Oy, what happened to the week? I want a do-over. Anyway, here are your links:
- Stairs happy to fill niche for Padres (U-T). From Bill Center’s article: “With his phone not ringing with offers, Stairs signed on with NutriSystem and started trimming 32 pounds. He began playing hockey, became an assistant hockey coach at John Bast Memorial High in Bangor, Maine, coached his daughter’s softball team and accepted an offer to be the hitting coach for the University of Maine baseball team.” So now basketball (Will Venable and Chris Young) and hockey are represented. How about football? Badminton? Lawn darts?
- Percentage of Team Payroll Lost to Time on DL (Beyond the Boxscore). Jeff Zimmerman does some interesting work using Josh Hermsmeyer’s injury database. If Hermsmeyer’s database is accurate (I don’t know), this doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the Padres. [h/t reader Didi]
- Minor league run environments (Hardball Times). Justin Inaz reminds us that context is everything. This is why I include those “League in a Box” tables in the Annuals.
- The Complete Top 100 Prospects List (Baseball America). Four Padres make the list, which is more than usual: Donavan Tate (#53), Simon Castro (#57), Jaff Decker (#82), and James Darnell (#90). Also, there’s a fun discussion at Hardball Times that reminds me why I don’t take these lists too seriously; with all due respect to BA, which does fantastic work, I’m with Studes, who says in the thread: “I don’t see lists like this as a science, just a survey of how people are feeling about each prospect at a certain point in time.”
- Latos adjusts in quest for rotation spot (Padres.com). Pitching coach Darren Balsley on his young right-hander: “When you ask Mat to do something, he will do it. The most impressive thing to me was yesterday when we were in the bullpen, the two things I asked him to do in the offseason, he did it. He came in with a definite purpose this year and that’s to make the Major League staff instead of just showing up for the experience. He already went through that once. Now he’s trying to make the club.” And this, my friends, is why nobody is handing Latos a job. Talent is good. Talent + hunger is better.
- Parity (or lack there of) and the best and worst of the last 1.5 decade (PAAPFLY). From the article: “If money meant everything and every team who spent the most always had the most wins, you would expect that every single team would fall in line with their average payroll and average number of wins. Of course, we know that’s simply not true.” According to the methods employed here, the usual suspects look good (A’s, Indians, Twins) and bad (Orioles, Mariners). The Padres show up on the positive side as well, which isn’t surprising to those who have followed the club over the past several years. [h/t BBTF]
- San Diego Padres: Top 10 Prospects (Fangraphs). Marc Hulet gives his list. I like Darnell better than Forsythe, and I like Decker better than both. I’m not excited by Hulet’s 7-8-9 of Luebke, Poreda, Zawadzki. More intriguing prospects in the system didn’t make the cut. Have I mentioned lately that I hate prospect lists?
- Remember the former Padres Mascot “Bluepper”? (Gaslamp Ball). I certainly do. He came and went just as I was beginning my conversion from Dodger Blue to Padre, well, I guess Blue.
- The Good Shapers (Fangraphs). Dave Cameron lists some players who reportedly have reported to camp in the “best shape of their life.” Stairs and Kyle Blanks show up here, as does ex-Padre Oliver Perez.
- Matt Antonelli moving up, at least in one sense (Sacrifice Bunt). Melvin likes the way Antonelli is interacting with fans, doing the blog thing and what-not.
- Top prospect Antonelli seeks fresh start (Padres.com). Speaking of Antonelli, he’s well aware of his situation: “Last year, I played in 50 games and was hurt. The year before that, I didn’t play well. You cannot play the way I have played forever or you won’t be playing baseball. I know that.”
- Rangers release shortstop Greene (TexasRangers.com). What a shame. Here’s hoping Khalil can beat his personal demons.
- Hundley studies up on how to calm down (U-T). Padres bench coach Ted Simmons on Nick Hundley: “When I was a rookie, I hit .243 and had no clue what I was really doing behind the plate… Honestly, I think all these things are going to iron themselves out reasonably well with Nick. There’s no question in my mind he can do it. He’s able to do it if people aren’t impatient with him. What’s he got right now, less than a 150 games in the major leagues? (130 to be exact) You need three times that many with a catcher. What he needs to do is catch and learn hitters in the league.”
- Bell has eye on preserving union (U-T). Quoth Bell: “I think the owners are going to try to break up the union.” Of course. If I were an owner, I’d be trying to do the same thing. That there is a mighty powerful union, in case you hadn’t noticed.
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Need links? Check out Ducksnorts @ Delicious, updated daily.
Kevin Goldstein has his Top 11 up at BP: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=10110
Geoff, I second your thoughts on Khalil. I don’t care if he ever plays baseball again, but I sincerely hope he’s able to get to a place where’s he’s comfortable and happy in his life!
Tate 53 and Decker 82. Tate is the guy who was injured and has yet to play a game and Decker is the guy who was one of the top offensive performers in his league at 19, a league where most of the other top performers were 2 and 3 years older. Right? Methinks BA placed a tad too much emphasis on projection and a touch too little on performance. Still, it’s great to see 4 guys in their top 100 when we’ve been having 1 in most recent years.