Wednesday Links (27 Jul 11)

I’m still recovering from the Chicago trip and preparing for a couple of gigs this weekend with my band, so no time to watch games, let alone write something that doesn’t suck about them (not that a 6-1 drubbing at home doesn’t deserve an article that sucks). Ergo, a bevy o’ links…

Padres

  • Gone with the Wind-Up: 3 HRs in a 6-batter stint (Baseball-Reference). Padres right-hander Chad Qualls had a rough game in Philly on Saturday.
  • Spin it so good (Inside the Padres). Everyone loves rookie southpaw Josh Spence and his 83-mph fastball… except the guys he faces.
  • Is Rizzo The New Choi? (Baseball Prospectus). Regarding the recently demoted first baseman, my colleague R.J. Anderson provides a welcome voice of reason:

    Maybe all of the prospect analysts and all of the Padres scouts and evaluators missed something with Rizzo so easily spottable by a rival evaluator, or maybe, and more likely, it’s just too early to be jumping to conclusions.

    But he’s already 21 years old and spent a few months at Triple-A. C’mon, folks, time’s-a-wasting.

  • John Barbato (Oregon Baseball Report). Eugene-based Ryan Parker is providing first-hand scouting reports of players on the playoff-bound Emeralds (Padres Short-Season Class A affiliate) and other Northwest League teams. On Barbato’s fastball:

    He used this pitch well on both sides of the plate; was constantly in the low 90′s up to 93 throughout the night. It even showed some sink but always showed plus arm side run to the pitch.

    Rummage around the site a bit… interesting stuff…

  • Padres system deep at first as well as third (U-T). Speaking of prospects, Bill Center observes that the Padres are strong at the hot corner, while Chris Jenkins reminds us that we once thought the same when a certain Sean Burroughs was rising through the system.

Hall of Fame

Whatever

  • The Problem With Sabermetrics (Lookout Landing). Graham MacAree pens a pensive piece on… well, the title pretty much says it. I doubt his premise that “sabermetrics has lost its way” (although some of its practicioners may have wandered off somewhere, the discipline itself appears to be just fine) but couldn’t agree more with his assessment that “sabermetrics is a branch of applied philosophy.” Ideas, not numbers, are what make this stuff interesting and useful. Numbers are the vehicle that carry those ideas.
  • Ten things I didn’t know about franchise all-time records (Hardball Times). The Cubs, since their inception in 1876, have never had an all-time losing record.
  • An Interview with Gregor Chisholm (Mop-Up Duty). Chisholm is the Toronto Blue Jays beat reporter for MLB.com, and this is an insightful interview. Perhaps of most relevance to Padres fans is this bit on touted youngster Travis Snider, who was demoted to Triple-A earlier this season and appears to have benefited from the move. Quoth Chisholm:

    I thought Snider had proven all he could at the Minor League level and it was time for him to make those adjustments in the Majors.

    It’s still early but it appears as though the time in Las Vegas did Snider a lot of good. I know he has a very positive working relationship with Vegas hitting coach Chad Mottola and it looks like the two were able to make some fundamental changes to Snider’s approach that — at least for now — are paying big dividends.

    Food for thought in considering Anthony Rizzo’s recent return to the minors…

  • When Statistics Are Not Helpful (FanGraphs). Dave Cameron has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Please join me in extending best wishes for a quick and full recovery, and sending positive vibes his way.
  • Statis Pro Baseball: An Instruction Manual (Grantland). I used to play this game… a lot. Without Statis Pro, how would I remember that Bill Castro and Jerry Augustine were awesome coming out of the Milwaukee bullpen in 1979? I wouldn’t, and that would be a shame. [h/t BBTF]

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20 Responses »

  1. C’mon, Geoff… band practice was over at 7:30 Monday night. Plenty of time for baseball!!

  2. I’ve been tracking several prospects this year and here are some random thoughts from the farm:

    Who is Frank Garces? Seems old for the DSL but he’s posting ridiculous strikeout numbers. Abel Mora has strung together a run of good starts. He’s a 6’6 LHP, and is only 19. Remember Alvaro Aristy, the Dominican signing from a few years back? It seems he was discovered as Jorge Guzman, 2 years older. Still isn’t hitting anyway so it probably doesn’t matter. Edwin Moreno is showing some pop also.

    The AZL team seems to have some fun outfielders to watch. Yoan Alcantara (who never walks), Yair Lopez, Alberth Martinez and Corey Adamson. Duanel Jones has shown power of late.

    The Eugene team has some nice arms. Johnny Barbato, Greg Gonzalez, Matt Stites, Colin Rea and Matt Andriese are all pitching well. Quackenbush as well, and was promoted to Fort Wayne. Mr. Silent Lucidity, Donovan “Don’t Call me Geoff” Tate is back as well, awaiting his next pitfall.

    Ft. Wayne’s Zach Cates and Adys Portillo have pitched better recently. Cates hasn’t been bad overall but he has some control issues to iron out. He only has 80 professional innings under his belt so it takes time. Keyvius Sampson has been solid all year. I guess Domoromo excites people, but he doesn’t seem to have above average power or speed, and is an average defender, so he’s going to have to hit to make it. Speedy CF Rico Noel had a good July so far, with a 278/369/351 slash line while stealing 18 bases. Rymer Liriano seems to have progressed after struggling at Lake Elsinore earlier in the year.

    Speaking of Lake Elsinore, former first round pick Nick Schmidt is back and pitching well. 1B Nate Freiman followed up a 378/417/595 June with a 309/364/526 July (so far). Matt Lollis has struggled some, and is pitching out of the pen as a longman? Jonathan Galvez has been ok, but I’m still not sold on Reymond Fuentes. Seems like the second coming of Juan Pierre.

    Above that, San Antonio has lots of talent (I won’t waste your time listing them), but also has three relievers who have turned in solid seasons in Nick Vincent, Miles Mikolas and Erik Hamren. And if that’s not exciting enough, OF Dan Robertson continues to plug along.

  3. @DTS

    One quibble on Domoromo. A 19 year old Venezuelan slugging .436 in the Midwest League, with a 343 wOBA, is impressive. He’s younger than everyone who’s outhitting him (wOBA) except Nick Castellanos, and usually he’s younger by a lot. He’s only older than Castellanos by a month.

    Lollis in the pen is probably to control his innings and maybe to help him focus. He had so much helium last year it was almost inevitable he’d disappoint, at least slightly, this year.