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. #50@Rich Campbell: Rich, not meaning to sound like a complete idiot but feeling like one, could you or anyone else fill me in about this Carlin kid?

  2. #48@JP: It’s only one guy. We can find a lot more players who were considered BETTER prospects than Headley (or Boggs), got called up, and struggled. Just because Boggs has had a nice two weeks (with an ungodly BABIP) is no reason to believe that he won’t struggle badly this season or that Chase would have similar success. I mean, let’s get numerical again, Boggs has a .500 BABIP. That’s crazy. It won’t last. If he even got within 50 points of his BABIP from last year (423) in AA it would be a major surprise.

    I wouldn’t say Headley is “no where close,” but I would say “The risks outweigh the benefits of promoting him right now.” He’s not going to save the season. Let him solidify his recent gains in AAA, not striking out so much, walking, hitting for power, then promote him in June or July.

  3. #50@Rich Campbell:

    #51@Turbine Dude:

    Carlin’s supposedly a very good defensive catcher. He’s always had pretty good plate discipline, but almost no power. Those players tend to see their walks fall in the majors because the pitchers don’t have to be careful; think Cesar Crespo.

  4. #51@Turbine Dude: I typed a response, but it had a URL in it and the blog software ate it.

    Anyway, Carlin’s hitting way over his head now. Switch-hitter with a very good defensive reputation, disciplined at the plate with almost no power. I think he can stick because his defense isn’t coupled with total ineptitude at the plate, but his offensive profile reminds me a lot of Cesar Crespo. Sometimes the guys who have good walk numbers in the minors can’t do it in the majors because the pitchers can throw strikes and aren’t afraid to.

  5. I agree that Headley will probably be called up in another month or two once the front office can see whether or not PMac or Hairston are in their long term plans.

    Also, at that point when they call up Headley, it will have a chain reaction and they can bring Huffman up to AAA, and Hunter to AA.

  6. #49@Tom Waits:

    BA named him the best defensive outfielder in the system when they still had Adam Jones. I wonder what we could even work out. Who knows I’m really just looking for promising prospects at this point.

  7. #53@Tom Waits: Thanks.

  8. #51@Turbine Dude: Here’s my analysis:

    The 27 year-old Carlin is considered one of the top
    defensive catchers in the system, making him a better candidate as a backup catcher than Morton. A minor leaguer in the Padre organization since 2003, he had his best offensive season in 2006, when he batted .266 with four home runs and a .392 OBP for Portland. So far in ’08, Carlin is batting .387 with three home runs and a .574 OBP through 11 games.

  9. #55@Brett:

    KT did say that Cedric Hunter could be a CF option for 09. I mean I took it with a grain of salt but it was still surprising to hear.

  10. I don’t think anyone is giving up on this season, except some of the fans.

  11. #41 – Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Strasburg a Sophomore, and would not be eligible to be drafted until the 2009 Amateur Draft?

  12. Never mind, I get it now.

  13. #61@Gracie: yyou are correct but if the Padres are the worst team this year then they will get the first overall pick in the 2009 draft.

  14. Glad I looked before I started the new post… I found a fun interview with Carlin on the Beaver’s web page, that was where I got the tattoo thing… I’ve closed it, but if you google “Luke Carlin interview” i’m sure it will come up…

  15. #43@Geoff Young: I’m not saying that’s a good way to run a ballclub but that might be the way the Padres look at it. If the front office does think that way, the pick of Schmidt over Porcello makes a lot of sense — why spend the money if the pitcher is going to be a bust anyway? Of course, that negativity might be a self-fulfilling prophecy but it’s totally understandable why the Padres wouldn’t want to spend money in the amateur draft. It also makes me wonder if they knew that Stauffer was injured before they took him in 2003, they saved $2m to $3m with that pick.

  16. #36@Schlom: Why do people continue to ignore Giles when mentioning the three or so players having good seasons for the Padres? It’s not like the list is so long that it’s easy to miss one of them.

  17. #66@Richard: Probably because he’s becoming a fixture.

  18. Re 40: How would come to that conclusion? I could see you making an arguement about Antonelli not being ready because he’s been unlucky hitting singles(he’s walking as much as he K’s, and still has +power) but to say that about Headley is well……dumb.

  19. #52@Tom Waits: Actually the Ranger roster features two players, Duran (22 yrs old) and Boggs (25) who were playing in the Texas League last year and are both contributing at the major league level. I watched these two play all year (07) as well as Antonelli & Headley and I find it interesting that while some experts see Antonelli and Headley as “not even close”, Duran and Boggs are there. Last year, they were all equal ?

  20. #66@Richard: Giles has done a good job this year. The team start is so putrid that his performance may get ignored.

  21. #52@Tom Waits: Yes, but of course, only 2 players and so early

  22. #12@John Conniff: sorry info was wrong Colt is to San Antonio where he will play everyday

  23. #48@JP: Actually JP I said “Hundley” isn’t ready offensively. Headley could come up now but it would be to everyone’s benefit if it was delayed for a month or two – as people said in later posts.

  24. #54@Tom Waits: BTW, I can’t resist since you mentioned his name in countering me the other day but have you noticed what Luis Gonzalez has been doing lately ? His OPS is now .826. Yes, at this point I would take him in a Left Field platoon for the Pads over the undependable PMAC.

  25. IGD donde esta? Man, I gotta watch “There Will Be Blood” tonight instead of the game since it’s overdue at the local video store. Netflix has let me down recently. Anyway, hope there will be Rockie blood, not literally but…..

  26. #76@Oside Jon: Jon, log out of here and log into the IGD.

  27. Jeremy Reed anyone? After staying healthy last year, he had a pretty productive year in AAA. He’s off to another good start. While he’s no longer a prospect, the M’s don’t seem too interested. I can’t imagine he would be that expensive and he can play a legit CF.