Me, Elsewhere: Millwood in Denver, and Scoresheet Podcast

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) wonders why the lowly Rockies, a team that should be rebuilding for the future, would trade away 27-year-old right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and insert 36-year-old Kevin Millwod into the rotation. The article also examines the difficulties in evaluating Pacific Coast League performance, an issue the Padres have experienced firsthand this season with Anthony Rizzo.

* * *

I also was a guest on Jeff Barton’s Scoresheet Podcast this past week. Jeff runs Scoresheet Baseball, which combines the best of Rotisserie Baseball (current season stats) with the best of classic tabletop simulations such as Strat-o-Matic, ABPA, or my personal poison Statis-Pro (no adding up “points” in “categories”).

I’ve been playing Scoresheet for about 20 years… In fact, Ducksnorts originally was part of a larger web site called “Geoff’s Scoresheet Pages” or some such on AOL or Geocities. Scoresheet also is the engine that drives the BP Kings league (which I’m sucking in this year, thanks to injuries and a suboptimal drafting strategy, not necessarily in that order).

Anywho, Jeff and I talk baseball. I get all sappy at one point, saying something like, “Baseball isn’t just the greatest sport in the world, it’s one of the greatest anythings in the world.” I’d give you the exact quote but then I’d have to listen to myself talk, which… ew.

You probably won’t mind my voice as much as I do, though, and should give the podcast a spin. Go on, it’ll be fun…

Padres Spend $11 Million on Draft Picks

In the moments leading up to Monday’s 9:01 p.m. PT deadline, the Padres signed three of their “big four” unsigned picks from the June draft. They inked right-handers Joe Ross (25th overall, $2.75 million) and Michael Kelly (48th, $718,000), and catcher Austin Hedges (82nd, $3 million), all of whom had strong college commitments (Ross and Hedges to UCLA, Kelly to Florida).

The only one that got away was catcher Brett Austin (54th), who chose to attend North Carolina State instead. The Padres will receive the 55th pick overall in the 2012 draft as compensation for their failure to sign Austin. Continue reading ›

SABR Meeting Highlights

The San Diego Ted Williams Chapter of SABR had its latest meeting this past Saturday, at the Mission Valley library. Presenters included Petco Park groundskeeper Luke Yoder, Padres official scorer Jack Murray, SABR bio project biographer John Green, and local TV personality/book author Jane Mitchell. Continue reading ›

Decker, Valdez, and the Next Big Things

I was listening to a San Antonio Missions game over the Internet last week. The Missions won at home against Corpus Christi. Left-hander Pedro Hernandez worked six scoreless and picked up the win, with Sawyer Carroll and Jaff Decker providing much of the offense.

We’ve talked about Decker’s struggles this year, and a few items from last Wednesday’s contest are worth noting… Continue reading ›

Thursday Links (11 Aug 11)

Despite Kyle Blanks having his string of multi-hit games snapped at five (he singled and walked), Wednesday was a good day for the Padres. Will Venable knocked four hits out of the leadoff spot, Jesus Guzman drove in his 30th run to pull within two of active team leader Jason Bartlett (Cameron Maybin also has 30, and don’t look now, but here comes Alberto Gonzalez with 25!), and the bullpen held on to a huge lead despite their best efforts. I was fully prepared for Willie Harris to hit a game-tying grand slam in the ninth, but it didn’t happen.

Speaking of which, did you notice that the Dodgers blew a six-run lead in their game against the Phillies? The Padres have pulled to within one game of their neighbors to the north in the heated battle for fourth place. Hot damn, this is exciting!

Oh, and congrats to James Darnell for collecting his first big-league hit. He singled to left off Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell in the ninth, which inspired me to make a daft comparison between Darnell/Parnell and Julia Gulia on Twitter. Hey, it’s what I do.

Anywho, we have links… Continue reading ›

Facts of No Particular Consequence

I am a furious note taker. I scribble quotes, reflections, and factoids with reckless indiscrimination, so that “An island is a ship without sails” (from page 209 of Deborah Tall’s The Island of the White Cow) immediately follows a chart showing Chris Denorfia’s sudden decline:

Months   PA   BA  OBP  SLG
Mar-Jun 208 .301 .359 .446
Jul-Aug  81 .155 .259 .169

Denorfia carried the offense earlier in the season but had become a serious drag before landing on the disabled list last week. Now, his overall numbers look a lot like those of Will Venable, who was so bad at one point that he got sent back to the minors:

Player    PA   BA  OBP  SLG OPS+
Denorfia 289 .261 .331 .370 100
Venable  281 .259 .332 .362  98

Denorfia has been a useful contributor to the Padres, hitting .266/.333/.408 (108 OPS+) in a season’s worth of plate appearances, but he turned 31 last month and shares the same skill set as Aaron Cunningham, a man 6 years his junior. Denorfia’s career resurrection in San Diego makes for a great story, much as Jody Gerut’s did before him, but his time here is likely drawing to a close. Continue reading ›

Me, Elsewhere: Mets Series Preview, and NL West Two-Team Race

The good folks at were kind enough to have me on Monday’s edition of The Baseball Show to preview this week’s Padres/Mets series at Citi Field. My comments on Heath Bell probably sounded smarter before he helped his former team come back from a four-run deficit and kept his current team from its first five-game winning streak of the season.

If only the Padres hadn’t released Mike Baxter, who hit the ball off Chad Qualls (who replaces the departed Mike Adams as “eighth-inning guy”) that Kyle Blanks (who replaces the departed Ryan Ludwick as “left fielder”) couldn’t catch… if only they hadn’t acquired Bell from the Mets in 2006… the Padres might have held onto the lead and pulled to within a game of the fourth-place Dodgers.

* * *

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) concentrates on the Giants and Diamondbacks, who find themselves within a half-game of each other headed into the season’s final quarter. The article notes that the former have an easy schedule in August, while the latter have a new first baseman in Paul “Firm Pudding” Goldschmidt.

The article also observes that the Padres, thanks to their wanton destruction of the Pirates this past weekend, own the same Pythagorean record as the first-place Giants. (In fact, between the time it was written and the time it was published, the Padres pushed ahead by a game… not that there are any prizes for Pythagorean records.)

I Would Like to Order Brooms from You

I received a delightful note from a fan the other day. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but apparently he was anticipating this past weekend’s three-game sweep in Pittsburgh. I’ll reprint the message in its entirety:

Dear Sir/Madam
Am Mr Jerry and i would like to order Brooms from you and would like to know the types and sizes you have in stock as well as the prices and the types of credit cards that you take for payment.Thank you and waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.


Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing. I don’t know anything about types and sizes, but I’m pretty sure you can’t put a price on a series like that. Still, if you insist (and who am I to argue?), I’m happy to accept any form of payment.


I don’t care what anyone says, Jerry is good people. Here’s hoping he finds what he needs… Continue reading ›

Comps for Jesus Guzman

People have been asking me about Jesus Guzman, and for good reason. Since his recall from Triple-A in mid-June, Guzman has done nothing but hit, which makes him an anomalous figure on the 2011 Padres.

This is exciting, of course, because who doesn’t love the occasional run? At the same time, Guzman is 27 years old and just getting his first taste of the big leagues, which means he isn’t likely to become much more than a role player at this level. Continue reading ›

Thursday Links (4 Aug 11)

It’s not the space cowboy, the gangster of love, or even Maurice. It’s just links…