Friday Links (9 May 08)

Don’t know how we ended up with so many of these, but here they are:

  • Padres can’t pin hitting woes on Petco (ESPN, h/t parlo). Quoth Khalil Greene:

    I’m not going to consistently say it, but the ballpark plays a major factor in it — more than anybody lets on at times. That’s the reality of it. You don’t want to make excuses and say, “I would have done this if the ballpark was a different size.” But as a hitter, if you hit a ball 380 feet the other way and it’s a fly out, that’s hard to overcome.

    If anyone has a right to complain, it’s Greene (see pp. 26, 27, and 55 of the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual).

  • Knock on wood: Beavers on way (North County Times, h/t Field39). Padres GM Kevin Towers talks about the direction of his ballclub:

    The best move is to get some of these kids to come up and play.

    We may be able to shake this up a little bit because we are at the point now that we need to do something. Maybe the prospects can come up and, hopefully, jump-start the club a little bit.

  • What’s the lowdown on the Padres’ slowdown? (San Diego Union-Tribune, h/t JP). The Padres are slow, but that’s not really why they are losing right now. There are some choice quotes from CEO Sandy Alderson, including this one:

    If you do the analysis, what the analysis tells you is the key to scoring runs is on-base percentage and power. Therefore speed and stolen bases become a nice-to-have component of your team, not a need-to-have component of your team. Once we get to the point where we have all of the on-base potential and power that we need, we can make those adjustments in our overall offensive and defensive package. All of that is with one footnote, and that is outfield defense is somewhat more important at Petco than it is elsewhere.

    Therefore, the speed and quickness manifestation are more important. (A lack of speed in the outfield) might be a flaw. Some people thought our inability to throw out runners last year was a flaw. It was. But what you have to do is net all of that out. The bottom line is you’ve got to take advantage of your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, or live with those weaknesses to the best of the net result.

    I always get a kick out of the cliche “speed never slumps.” I find it almost as amusing as the careers of, say, Omar Moreno and Tom Goodwin.

  • Atlanta 5, Padres 2: Why they lost (Padres Nation). Kevin doesn’t like the way Bud Black is handling his bullpen, and who can blame him?
  • Writing’s on center-field wall (San Diego Union-Tribune, h/t Oside Jon. I find it fascinating that fans seem to be more frustrated with Jim Edmonds this year than they were with David Wells last year. Not that they don’t have a right to be frustrated with Edmonds, but why did Wells get a free pass for sucking?
  • Pads most likely to make the hall? (Friar Forecast). Fun stuff from MB.
  • I got the perfect thing for your million dollar living room (Gaslamp Ball). Hey look, you can buy a Petco Park seat. If you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big.
  • Planet Padres goes to Lake Elsinore (Planet Padres). Another satisfied customer. Seriously, if you haven’t made the trip up to The Diamond, I highly recommend it.
  • Iguchi’s Key Is Working The Count, But Not At All (Sacrifice Bunt). Melvin Nieves isn’t impressed with the way stats are deployed during telecasts. He talks specifically about the relationship between Tadahito Iguchi’s P/PA and OPS+. You know who used to see a ton of pitches? Ruben Rivera. Too bad he couldn’t do anything with them.
  • Despite the losing record, Padres still packing in the faithful at Petco (San Diego Union-Tribune). On the bright side, Padres fans aren’t quite as fickle as I sometimes fear they might be.
  • Pitchers Can Be Clutch, Too! (Baseball Analysts). David Appelman studies clutch pitching. A certain Jake Peavy scores well using his method.
  • Q&A with Grady Fuson (San Diego Union-Tribune). Grady Fuson talks about the Padres’ new Dominican Republic academy. No word on how the facility will affect beer prices at Petco.
  • Picking Apart the Draft: 2004 (Baseball Analysts, h/t Didi). Of the first 10 picks, only Detroit’s Justin Verlander has established himself at the big-league level. Too bad the Padres didn’t have him on their radar. I didn’t hate the Bush pick at the time, although the process that led to it baffled me. Now, of course, I hate the pick and the process. Benefit of hindsight and all that…
  • Hot Atlanta adds fuel to the fire (San Diego Union-Tribune, h/t PM). Here’s a sobering thought:

    From 1988 through 2006, the Padres were the only National League team that never got one 20-home run season from a homegrown player; in that same span, the Braves got 45 seasons of at least 20 homers from nine players.

    Trading Andy Sheets straight up for Phil Nevin makes up for a lot, but yikes…

  • Draft Tracker: May 7 (Baseball America, h/t Tom Waits). USD’s Brian Matusz checks in at #3:

    Surest of the sure things, a three-pitch lefty who misses bats with more than enough fastball and excellent secondary stuff.

  • 2008 Draft Report ( Speaking of the draft, this should come in handy.
  • The 10 worst No. 3 hitters since 1957 (Hardball Times). Garry Templeton batted third for the Padres in ’82? Good Lord, that’s horrible.
  • Franchise Managerial Hiring Tendencies (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe provides another glimpse into his forthcoming book on managers, which is going to rock.
  • How can general managers increase the value of their franchise? (Hardball Times, h/t Masticore317). John Beamer continues his series on valuing franchises.
  • Exactly what are effective throwing mechanics? (Hardball Times). This is fascinating stuff.
  • The failure dynasties (ESPN). Feeling down about the Padres? Hey, it could be worse. Jonah Keri highlights some truly bad organizations.
  • Saturday Near the Park (Baseball Analysts, h/t Lance Richardson) Rich Lederer and his son Joe played a baseball name game. Somehow I ended up in here, sandwiched between Michael and Chris Young.
  • Padres Game Sunned Out (The Onion, h/t Jeremy). On a brighter note…

That’s all for now. Happy Friday! (It helps if you don’t think so much about baseball…)

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78 Responses »

  1. This is the first morning, in probably two weeks, where I woke up excited about this team. I’m excited because something is changing today. I have no idea what, or how comprehensive it is, but we can’t possibly be any worse than we already are. If Headley continues to rip the cover off the ball like he has in recent days, hopefully we’ll see him by June.

  2. Speaking of David Wells ~


    David Wells A Possibility For Yankees?

    Mike Puma of the New York Post has comments from free agent lefty David Wells and Hank Steinbrenner indicating a third tour with the Yankees is possible. Boomer’s interest is obvious, while Steinbrenner seems intrigued. Before Brian Cashman gets involved and discussions occur, the Yankees will see how Darrell Rasner and Kei Igawa fare. Wells had some choice words for Joe Torre, so don’t expect him back in L.A.

    How does Wells stack up with Rasner and Igawa, according to Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projection system?

    Wells – 4.80
    Igawa – 5.15
    Rasner – 5.24

    Not much of a difference in the projected ERAs, but Wells would be a fun story. He managed to make 29 starts last year, but at 5.4 innings per he’d definitely give the bullpen a workout. Then again, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were averaging about four. Fun fact – Roy Halladay is averaging 8.14 innings per start this year. Only Halladay and C.C. Sabathia averaged more than seven innings per start last year.

  3. Wells: He may have got a longer fan leash because he was only throwing once every 5 days. He wasn’t out there struggling day in and day out. Two of his first three starts were good, and he was good again in mid-May.

  4. Get rid of Edmonds (today?). Bring up some youth. I doubt it’ll turn things around but it will give the kids some experience!

  5. Also with Wells, he turned in some very good starts for the club in 2004 and 2006, so I think he earned our right to be a little more patient with him. Edmonds hasn’t earned anything so far.

  6. FYI David Freese is hitting .283/.330/.472 in AAA for the Cardinals right now…

  7. So what moves can we expect today or this weekend?

    In: Gerut; Gonzalez; catcher?

    out: Crabbe; Edmonds dfa; Morton

    -this doesn’t really solve the backup shortstop problem, but can Gonzo Sr. be worse than Crabbe there?

  8. #7@Mike Champion: My guess is Gerut and Carlin up

    Morton to Portland

    Edmunds released.

  9. Gonzalez played in PDX last night so I dont think he will be moved up today.

  10. #8@John Conniff: Portland? not back to SA so he will not have to split time with Hundley?

  11. Happy birthday, T Gwynn.

    No. 48

    That’s what a childhood of collecting baseball cards will do to you.

  12. #10@Steve C: We’ve heard it will be Portland – but I think he would see time at first base and DH as well.

    But I could see San Antonio too.

  13. #6@Steve C: That’s just downright depressing.

  14. #12@John Conniff: I’m not sure how much time a 1st he’s going to see, with the way Myrow is hitting.

  15. #12@John Conniff: Cool thanks for the info!

    #14@Rain Delay: It would not suprise me if they try and move Myrow because there is really not a spot for him on the big club (as odd as that sounds).

  16. I wish the Padres best bench guy didn’t happen to play 1B, the position for which the Padres are least in need of a backup. Clark seems like he’d be a nice fit for a bunch of teams who don’t have a guy like A Gonz at first. Why not let Myrow be Gonzo’s backup since he can at least play in the outfield?

  17. If things get further out of hand, Tony Clark would have some trade value and they could bring up one of those guys. My guess is they hold on to him at least through the AL DH games.

  18. It’s not all bad news as Headley is starting to heat up. I think he’s the first call-up.

  19. #15@Steve C: Myrow deserves to be playing some where. It’s just a shame he’s blocked.

  20. FoxSports is reporting that Edmonds is being released today.

  21. #19@Schlom: I’ll be surprised if they call him up now. Gerut comes up to play CF, they may give Hairston and McAnulty – who despite his sad BA has a 102 OPS+ and a 150 ISO – time in LF, with Hairston covering CF at times.

    #12@John Conniff: If Morton goes down and the org. is a little sour on him, he’ll probably take Carlin’s role, not really splitting time with Hundley.

    #16@UC Michael:
    #18@Mike Champion:

    Clark’s not much of a threat from the right side, so Myrow could fit. I don’t know anything about his swing, whether it’s simple enough for him to be a good pinch-hitter. He has good minor league numbers, but he’s also a 32 year old. He should have good AAA numbers.

  22. Gerut is up, Edmonds is gone. LHP Sean Henn has been claimed off waivers from the Yankees and will join the club on Saturday. No word yet on whose spot he’ll take.

  23. #22@Tom Waits: I don’t think he’s going to be splitting time with Hundley, but I do think he’ll get some time at 1b, DH and catch some.

    Myrow is pretty much strictly a first baseman now although he did third base and OF a few years back.

  24. How many major league games(partial or otherwise) has Gerut played in center ? 26 in all.

  25. Look at Henn’s major league numbers in 36 games. A WHIP of 2.02 !

  26. SAN DIEGO (AP) – Center fielder Jim Edmonds has been released by the San Diego Padres after his batting average dipped to .178 and he struggled to track down fly balls he once easily caught.

    The 37-year-old Edmonds, acquired in a December trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, strained his right calf in early March and started the season on the disabled list. Activated on April 5, he went 16-for-90 with just one home and six RBIs.

  27. #28@Geoff Young: From what I can gather, Henn is a hard-throwing lefty (92-94mph, tops out at 96) with a pretty good slider that’s tough on lefties. He was considered one of the top pitchers in the Yankee system a few years back. At just 27, he’s definitely worth a shot as the team needs to rebuild this bullpen.

  28. Here’s a first for the Padres, the #1 prospect in BA’s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet.

    Today is Headley’s birthday. How about a call-up to the big leagues? If that did happen, it would be a great way to finish his short AAA career after a 5-for-5 night.

  29. #30@JMAR: Eh, Gerut got the call.

  30. #29@JMAR:

    Sounds like a Joe Thacher replacement to me.

  31. #30@JMAR:

    The name I keep looking at on that list is MICHAEL SAUNDERS!

    He looks like the kind of player that might be great for us. I don’t know what seattle would want for but he sounds like a good CF’r and has some speed, pop, and gets on base. He is still young and only in AA but that is still leaps and bounds better than any CF’r we have in the system.

  32. #31@Rain Delay: Yes, obviously Gerut has been called up. I didn’t say he should be called up to take Edmonds place, though, did I?

  33. I’m suprised Morton has not been sent down yet but then again I guess it does not matter since he will not get another start for another two or three weeks.

  34. I think the fact that they aren’t bringing up Headley shows that the Front Office has given up on this season. I can’t disagree with that move as why start Headley’s arbitration clock if it’s not going to help them win.

    I don’t think their team was put together any differently then the Cardinals, just that the Cardinals gambles are paying off at the moment. Realistically this was the Padres only chance this season. They can’t compete with either the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Rockies are pure talent because they haven’t drafted well enough or spent enough money on payroll so their only hope is that either the other teams explode (like the Dodgers did last year and the Rockies this season) and they get lucky with their older, high risk players. Unfortunately the Diamondbacks look like they are going to run away with it and everybody except Peavy and A-Gon is underachieving (and even if they weren’t it might not matter anyway since the D-backs could win 100 games).

  35. #36@Schlom: Remember Headley was hitting .234 on May 1. Its great that he’s gotten hot, and I think he will do better as the season goes on, but you want to keep him in AAA for a little bit more. That way when he comes up, its to stay – not bouncing back and forth.

    A solid month in Portland will help him. I think he’ll be up in mid-June.

  36. Since the team is clearly going no where and BB probably wouldn’t use Hundley much more then he uses Morton-why waste the service time?

    Same thing for Headley and Antonelli, minus well gain an extra year of control by keeping them down until July.

    I don’t like it either, but it makes sense


  37. #32@KRS1: what was going to be my comment. thatcher hasnt been very good. seems like a logical choice.

    #23@Geoff Young: if they said Henn will be here by Sat, then im assuming more moves could be made. maybe a headley for Pmac swap? or maybe just some pitching changes.

  38. #38@Mark Ase: Neither Hundley or Antonelli or anywhere close to being ready to be called up right now.

    Also its better to get Headley situated in the second half of this year, then if Antonelli does start performing and merits being the Padres starting second baseman in 2009 – you only have one real rookie in the line-up.

  39. I guess the question now is whether or not the Padres purposely try to finish with the worst record in baseball to draft Steven Strasburg of San Diego State. Personally, I don’t think I’d try to do that as the Padres history of developing players especially pitchers (with the obvious exception of Peavy) has been terrible.

    So not only would they take the huge attendance hit (probably) from finishing last plus the PR effect, they probably wouldn’t get anything out of it. Better off to get the 5th pick or so, it won’t cost as much when they waste that pick.

  40. Luke Carlin is up, Colt Morton to Double-A.

  41. #41@Schlom: Also, that’s a crap way to run a team.

  42. #42@Geoff Young: Another thing that I kind of liked about Bochy is that whenever there was a new addition to the team, Bochy would start the new player that same night or get him some action right away.

    It would be great to get Carlin some starts here in the next week.

  43. #44@JP: Agree (not so much on Bochy), but on the idea of getting Carlin in there soon. Probably not tonight, since Jake represents our best chance to actually win a friggin’ game, but 2 games of the next 4 would be great.

  44. I’m just glad to see Edmonds finally gone.

  45. And Carlin can even wear his number 11, which is important enough to him that it is tattoo’d on his back. Now that is a great bit of “color” for a broadcast or blog post *grin*

  46. #45@Tom Waits: Yeah, the Bochy reference was all based on trivial recollection, purely anecdotal re: bench use-
    Would you agree with Conniff that Headley is no where close to being ready ? Again, for the last time, I use the Brandon Boggs reference – Boggs had o.k minor league numbers (84 at bats in 08 @ Ok. City) when he was called up by the Rangers 3 weeks ago and has proved to be a big spark for them. I use the Boggs comparison because he is the same age as Headley w/ similiar development, AA Frisco last year and a AAA this year…anyway, its too early to tell but I hate to see other organizations push there guys up to the big show and have success with guys who are considered lesser prospects….

  47. #33@KRS1: Saunders is a nice-looking prospect, for sure. I wish Seattle was in the running and therefore in a buying mode, but hell, they’re barely doing better than we are. Towers and Bavasi do have a good relationship.

  48. As much as I would like to see the ballclub commit to it’s youth if we are going to write off this seaosn, I have to say that from a purely business standpoint it makes a massive amount of sense to delay the arbitration year crucible for Headley, provided he lives up to his potential.

    I’m eager to see how Carlin does. His long term numbers suggest that he was simply on a hot streak in Portland, but stranger things have happened than for it to continue.