Friday Links (2 Apr 10)

Now with a 110% snappier introduction, it’s links…

  • Why The San Diego Padres Should Trade Heath Bell (Friar Forecast). Daniel advocates trading Bell for… well, I don’t know. It’s hard for me to make sense of this type of analysis in a vacuum. I need more context. Who are Bell’s potential suitors? What types of players should the Padres be considering in return for Bell? Who will show Sam the Cooking Guy how to make a better peanut butter sandwich?
  • The Need For A Front of the Rotation (Chicken Friars). There’s a new blog in town, and the early returns are promising. In this installment, Nathaniel Stoltz talks about the risks inherent in young arms and offers the Padres some advice: “Unless a couple of pitchers take big steps forward this year, I’d like to see the Padres select a high-ceiling arm with their first pick in the draft, and possibly their second pick as well. As the team builds to be a future contender, getting more potential aces is a must — the more you have, the better the chance there is that enough pan out to give the team a solid core.”
  • Padres Offer Usain Bolt a Contract to Play Center Field! (Morgan Ensberg’s Baseball IQ). Ensberg notes that some in the media have interpreted the Padres’ intent to be aggressive on the bases as a desire to have fast guys on the team. He talks about chess and game theory, and drops this nugget: “Spring training games don’t count, but messages are sent. Teams may say that it is just to get ready for the coming season, but that isn’t entirely true. Scouts are watching and opposing GM’s and managers are watching tendencies. I guarantee that every report is saying that the Padres will steal and try and take an extra base. Even though the games don’t count, their message is clear.” Besides, if Bolt isn’t available (shouldn’t he play for the Chargers anyway?), there’s always Miguel Dilone. [h/t reader Masticore317]
  • On the Road with Madfriars: Spring Training (Friar Forecast). Ben chats with John Conniff about Padres prospects, organizational philosophy, and more. Conniff on Everett Williams: “He impressed me the most of the three. Good athlete, simple, repeatable swing and a very solid idea of the strike zone for a young player. He doesn’t have the power of a Jaff Decker but they are similar in the fact that you can see they have played quite a bit of baseball. I think he could do pretty well in Fort Wayne this year.”
  • 2010 Preview: San Diego Padres (Hitting the Cutoff Man). Andrew Simon’s take is mostly review material for regular readers, although here’s something I didn’t know: “If Matt Stairs makes the team this spring and steps on the field for the Padres this season, he will tie a Major League record by appearing with his 12th different team. If Stairs homers for the Pads, it will be the 11th different team he’s hit at least one long ball for, tying a record held by Todd Zeile.”
  • Visual Baseball: Introducing the Paintomatic (Hardball Times). Kevin Dame offers “an attempt at visualizing a pitcher’s arsenal (what they throw, how often they throw it, and how well they throw it.) How well they ‘paint’ so to speak.”
  • Comparing CHONE and FANS projections (FanGraphs). Dave Allen’s mission is simple: “I wanted to see, broadly, how the fans’ projections compared with a computer-based system, like CHONE.” This, to me, is more interesting than comparing projections against actual stats because it speaks more to our perceptions of a player’s ability, which could be useful in many arenas, most obviously the fantasy space.
  • In defense of the Padres (U-T). Bill Center integrates UZR into his article, complete with a rough explanation of how it is derived. Truly amazing. Melvin at Sacrifice Bunt is also impressed. [h/t Gaslamp Ball]
  • Padres’ 10 prospects to watch in 2010 ( Jonathan Mayo provides his list. No real surprises here. He also offers an organization preview.
  • Predictions sure to go wrong (Friarhood). Jeff Creps looks into the future, and what does he see? “The Padres will be in first place in the NL West for more than 1 day, but less than 6.”
  • Are you worried about the right thing? (Baseball Reference). Andy serves up some good food for thought: “…teams with lousy relievers allow more runs when it counts. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s a real trend. The middle relief guys probably make the difference of 3-5 wins per year–doesn’t sound like a lot, but it could be the difference between your team winning 87 games and going home and winning 92 games and going to the playoffs as the wild card.”
  • Bad Baseball Hall of Fame (Joe Posnanski). Pos is “taking nominations for the bad baseball Hall of Fame.” You’ll want to get in on that action. [h/t Hardball Times]

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

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4 Responses »

  1. Thanks for the link back to B-R blog.

  2. That blog post by Morgan Ensberg is AWESOME!!! MUST READ!!!

    Makes me even more excited about the 2010 season!!!

    Thanks for that link …

  3. re: Chicken Friars … I disagree that only Latos and Castro project as #1/#2 starters … I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that Wynn Pelzer, Keyvius Sampson, and Adys Portillo do also … and perhaps even Jerry Sullivan.

    MadFriars says this about Sampson …

    Sampson has three big league pitches that will grade out above average when all is said and done. He already has the mentality to succeed and a willingness to be the best. He could use some additional strength and minor tweaking mechanically. With a projectable body frame, it is only a matter of game experience before he reaches a high ceiling. He could move quickly with the potential of a No. 1 starter at the big league level.

    … and this about Pelzer …

    Conclusion: Pelzer has the stuff to be an ace of a staff or a closer at the major league level. The hope is he comes up as a starter but that hinges on finding a third pitch. If he can add a third offering and improve his fastball command, Pelzer will be a force. If not, he safely profiles at the back end of a bullpen. Either way, Pelzer is a big leaguer waiting to happen.

    Jim Callis of Baseball America is quoted at MadFriars as saying “I think Sullivan has a lot of upside.”

    It is hard for a long-time Padre fan to believe that we have some prospects! Some *real* prospects :-) :-) :-)

  4. The Ensberg stuff is really good. Sounds like he’s gonna be writing throughout the season.