Series Preview: Tom Goyne Talks Phillies

The Padres head to Philly for three starting Tuesday evening. Among other things, this means I got to pick the brains of Tom Goyne, proprietor of the estimable Balls, Sticks, & Stuff, about his team. (We did this last year, too, and had more fun than you can shake a ball, stick, or stuff at.) Without further ado, I turn the blog over to Mr. Goyne…

Ducksnorts: How many games do you see the Phillies winning this year, and will it be enough for a return trip to the post-season?

Goyne: Given that the Phils will be without Jimmy Rollins for almost all of April and into May, Brett Myers and Ryan Howard are off to poor starts, and the team is still above .500, I’d say they stand a decent chance of getting to 90 wins, assuming those pieces fall back into place. Early in the spring, if you had told me all of those things would go wrong and they’d still be above .500, I’d have thought you were crazy. As for the post-season, historically 90 wins gets you there, but time will tell this year.

Ducksnorts: Ryan Howard is doing a nice Russell Branyan impression. What’s up with that?

Goyne: It’s official. Ryan Howard is a slow starter. It happened last year, it happened this year, and he says his mother says it goes back to his school days. My guess is that he will finish with numbers that resemble last year’s quite a bit, but the fact of the matter is, he’s really a one-dimensional player. Granted, he’s excellent at that one dimension — power-hitting — but there are a lot of other holes in his game.

Ducksnorts: Brett Myers has served up a lot of homers in the early going, but his overall numbers are decent. How has the transition back to being a starter after closing games in ’07 gone so far?

Goyne: The word is that his fastball has no life and a look at the numbers at Fangraphs does indeed show he’s lost a couple of miles per hour. The numbers are also consistent with what we have been hearing, that he is relying too much on off-speed stuff and breaking balls because of his loss in velocity. Being a starter for most of his career, with the exception of last season, I wouldn’t have thought it would be a difficult transition, but apparently it is.

Ducksnorts: Speaking of Myers, Kyle Kendrick became a favorite of mine when I saw how he handled the spring training prank that had him being traded to Japan. Talk a little about Kendrick.

Goyne: He’s a good kid by all accounts and apparently a little gullible too. Last season he went from AA to a spot start in the bigs to one of the Phillies more consistent pitchers and make no mistake, they don’t win the NL East last year without him. It seemed like he was very comfortable in his skin, pitching to contact, and getting lots of groundball outs. This year, it seems as if he feels he has to pick out a new trick or two from his bag, he’s being too fine, and walking too many batters.

Ducksnorts: I recently finished reading Chris Coste’s book. In it, he mentions that Cole Hamels will buy him a sweet ride if Coste catches a Hamels no-no. How do you like Coste’s chances of receiving a new Escalade this season?

Goyne: It’s tough with Hamels. He strikes out so many batters that you think he’s a great candidate for a no-no, but because he strikes so many out, his pitch count gets a little high and he can’t go the distance. He’s oneheckuva pitcher, we haven’t seen anything like him around here since Schilling or Carlton.

Ducksnorts: Checking in on the ex-Padres, how are Adam Eaton and Shane Victorino looking?

Goyne: Eaton’s 2007 season was an unmitigated disaster. The only way you can put a good spin on it is that he didn’t get hit by a bus, which is probably saying something since there were probably more than a few bus drivers in Philly gunning for him. This season he has been adequate so far, which is all he really needs to be with the Phillies offense. As for the Flyin’ Hawaiian, he’s a great little player when healthy. He can cover a ton of ground in a heartbeat and has an absolute cannon for an arm. Under the tutelage of Davy Lopes, he’s become an exceptional basestealer as well.

* * *

Thanks again to Tom for chatting with us. Best of luck to the Phillies this year once the Padres leave town. :-)

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28 Responses »

  1. Let’s go Padres, let’s go…Let’s go Padres, let’s go…

    Thought a little cheer would fire them up!

    OT, but anyone have thoughts on Ryan Freel? Kills LHP, plays decent OF/2B and can even jump in at 3B. He makes a bit of cash, but is signed through ’09 and could be had.

    Just wonder’n…

  2. Feeling good about this road trip. Go Pads.

  3. Lets go Padre hitters, wake up!

    Hey Oside, have you gone back in the water yet?

  4. Bleh not good news about Barrett…

    “Barrett had a re-evaluation of his injured right elbow Sunday with hopes of being allowed to start throwing. But after the exam, doctors told Barrett it might be another two weeks before he is allowed to test the strained ligament in his right elbow — which means his return could be a month away. ”

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/padres/2008/apr/28/prior-barrett-update/

  5. (As a Reds fan, I say) Please, make an offer for Freel (Or better, Corey Patterson). The Reds need to clear a spot for Jay Bruce’s promotion next month.

    Padre fans will like him, given the reaction to Eric Owens a few years back. Freel is also unhappy with his playing time situation.

    He’s fast, typically had solid OBP, plays really hard…and really dumb. He’s thrilling at times, and absolutely infuriating at others. At least he’s toned it down in the outfield, where he was literally a hazard to the health of Dunn and Kearns.

  6. #4@Steve C: Not good news, but does he really have any value to our team anyway? He couldnt hit and was poor behind the plate. Is morton really a downgrade?

  7. I have been (even before his Padres days) and continue to be a big fan of Mike Cameron…here is the comback article on him at ESPN:

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3372680

  8. OT: nice to have a long bench with some speed.

    http://tinyurl.com/5jag9l

  9. Go Maddux with 350.

  10. #10 Didi, He has always been a good writer. I spent an evening over the winter reading a lot of his material.

  11. 11: Yeah, it’s great and it’s always nice to get back to it after a while.

    This one has Nate Colbert.
    http://cardboardgods.baseballtoaster.com/archives/965584.html

  12. Not sure I’d call Cameron a “comeback” story…I mean the guy was suspended for breaking the rules after all. Is it a comeback story when someone charges the mound and then is suspended a couple of days?

  13. #7@Coronado Mike: You think its at all possible that we could get him back?

  14. #14@SDSUBaseball: I wish…

    I don’t think it would/could be this year and, given the way his tenure ended here (he said, he said) I don’t think he comes back as a FA.

  15. #15@Coronado Mike: I wish we brought him back. The way he played in ’06 is basically exactly what I would like to see out of CF. Good speed and defense, power with good on-base skills. The K’s could get to you, but that was about it.

  16. We lost Oscar Robles on waivers to the Phillies.

    #16@SDSUBaseball: I’d have liked Cameron back too, but it takes two to sign a contract. If his agent never told the Padres that Mike’s demands had changed, it’s hard to fault them for going another direction. Unfortunately they picked a poor direction and didn’t have much of a backup plan.

  17. 2 notes of interest from today’s email from the Portland Beavers …

    FREE HOT CHOCOLATE & COFFEE – Mon, April 28 & Mon, April 5

    The Portland Beavers are offering complimentary all-you-can-drink hot chocolate and coffee during the game on Monday, April 28 and Monday May 5. The free hot chocolate and coffee will be available at all open concession stands that normally sell those beverages during the entire game.

    Team Update

    Clay Hensley transferred to Portland for MLB rehab
    The San Diego Padres transferred right-handed pitcher Clay Hensley to Portland to continue his current major league rehabiliation assignment. Hensley is recovering from season ending shoulder surgery last year.

  18. #17@Tom Waits: Robles is still on the “official” Beaver roster. Who took Robles spot ? Where did you see this transaction noted ? Thanks.

  19. #19@JP: What, the Beavers haven’t updated their website?

    It’s on Rotoworld.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/

  20. #17@Tom Waits: Why was he put on waivers? who were they making room for?

  21. It looks like they opened two spots on their 40-man roster by trying to send Robles and Mauro Zarate through waivers. Robles was claimed. Very interesting that this happened the day after Luis Rodriguez was put on the DL.

    By opening up two spots on the 40-man, they might want to recall someone from the minors who is not on the 40-man roster, claim someone off waivers to add to the 40-man roster, or make a trade.

  22. #24@parlo: The fans commenting on the story were very excited about getting Robles.

  23. They seem thrilled.

  24. I was going to ask who the heck is Oscar Robles and why should I care, but after checking the Philly.com article I guess it’s really not that important. :-)

  25. Not sure if this has been posted yet.

    SAN DIEGO (AP)—Even as they try to make up ground in the NL West, the San Diego Padres are doing the same thing thousands of miles away, in the Dominican Republic.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AnRrS6HqxIUcg98kVEjFwTwm0bYF?slug=ap-padres-dominicanacademy&prov=ap&type=lgns