Thursday Links (2 Jun 11)

Too much day job… these have been gathering dust for a while, so you’ll have plenty to read while I’m off doing… you don’t even want to know…

  • Where did the leadoff monsters go? (SweetSpot). Christina Kahrl asks a compelling question.
  • The Offensive Downturn and Our Perceptions (Platoon Advantage). Cameron Maybin and Dustin Moseley make appearances here. Speaking of Maybin, he has landed on the DL (right knee inflammation), replaced on the roster by Aaron Cunningham. Speaking of Cunningham… and Moseley
  • The Annotated WARP Leaders (Baseball Prospectus). This is a fun list, despite an absence of Padres.
  • Answers from a Sabermetrician, Part 1 (Baseball Prospectus). Tom Tango speaks. I hate the phrase “must-read” but it applies here. The stuff on lineup optimization and bullpen usage is fascinating. Money quote:

    The best way to set up your batting order is to put it in the optimal order (which means you have to have different batting lineups based on pitcher handedness), and then tweak it based on the ego of the players, because human impact is more important than leveraging two runs.

  • Answers from a Sabermetrician, Part 2 (Baseball Prospectus). More gold:

    Another disheartening thing was the proof-reading… It was a disaster… when I see people complaining about typos in BPro and other books, I just shake my head, because I will never criticize someone for that.

    I used to edit and proofread articles for scientific journals. Seriously, if you haven’t done this sort of thing for a living, it’s difficult to appreciate how demanding and — in a certain sense — utterly hopeless it is.

  • Five trades that need to be made (SweetSpot). Mike Adams to the Tigers for Francisco Martinez? Why would the Padres trade one of their best players for a minor-league third baseman? Third base is an area (perhaps the only area) of organizational strength. FanGraphs also lists Adams as a possible trade target, but I have yet to see a satisfying explanation for why the Padres would want to move him unless someone is willing to overpay… which is possible.
  • John Harper’s Hypocrisy (Platoon Advantage). In which it is fair for some people to cry “steroids” but not others…
  • Top 50 prospects of the draft era (SweetSpot). A couple of Padres draftees (Kevin McReynolds, Mike Ivie) make the cut, as do a few others who played in San Diego: Jack Clark, Gary Sheffield, Mark Prior, Stephen Strasburg. [h/t reader Didi]
  • MLB Rewind: Dallas Buck released, and updates on several former Portland Beavers (The Oregonian). I don’t know who Buck is, but the rest of this is about guys who play(ed) in the Padres organization.
  • Minor Thoughts- Cody Decker: Closed For Repairs (Tree). Decker discusses his ankle injury and makes Karate Kid references.
  • Spring in Padres camp pays benefits for RHP Bass (U-T). As I said the other day on Twitter, “I like that [Anthony] Bass’ K/9 has improved on moving up a level, to a league with a lower overall K/9.”
  • My Major Love of the Minors (Hollywood Hippie). Never mind that she’s a Yankees fan, she gets to watch the San Antonio Missions in action and is seriously on the Free Kyle Blanks train.
  • U Got the Look: Fielding, Part II (Baseball Prospectus). Jason Parks talks defense.
  • Padres cutting back on tweeting (U-T). Orlando Hudson wins the award for best unintentional irony: “I don’t like talking to people. I don’t even like phoning my wife every day.” First off, if you’ve ever seen Hudson in action, you know that he is a chatterbox. Second, I hope his wife doesn’t read the paper.
  • At home with the Cansecos (Yuma Sun). Wait, Jose Canseco manages a baseball team in Yuma and I missed it? I was just there! Oops, forgot… I don’t care.
  • Joakim Soria pulled from closer’s role after taking fifth blown save (Hardball Talk). The former Padres farmhand is struggling. Joe Posnanski offes his thoughts.
  • 2011 wOBA: By Batting Order (FanGraphs). So, hey, our no. 6 hitters rock.

That’s enough for now. It’s not like there isn’t an endless supply these days…

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37 Responses »

  1. The appeal of an Adams trade for the Padres is that he’s less expensive and isn’t a free agent at the end of the year, like other relievers on this team. I wouldn’t mind trading Bell straight up for a prospect (like, say, Jurickson Profar) but Adams would require a real bounty. I would expect a solid prospect (maybe not a great one) and a big league player for Adams, which has to be enticing.

  2. Would the Rangers really give up Profar for Bell? If so, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

  3. Why would the Rangers make that trade?

    Unfortunately, I don’t see Ludwick, Bell, or Adams, etc bringing that type of a return.

  4. @Ray that trade seems bad for both teams at the moment, it may end up helping the Padres significantly in the long run but that’s a long way off and the Padres are looking for player that can be in Petco within the next year or two. However, I don’t see the Rangers parting with possibly an all-star caliber shortstop for a one year rental.

  5. One good thing about getting swept by the Mariners — it tightened the AL West, which puts pressure on all those teams to upgrade.

    Draft talk? Anyone? Where’s Friberg!

  6. @Steve C Who says the Padres are looking at players who can be in PETCO in the next couple of years? The Adrian trade focused on shoring up the system and I don’t think it’s so far back that the team would make specifications like that.

  7. @ray and parlo – I would think Bell for Profar would make perfect sense… fits an org need for the Padres and last I checked the Rangers had Elvis and Kinsler in their middle infield.

    @tom – I am hoping the Padres take Jungmann, Springer, or Mahtook with the first pick. I would also love to see a bunch of high upside highschool pitchers. The Padres system is loaded with middle and back end rotation picthers but lacks top end talent, save for maybe Sampson.

  8. TW: Draft! Yes!

    BA has the Padres taking Matt Barnes (college SP) at 10 and Brian Goodwin (junior college OF) at 25. Keith Law has them taking Cory Spangenberg (JC 3B – may move to CF) at 10 and Dillon Howard (high school P) at 25. Sonny Gray and Taylor Jungmann (both college SP) are a couple other names that have been attached to the Padres. Spangenberg seems like a signability pick at the unprotected slot, but the other names aren’t, which is encouraging. Law thinks they’re willing to go for upside and over slot with the second pick, mentioning some high school pitchers with big bonus demands, also encouraging.

    So that’s what the experts think will happen. What do we want to happen? I think I like Gray most of the first pick names and don’t really know for the second pick. Like PadresFuture, I’d like to see some upside and above slot deals.

  9. @Ray – That trade brought the Padres 2 players that could end up being in Petco this season. Rizzo is MLB ready now and Kelly is a possible Sept call up.

  10. Spangenberg’s offense does not look that thrilling to me as an outfielder, although the way these things work, he could turn out a Hall of Famer. The college arms offer a lot of upside and in most cases sign for near-slot.

    @PadresFuture

    There seem to be a lot of questions about Springer’s bat. We may have to draft relatively more position players since good-hitting free agents won’t come to SD, but when there’s a flag on the most important tool….

    @Ben B.

    I like Gray, too. He seems to have lost some momentum.

  11. Thanks so much for linking my blog!! MUCH appreciated :)

    Gotta go! My train’s here…next stop San Diego!

    Thanks,

    The Hollywood Hippie ;)

    p.s. – I live tweet the San Antonio Missions game if any of your readers are interested.

    http://twitter.com/HollywdHippie

  12. @tom – I have been warming to Mahtook over Springer lately. Would love to see mahtook fall to 25, but I doubt it. The Padres will likely go Barnes/Gray/Jungmann at # 10. Jungmann is my bet as he will move fast and is a safe pick, he doesnt have the upside of the others but should be a solid middle of the rotation player. I am thinking at 25 they will go overslot.

  13. I have to say, being new to this site, the level of discourse here makes Gaslamp Ball seem like the remedial classes at a middle school for troubled students.

  14. @sammy – Yeah, nice to be able to debate and discuss without name calling. Geoff runs an interesting site.

  15. @Steve C Sure, but the Red Sox had immediate impact guys that Hoyer could’ve targeted. It’s not as if we’re the Royals and we’ve got a grade A system that’s ready to produce. And on a personal level, I feel like this team has been focusing on good players who are close over great players who are further away for too long. Patience was never one of Towers’ strong suits and that’s part of the reason why the organization is in the state it’s in.

  16. @TW et al.: Love the draft chatter. I haven’t been able to follow as closely as I’d like this year, so please edumacate me.

    @The Hollywood Hippie: Thanks for stopping by and saying hey. Go Missions!

    @Sammy @PadresFuture: Glad y’all found us. Thanks for being a part of it.

  17. @GY

    Hell, I was hoping you could fill me in. This year I know the top college pitchers, a couple of college bats, and Lindor, who I don’t want and will therefore probably have a HoF career.

  18. @Ray When you have a $40 Mil payroll and a so-so farm system, you have to look to trade for players that are MLB ready (or at least close to it) that are cheap and controllable to fill holes on the team for the next upcoming season. The Padres have imdeate pressing needs in the rotation, at C (backup) in the MIF and potentially at the corner OF spots (depends on how Cunningham, Hunter and Tekotte work out). At this point the Padres have to be worried about thier MLB roster next season not thier 2014 roster.

  19. Dallas Buck! He’s my favorite college pitcher of all time! I was at his debut @ Oregon St … one of only a couple dozen in the stands that sunny but cold February afternoon in Corvallis …snow from a couple of days before still literally on the ground outside the stadium and on nearby Mary’s Peak. I caught a foul ball … was asked to throw it back … did so over the net, right into the catcher’s might … but I digress :-)

    Dallas Buck was a stud! He was the Beavers #1 right from that first start … imo, he was the foundation of their run to back-to-back national championships. Sure, Darwin Barney (whom y’all know now ’cause he’s playing well for Cubs) and Mitch Canham (still toiling in the A’s org after being drafted by the Padres) were the everyday stars, but it was knowing that you’d get a W on Friday that made it clear they were a special team destined to go far into each postseason.

    And, as good as Dallas was, I never had the sense that he’d survive the workload he shouldered … it was clear he was “all in” … and it was a glorious run!

    I was very fortunate to be in a special place during a special time and at a time in my life where I could invest in being a fan and was able to see what was brewing, what was developing. I was able to go to many regular season games … and all their Regionals and Super Regionals games … only regret is that I didn’t invest in a trip to Omaha … I’ve heard that’s a unique baseball experience. But I did enjoy those games on the radio … and the Beavers have an *excellent* radio announcer, Mike Parker … he’s very good at football and basketball … but you could tell his passion was for baseball … and I *love* listening to baseball on the radio!

    Go Beavs!

    (so, thanks for that link!)

  20. @Steve – The Padres have Hudson and Bartlett wrapped up through next season. They have Forsythe and Cabrera also. Weems is starting to look like a legit prospect. I would be fine with an outfield next year of Blanks, Maybin, Tekotte, and Cunningham. I agree that backup catcher is an issue, but Hagerty won’t be too much longer in minors. They clearly could have done better this year on the bench and with back up catching.

    @Ray – I mostly agree with you. I would like to see the Padres draft a lot up high upside highschoolers. With 5 picks before round 2 they have a chance to grab several “close” but good players and then can focus a good deal from rounds 2 through 10 on drafting guys that may need overslot money. The Padres will produce a lot of major league players over the next couple years but I question how many will have big impacts.

  21. @PadresFuture I wonder how much of this year’s troubles with the bench has to do with the market not playing out like Hoyer assumed it would. All winter, it seemed like he kept insisting that players would slip through the cracks in February but when all was said and done, we were stuck with Gonzalez and Johnson. Obviously, Hoyer needs to learn from this but I don’t think we should spend from a position of strength to fill basic needs.

  22. @LM: thanks for the info, man. that’s awesome to be such a fan.

  23. @PadresFuture and Ray

    In fairness to Hoyer, neither of the players that Gonzalez (Patterson) and Johnson replaced are worth very much this year. Allocating the 5M to sign Hairston and Torrealba back probably wouldn’t have added more than 1 win to our record, and it’s a bigger commitment if you count Yorvit’s second year. Bench players are just hard to predict.

  24. @Tom – I can understand that. In general I prefer the Padres put some of their young talent like Forsythe on the bench. I don’t mean players who they believe to be high impact future mainstays, those guys need their at bats. But, some hungry young players that the club is unsure if they should be full time or utility, again like Forsythe, should be on the club.

  25. Keith Law’s got an updated mock up today, and he’s got the Padres taking Barnes and Gray. I’ll sign up for that. His comment on the pick at 25:

    “Gray shouldn’t get this far, but enough teams see him as a reliever that he seems to be sliding out of the top half of the round. Also hearing the Padres on Tyler Anderson (Oregon State LHP) or Alex Meyer (Kentucky RHP) here, but they’re open to a high school player if there’s a fit.”

    Article is insider.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/draft/2011/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&page=LawMockDraft3.0

  26. @Tom Waits That fits inside my point. With how inconsistent bench production can be, should we really dedicate such important capital on it?

  27. @Ben B.

    Holy Cow. Barnes and Gray give me naughty thoughts.

    @Ray

    I totally agree we shouldn’t look to fill bench holes with trades of our valuable players. I was speaking to your comment about Hower’s reading of the market. Even if more desirable players than Gonzalez/Johnson had been available, they might not have done anything more.

  28. BA’s experts draft has the Padres drafting Jungmann and Tyler Anderson in the first round. I would be thrilled with that.

  29. Storms’ manager resigned due to family reason. Let’s hope things will be better for the family.

    ———
    Carlos Lezcano resigned as the manager of the Padres’ Class A Lake Elsinore affiliate Thursday for family reasons, the organization announced. Former Padre Phil Plantier takes over as Lake Elsinore’s manager. He had been the hitting coach. Another former Padre, David Newhan, will join Lake Elsinore as a coach. Lezcano was in his fifth season as the Lake Elsinore manager and in his ninth season as a minor league manager in the Padres system. Lezcano was the California League Manager of the Year last season for leading the Storm to an 81-59 regular-season record.

  30. I didn’t think Jed did too badly trying to build a bench. Jarrett Hoffpauir looked like a good 2B/3B signing, but went on the DL and just recently started playing for Tucson. He’s noted for a strong accurate arm, a line drive hitter who works the count and a hard-nosed, scrappy demeanor. In 17 games, he’s hitting .300 with more walks than strikeouts(10/6), and has scored 14 runs.

    Cantu was a good gamble along with Hawpe, with them serving as RH/LH hitters off the bench when the other is playing. While Hawpe has gotten better, Cantu just isn’t putting up good ABs this year, swinging wildly at low outside pitches. I think Cantu was meant to be strictly a 1B/pinch hitter.

    Where Jed missed was not getting a quality backup at SS, but that was the toughest slot to fill this offseason. He did well to get Gonzalez, who at least brought his glove with him. The Padres got middle infielder Steve Tolleson from Oakland and put him in Tucson, so with him and Hoffpauir in the wings, there could be a shake-up of the bench coming

  31. Barnes didn’t make it out of the 5th inning yesterday, so his college career is prolly done …

    http://www.ncaa.com/game/baseball/d1/2011/06/03/coastal-caro-connecticut

    The Sickles’ community has the Padres taking Jed Bradley from Georgia Tech …

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/6/4/2206417/2011-minor-league-ball-community-mock-draft-round-one#comments

    … who’s pitching well so far in today’s elimination game.

  32. Wow did anyone see Krasovic’s article on the Padres scouting department? I guess in the pre Morrad and Hoyer Era the Padres had the fewest number of armature scouts in the League (12) and since then Hoyer has hired ten more to bring the Padres up to 22. It makes you wonder if the Padres have really had bad luck in the draft….

    http://insidethepadres.blogspot.com/2011/06/scouts-and-draft.html

  33. @Steve C: In th C. Arnholt Smith days and early Ray Kroc days, the Padres didn’t have ANY scouts. They used something called the Scouting Combine. They also had the first or second overall pick nearly every year for a decade, and their record was so dreadful, the Moores/Towers record was sheer genius by comparison.

  34. Apologies if I’m late to the conversation with this gripe, but why is Patterson playing ahead of Tekotte? At least Forsythe is getting some more PT.

  35. @Bruce – I am wondering the same thing. Bochy used to do this…. playing poorly hitting veterans over younger players that project to be better.

  36. @Bruce @PadresFuture

    It’s mind blowing that Black sent Venable down to the minors yet has been starting Patterson in the outfield a lot since Venable left. I’m not sure what Black sees in Patterson but it’s outright shocking that he’s not only getting as many ABs as he is, but as high in the order as he has been batting as well.

  37. @PadresFuture@Ben

    Not only that he plays Denorfia in his worst fielding position when he could have played Tekotte in CF to begin with. I know Tekotte has struggled a bit since last weekend, but it’s not like Patterson has his own great track record. Yeah he’s fast as can be, but what’s the use when you can get on base to begin with.