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…


  • 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


  • 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, 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]