Preaching Padre religion one post at time

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maddux Remains In San Diego

Thursday's non waiver trade deadline has come and gone with the Padres holding onto players like Greg Maddux, Brian Giles, and Josh Bard. Other Padres players who had their names in a few trade rumors included bullpen arms Cla Meredith and Heath Bell. FF was hoping to see the Pads unload Maddux and maybe Bard, as the catching duties for the rest of this year should go to Nick Hundley to allow the Pads to evaluate where he stands in their fuure plans. Towers has never been shy with the waiver wire deals; he made plenty of deals in August last year and FF would be surprised if there aren't a few coming this season.

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Frustrated Greene Breaks Hand

In a rare show of emotion, Padres SS Khalil Greene fractures his hand after punching a storage unit. Greene has maintained his above average play with the leather, but his offensive number have declined to such a point that many Padres fans were calling for him to be traded out of the only organization he has played for. The Padres do not have a high level shortstop in their organization, will go with Luis Rodriguez who many feel is better suited to play second. Greene struck out for the 100th time prior to getting into a losing fight with an inanimate object. The Padres may have seen the last of Greene in a Friar uniform, it should be an interesting offseason (that's right, FF is already talking offseason - yikes).

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dodgers Intersted In Maddux

ESPN's Buster Olney (Vanderbilt Alum) is reporting that the Dodgers have infact expressed interest in the Padres Greg Maddux. The two sides are in the process of exchanging names to find a match prior to Thursday's non waiver trade deadline.

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Maddux Nixes Possible Phillies Deal

San Diego's season is over and Greg Maddux, the best pitcher of his generation, is in the final innings of his HOF career. FF would like to think that any ball player would like the opportunity to compete for a championship, but Maddux has earned the right to decide where he plays and for what team. The Phillies are locked into a tough battle with the surging New York Mets and the upstart Florida Marlins and are looking to add pitching for the stretch run, a crafty vet with some 351 wins will not be joining them as maintains his desire to pitch on the west coast (where he has drawn little to no interest.

The most disturbing information from this article is that a NL executive states that the Padres are not looking for talented players in return for the players they unload, just looking to save money. FF is still holding out hope that a few more moves are made and that some quality is brought back to this organization that will help down the road.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2 Out Hitting Paces Friars 4th Consective Win

The Padres continued their winning ways, grabbing their fourth consecutive game, this time from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Clutch hitting saved the day for the 8-5 victory, with all Padre runs being driven in with 2 outs. This included a home run by Khalil Greene to follow a two out walk and a monstrous bomb by rookie Nick Hundley, who's been scorching hot recently. The Blast looked like a super-powered nine-iron that ricocheted off of the second deck on the Western Metal Supply building (aka, the FriarForum.com building). Greg Maddux allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, with the pen mostly picking him up, including another Trevor Hoffman save. Hoffman has looked more like his old self recently. Bryan Corey continued to struggle, allowing a run in the 9th that set up Hoffy's save. FF looks forward to large-and-in-charge right hander Chris Young's return from serious injuries suffered on an Albert Pujols line drive earlier this season. While FF doesn't see the Padres making a run for the West, we are happy to watch some exciting baseball again - hoping fully ending the season on a positive note.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Friars Top Nevin Look-alikes

The Friars scratched their way to a rare victory, toping the Bucs 6-5 in a game full of oddities. For starters, former Padre super-prospect Xavier Nady, ostensibly exiled by former Padre manager Bruce Bochy for not being a veteran, was traded from the Nevins to the hated Yankees after one at-bat, vacating the 5-hole in the process. Additionally, despite a horrible tag by rusty Josh Bard,who collected a pair of hits, a Brian Giles to Edgar Gonzalez to Bard combination erased a runner at the plate. This out proved to be crucial as Heath Bell would eventually have a bad outing, continuing his recent streak. The Friars also collected a double play at third and second, taking advantage of overly aggressive Pirate baserunners. To extend the oddities, Trevor Hoffman looked like his old self. FF has to say that this is the first game in some time that has kept our attention. Let's all hope for a few more like this one.

Friar Factoids:
  • With just 2 more wins, the Padres will ensure that win at least 25% of their games this season.
  • Scott Hairston's hot streak is very officially over - he earned the golden sombrero batting leadoff. That said, his hard baserunning prevented a double play, so we still give Scotty a thumbs up for the evening. He also made a good catch in the eighth to save Heath Bell from accumulating addtional earned runs.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thatcher Blasted, Again

In what has become a common theme in the 2008 season San Diego manager, Bud Black, hands the ball to relief pitcher, Joe Thatcher, and the lefty proceeds to get absolutely hammered. Thatcher, acquired last July in the Scott Linebrink deal, impressed with a 1.29 ERA in 22 games as a rookie. The reliver has responded this season by posting a ridiculous 8.42 ERA in 25 appearances. The latest installment helped the Reds to their series winning victory 9-5 on Wednesday as Thatcher recorded 2 outs while surrendering 5 earned runs. FF is not sure whether Thatcher's performance is worse than the fact that Bud Black continues to hand him the ball.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Padres Trade Wolf To Houston

The San Diego Padres pulled the trigger on a deal that reunites Randy Wolf with his old GM Ed Wade in Houston. The Astros may have an eye towards 2009 (although Wolf is signed only through this season) and resigning the veteran LHP. In return the Friars receive a 26 yeard old right hander, Chad Reineke, who was 5-9 with a 4.41 ERA in 19 starts at AAA this season. Reinke will report to Portland and may find his way to the Padres roster at some point this season. The Padres main acquisition in this deal was cold, hard cash as they will save close to $3.5 million thorough the rest of the '08 season. Wolf, who will be a free agent after the season is said to be open to the idea of returning to San Diego for the 2009 season. Wil Ledezma will take the open roster spot as Clay Hensley will slide into the open rotation sport until Chris Young makes his return.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Stovetop On High

The latest team to express interest in Padres lefty Randy Wolf is the Houston Astros. Although the Astros are stuck behind the Cubs, Brewers and Cards in a tough NL Central, they are rumored to be in serious talks with San Diego. The Astros were forced to place staff ace, Roy Oswalt, on the 15 day DL and must feel they need to add to their rotation to keep pace in the Central.

Padres switch hitting catcher, Josh Bard, is due to come off the DL as early as this weekend and is said to be immediately placed on the trading block. The Friars brass finally seems feed up with Bard's inability to throw runners out. FF feels that the remainder of '08 should be used, in part, to evaluate younger players including Luke Carlin and Nick Hundley, who are both struggling at the plate while improving the defense at the position.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kouz Error, Typical Play Sink Friars

The Padres, who have now won only 6 of their last 28 contests, lost again Saturday night. The 6-5 downfall came as Randy Wolf hit the wall and then was pushed off the wall by a Kevin Kouzmanoff error that eventually accounted for a pair of runs, representing the margin of victory for the Cardinals. The major offensive highlight of the night was a three run bomb by the continuously hot Edgar Gonzalez. Six other Padres had one hit each, with Kouzmanoff and Adrian Gonzalez each adding an RBI of their own. Randy Wolf allowed 6 runs (4 earned) over 5.2 innings, not exactly helping out his trade value. We at FF look forward to the July 31 trade deadline. Who should go? FF will be posting on the topic shortly...

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Comedy of Errors Continues

The latest debacle in the 2008 Friar campaign came in the form of a 11-7 series of lost opportunities against the Cardinals in St. Louis. As we've mentioned before, we won't go through the recap, which is available across the internet. Jody Gerut and Brian Giles each had three hits apiece, but it wasn't enough to overcome shoddy defense and poor pitching. As Friar Fans, we only have the hot stove to discuss. Let's hope it heats up so we can have a distraction from that usual circus we see on the field.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diamondbacks Reacquire Tony Clark

The Padres and division rival Arizona agreed on a long rumored deal that ships pinch hitter Tony Clark to his former team in exchange for farmhand hurler, Evan Scribner. Scribner, 22, is 2-4 with a 1.64 ERA and 9 saves. The switch hitting Clark should see much more playing time at first in addition to his role of the bench. The deal was finalized after Clark agreed to waive the $500,000 assignment bonus that would have been paid by the Padres. Although Clark grew up in San Diego, it could be said the the switch hitter is going home. Clark makes his year round home in the valley and was with the DBacks for the past 3 seasons. The departure of Clark means more pinch hitting opportunities for Brian Myrow, who matched Clark's number of homers in his first AB of the season.

The last time the Friars and Snakes matched up on a deal was last July when the Padres plucked Scott Hairston form the desert. FF anticipates more deals to get younger and more athletic are in the near future; paging Randy Wolf.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beavers Invade San Diego

The influx of Portland Beavers playing in San Diego continued Tuesday as 3 players are up in part of a 6 player shuffle. The new Padres include outfielder Chip Ambres, first baseman Brian Myrow and Bud Black's favorite lefty, Joe Thatcher. To make room for the new faces San Diego has optioned Paul McAnulty and reliever Carlos Guevara and place Brett Tomko on the DL with an elbow issue. The Padres starting lineup Tuesday night featured 5 players who began the year with the Beavers. Chase Headley started in left with Ambres starting over the banged up Brian Giles. The middle of the infield showcased Luis Rodriguez at short and Edgar his second sacker spot. Nick Hundley got the nod Tuesday, both he the other active catcher Luke Carlin started in AAA while the Friars have dipped all the way to AA to get some innings out of back stop Colt Morton.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pads Plan Giles Retention

The Padres reportedly plan to retain the services of Brian Giles for the 2009 season, given doubts over a better replacement. This makes a lot of sense for the Friars, based on Giles' excellent season on his rejuvenated knee. Club's complete inability to upgrade center or left field in the 2007 offseason suggests that Friar fans can only hope this report is true. FF continues to find it baffling that a club that has repeatably worried about Paul McAnulty's fielding skills will trot him out in right field to spell Giles.

The report also suggests that both Randy Wolf and Greg Maddux remain on the block.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Extent of Barrett Injuries Still Unknown

The graphic scene of 95mph pitch glancing off Michael Barrett's bat into the bridge of his nose left many Friar fans gasping. Initial reports indicated a broken nose, but it is now known that he also has multiple face fractures as well. Until swelling subsides, doctors will not be able to fully judge the extent of his injuries, but early concerns regarding a concussion seems misplaced. Barrett suffered a concussion that kept him out for 19 games last August and there is always a concern at the potential of multiple concussions. Such an injury forced former Charger Stan Humphries into retirement. FF wishes Barrett well and hopes to see him back in uniform this season. One of the many unfortunate aspects of this freak accident was that Barrett had started to come alive at the plate, batting over .300 over his last 7 games.

Few could have foreseen a team with "two starting catchers", Josh Bard and Barrett, having to recall both catchers from their AAA club; but that will now be the case with heralded yet struggling Nick Hundley scheduled to join Luke Carlin on the big club (see previously linked Union Tribune article). Hundley had a big 2007 season at AA San Antonio, posting 20 bombs and 72 RBI in 373 at bats to match a .247 batting average. He's struggled moderately at AAA Portland in 2008, posting a .736 OPS that is about 8% lower than his 2007 performance. Much has been made of this drop off, but this seems relatively normal upon advancement to AAA. FF would like to see Bud Black lessen the pressure on the pair by taking a page out of Bruce Bochey's "How to Handle Catchers Handbook". As we've droned on about before, FF believes that catchers need frequent rest to excel. Hundley is supposed to be an offensive threat, so we'd love to see him get the more than half of the starts, with late inning defensive relief from Luke Carlin. That said, if history tells us anything, Bud Black will burn out both and end up with another pair of struggling backstops.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Offense Sinks Back To Cellar

After Monday night's offensive explosion in Colorado saw the Friars log their season high in hits and runs, the Padres were blanked by the Rockies and Aaron Cook to drop back to last place in the woeful NL West. The Padres managed just 5 singles against the sinker baller on Tuesday night, in the 4-0 defeat. The furthest a Friar advanced was to first, FF can't remember the last time a base runner didn't at least get into scoring position.


Big Picture; Big Day For Pads

Wednesday may prove to be a big day for the franchise as they are expected to make their first (4) big splash in the foreign market. The Padres expensive and beautiful Latin facilities are expected to house some great talent if all that is rumored comes to fruition on the 2nd on July. FF will provide a more detailed account after we know what players have been signed.

Clay Day

The Padres recalled right hander Clay Hensley from AAA. To make room for the pitcher, who will work out of the bullpen (until the Pads unload starters), San Diego optioned infielder, Craig Stansberry. Stansberry performed well with the Padres and has earned the respect of FF.

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