2005 draft? In 2004 they took Matt Bush over Stephen Drew or Jared Weaver — Weaver would have been good but Drew certainly hasn’t been worth the money. In 2005 Upton was the consensus #1 pick — what if the Padres passed on him to take a local high school player like John Drennan or Henry Sanchez? That would have been bad. Of course, the 2005 draft was stacked:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?year_ID=2005&round=1 which I guess would have made it worse if the Padres went cheap.

  14. We’re not out of it, but Arizona did win 90 games last year, run differential notwithstanding. Then they added Dan Haren. Most of the youngsters lived through a pennant race already. And I don’t care how volatile Upton is (like Pat, I didn’t see it that way at all), he’s a 5 tool talent the likes of which the Padres have neither seen nor developed since Winfield. Nobody should be throwing in the towel, but that’s a good young team in Phoenix.

  15. #14@Pat: Perhaps I was being overly metaphoric, but he looked legitimately pissed at Byrnes. He also wasn’t happy that the guy basically gifted Khalil second-based.

    At any rate, their youth will come back to haunt him once people stop trying to pump fastballs by them. Sure, they have one of the lowest ERAs in baseball, but part of that is because they have given up several unearned runs (12). If those unearned runs had been earned, their ERA would jump from 2.98 to 3.66. 3.66 is still pretty good, but the 2.98 is a bit deceiving. For comparisons’ sake, the Padres have given up 10 unearned runs. Their ERA would jump from 3.56 to 4.05.

    The Padres should be fine. Everybody knows we don’t actually start playing baseball until May, anway :-)

  16. #17@Tom Waits: Arizona is very good and the most realistic shot the Padres have of beating them out for the division title is an injury or series of injuries to Arizona’s starting rotation because they don’t have a great deal of depth there.

  17. #19@Richard Wade: I’m not even sure it will take a rash of injuries. I really don’t think the kids will hit like this all year, and I think pitchers are trying to blow them away (like they did last year) instead of actually pitching to them. I firmly beleive that a team like AZ would really struggle against a junkballer type, and once Maddux refined his location on Friday, he pitched very well.

  18. Phantom…I read that same article and it disregards the fact that their boys are #1. Very Talented; #2. Very Good; #3. Unbelieveably gifted.

    I know, same thing, but I think that it does not give them enough credit for the improvement they have shown since the ASB in 2007. If you look at the numbers, the being “outscored by 20 runs” in 2007 was a bit misleading b/c that deficit was created in April. These guys can flat out play and, barring injury to one or both of their top starters, there is very little we can do about it.

  19. Should have ended with this caveat…Barring injury to one or both of their top starters OR **a major move by the Pads**, there is very little we can do about it.

  20. 19: I think our best chance is if Arizona’s hitters hit like they do last year, with some growth from Upton, Drew, and Young, and some decline from Byrnes and Hudson. This doesn’t seem all that unlikely. Their offense was one of the worst in the league last year. Young players on average don’t improve from below average to awesome overnight. Throw in some bullpen struggles, which could be expected given that their two most highly leveraged relievers have terrible peripherals. It’s too early to make sweeping conclusions like the D-Backs have fixed all of their offensive woes and are now going to be a great offensive team.

  21. #21@Coronado Mike: CM … is this what your gravitar is all about?


    It’s freakin’ me out, man! :-)

  22. #16@Schlom: Drew hasn’t been worth the money “yet.” This season is young, but he’s hitting 286/344/518. The bonus they paid him locked him up for several years. Even if he’s only average for his entire stay in Arizona, it’s cheaper than getting a typical free agent who would also be average.

    #20@Phantom: One of the most impressive things about the AZ offense so far is that they’re not just hitting. Most of them are showing good command of the strike zone. Even Upton, at 20 years old, isn’t just hacking.

  23. #26@LynchMob: Mr. Bryk…..can we not take the best arm in the system and label him a closer quite yet?

  24. Isn’t Drew also considered quite the defensive player? We won’t know if he’s worth the money for a few more years.

  25. #25@Tom Waits: Drew didn’t hit at all last year in Arizona, put him in San Diego and he would have been under 200 probably (and in Portland). I doubt he’s better then Khalil although he is younger which helps. I’m not even sure that he was the preferred pick, I read that somewhere in the past few days. Weaver probably would have been the better pick.

  26. #29@Schlom: One year, especially a rookie year, does not drain all the value from a player. He has a ton of talent, he hit in the minors, he’s hitting so far this season. For 5.5 million dollars, plus what he’ll make once he hits arbitration (which they’d have to pay somebody), Arizona may have solved its SS position for 6 years.

    Drew was our preferred pick. They’d narrowed it to Drew and Weaver, with Niemann dropping out because his people told the Padres not to bother and Verlander off the list because he struggled in front of a large Padre contingent.

  27. #29@Schlom:

    Anyone else in the first round would have been a better pick. KT has stated before that the top 3 choices were Stephen Drew, Jeff Nieman and Jered Weaver. KT said he liked Nieman best.

  28. #30@Tom Waits:

    Not to mention the fact that by saving the extra 2 million or so by going for Bush they effectively wasted the 3 million they paid him.

    Saving 2 million by blowing 3 million doesn’t exactly sound like a solid plan to me.