Amid all the Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox rumors on Thursday the Friars did pull the trigger to bring Tony Gywnn Jr to San Diego in exchange for Jody Gerut. While FF has enjoyed watching Jody Gerut resurrect his career in a Padres uniform we are excited to have the son of Mr Padre roaming the spacious outfield in Petco Park (19 Tony Gywnn Ave)! FF wrote about the possibility of bringing Gywnn Jr in at the beginning of the season, but we were about 45 days early.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
In an exciting game for both sides, the Padres pounded Phillie closer Brad Lidge in the 9th inning to take the lead for good. Jody Gerut led off the inning, which the club entered down 4-5, with a laser double (helped by former Friar Shane Victorino's moderate misplay of the ball). Some of the better situational hitting FF can remember from David Eckstein and Brian Giles plated Gerut, pulling the Padres even while simultaneously handing Lidge his first blown save a Phillie (he had amassed a 53 game streak). Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley followed with some patiently aggressive hitting - patient in these cases - with a pair of walks with 2 down. This brought up Kevin Kouzmanoff, who launched a bomb into left center to put the Padres up by a trio. Heath Bell then entered the game, retiring the side in order to pick up his 7th save of the post-Hoffman era (out of nine Friar wins to date).
Ring a Bell
FF was not pleased to see Bell warm up and enter the game. He threw 47 pitches in the last two days and has appeared in 7 or the Friars 12 games overall. We love having a guy that wants the ball, but we'd love to see Bud Black play things safe with Bell, especially given the 3 run lead in the game. Counting tonight's game, Bell has now thrown 67 pitches over three outings across three days. Even a burly dude that is "Wii Fit" needs a break every now and then.
Down with OCD
While we at FF generally like Black, we've long been concerned about his bullpen management, which seems to rely on a few relievers ad nauseam. See "Everyday Cla" and "The Joe Thatcher Story". We here a new installment featuring Luke Gregerson is in the works.
Monday, April 13, 2009
FF congratulates Heath Bell on his 4th save of the young 2009 campaign to preserve a 6-5 win for the Friars on the road. While it wasn't a numerically significant achievement, Bell was fairly open about wanting to stick it to his former employer and opponent on this night, the New York Metropolitans. And he did just that, providing the perfect bookend to a game that started with Jody Gerut's leadoff home run that became the first hit recorded at Citi Field. We could recap Bell's beef with the Mets, but Padres.com did a fine job of just this, so here are some of the highlight quotes from Bell:
On the club's frequent use of his Minor League options:
It's just part of the game... Unfortunately, I was the only guy in '05 and '06 in the bullpen who had options, so I could go up and down. I remember once, Billy Wagner noticed I wasn't there one day. When I came back he asked, 'Did you leave or get sick and not show up?'
On the new grounds for his old team:
A piece of me is still here with the old Shea. I was a non-drafted free agent and they gave me a shot. There's so much to be thankful for. On the other hand, I really never felt like I got a chance. I felt wronged in some ways
Okay - we all get the point. The moral of this story is simple: if your old teams treats you bad, simply retire the side for a save against them on opening day in their brand new ballpark. Good for you Heath - you've made FF proud.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
A solid outing by Cha Seung Baek gave the Padres a chance to make 3 solo shots and a gift wrapped unearned run stand up in a 4-2 road win. The Pads got 1st inning homers by Gerut and Giles and an insurance blast by Chase Headley in the 9th frame. The Friars will have to earn the series win by beating the Mets ace Johan Santana Thursday morning.
Edgar Gonzalez misplayed two balls Wednesday and was lifted in favor of Tadihito Iguchi. FF feels that Gonzalez has earned the right to be the starter at second and is pressing due to the uncertainty of playing time. Edgar may not be a Gold Glove caliber infielder, but his presence in the 2 hole is much more formidable than Black's lineup with Iguchi. It will be interesting to see what happens with the second base position through the remainder of the season, there is always the (seemingly logical) possibility of a waiver wire deal shipping Tadihito to a contender in need of a veteran who is masterful in the field and streaky with the stick.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Padres squandered yet another game in this lackluster 2008 season, this time dropping a Saturday night contest to Detroit Tigers 7-5. Brian Giles, who has been playing very well this season, sat out the evening, with Edgar Gonzales sliding into the 3 hole. Paul McAnulty took over in right field. Cha Seung Baek had his moments, both good and bad, though he wasn't helped by a Magglio Ordonez homer that centerfielder Jody Gerut accidentally pushed over the wall while bracing for contact. At the end of the day, Justin Hampson would surrender a bomb to Marcus Thames, who has now hit home runs in 8 of his last 9 at bats. Long story short - we've seen this game numerous times this season. The Friars must right their ship to regain the form that had led what seemed like it would be a successful June.
- Michael Barrett continued to show signs of heating up, hitting his second bomb of the season.
- Heralded rookie Chase Headley captured another hit, accounting for a 5 game mini-hitting streak. He also punched out twice, bring his total to 8 in 20 at bats (vs. 7 hits). We're sure that Chase will cut down the number of strikeouts, but its a scary proposition for a .300 hitter to strikeout more than he hits. Nonetheless, Headley is sporting a 1.050 OPS since being called up from AAA Portland.
- Headley manned third base again while Kevin Kouzmanoff continues to recover from a stiff back.
- Gerut had another solid night at the plate, accumulating three base knocks to pull his average to .278
- Giles was out of the lineup due to a sore hamstring, rather than the balky shoulder that required an MRI last week.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Randy Wolf paced the Padres with an excellent outing to a 4-1 win - holding the hated Dodgers to just one run over seven innings against nine punch outs. Heath Bell and Trevor Hoffman each tossed scoreless innings, earning a hold and save, respectively. Each of the hermanos Gonzales notched an RBI, with the older, slimmer version (Edgar) knocking a first inning bomb out to deep left center. Khalil Greene added a bomb into the Petco sandbox, with Jody Gerut knocking in an always important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, while facing a lefty with a 0-2 count. All together, things have begun to look up to for the Friars, who regain staff ace, Jake Peavy, in Thursday afternoon's contest. FF is mildly optimistic - but still questions Chase Headley's absence from left field. Of course, in a couple of years his lessor amount of MLB service time will play in the club's favor (and we can only assume that this is the reason for his extended stay in AAA Portland).
Sunday, May 25, 2008
We can't bear to give recounts of games on a daily basis at this point in the season. This is a microcosm of what we've all seen at Petco Park lately. When hard core Padre fans can't bear to watch the team (including the ones that will maintain blogs that exclusively discuss the team), it's a sign of a franchise in crisis. But that's for another post. This one will focus on something even more disturbing than the club - the strikeouts frequency it is producing. Strikeouts are unproductive outs in that nothing good can typically come out of not putting the ball into play. Over the course of that last 4 seasons, the Padres have gone from a well performing team in terms of strikeout frequency to a very poor performer. In 2005, the club punched out a respectable 15.57% of their plate appearances (PAs). In 2006, they regressed to just over the NL average over the last 4 seasons, 17.56% compared to 17.20%. In 2007, the Friars K-ed 19.42% of their PAs and are now off to a 20.40% clip. Couple this with a nearly 10% reduction in the club's ability to get on base compared to the 2005 squad (.305 vs. .333) and it's clear that pitchers will need to flash some lumber to help this club win (the NL average from '05 - '08 is almost exactly a .333 on base percentage). In fact, the average 2008 Padre gets on base just 1.5 times for every punch out. Only Brian Giles (3.96 times), Jody Gerut (2.22 times), and Josh Bard (2.24 times) boast at least 2 touches of first base per stroll from the dish to pine. In 2005, the entire club managed 2.14 trips to first per K.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
As the San Diego Padres get set to open their Inter League play Friday evening in Seattle FF is asking for one player to make a very short trip from Portland to Seattle and take over for a group of unproductive left fielders. The Padres have obviously been trying to "go green" and wait until they traveled to the pacific northwest to call Chase Headley to save the additional fuel, how else can you explain Headley not being with the big boys? The Beavers are at home taking on the Las Vegas 51's this weekend and FF will be disappointed if the Padres leave Seattle without Headley.
As much of a Paul McAnulty fan as FF has been, it does not appear that he is a good fit for this club or ballpark. The Justin Huber experiment can be deemed a bust (although the slugger hasn't gotten too many chances). Scott Hairston has enough pop to stick around as a reserve OF, but should never again be considered for a full time job. At this point there is no reason for the Pads not to dip into their farm system again, and this time hook the big fish.
The Pads dropped 3 of 4 against a solid Cubs team who took advantage of their opportunities, as good offensive teams do. In Thursday's 4-0 snoozer, the only part of the game worth mentioning was a beautiful, run saving, diving catch by center fielder Jody Gerut. The center fielder continues to impress FF with his overall play, we can't wait for balls of his bat to find holes.
Pads & Ends
The Swing 'n' Miss Friars have struck out an amazing 29 time over the last 2 ballgames ~ thats a number that would make Phil Nevin and Rob Deer blush!
As reported by FF earlier in the week; Jim Edmonds has signed with the Cubs and hit 6th and roamed CF for them in the series finale. Edmonds stroked a soft single to right in his first at bat and wrapped into an inning ending double play in his second AB. The former Friar finished 1-4 to raise his batting average closer to .200.
Glendon Rusch has officially declined the Padres minor league option and is now a free agent.
Adrian Gonzalez continues to use a tan glove during day games and black leather for contests under the lights.
Tony Clark will get himself some AB's this weekend as the Friars plan on using the big switch hitter as their DH.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Luke Carlin is a rabbits foot for a struggling Friars team, moving to 3-0 as a starter with the club's 4-3 win over the Cubs on a rainy Tuesday evening. Shawn Estes made his first start out of the rotation's 5 hole, earning the win (the 100th of his career) while allowing 3 earned runs over 5 1/3 innings; he overcame a leadoff bomb from Alfonso Soriano and was then spelled by another excellent relief outing by Cla Meredith. Heath Bell bridged the 8th inning, handing the ball the Trevor Hoffman, who posted his 7th save of the season with crisply located fastballs. Khalil Greene provided the major jolt for Bud Black's club, a 3 run homer that added on to Jody Gerut's RBI double in the 4 run 4th. Edgar Gonzalez made his first major league start, playing a shaky hot corner, but pounding out a couple of solid knocks. Adrian's big (little) brother runs the bases hard, reminding FF of the kind of effort that Eric Owens once displayed at the Murph (Gerut also reminds us of Mr. Owens' hustle). In all, the Padres have turned thing around to provide a glimmer of a hope for restoring the seemingly lost season, winning three of their last four.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The Friars not only won a game Sunday, but they won a series for the first time in 9 tries! The Pads have played baseball with a certain crispness that has been lacking this season. San Diego got a strong outing by Chris Young and some power off the bats of Scott Hairston and Khalil Greene leading the Friars to a 6-1 victory. The majority of the players in both dugouts used the pink colored bats as part of MLB's Mothers Day/Breast Cancer awareness.
Tadahito Iguchi is starting to turn it up a notch as the Friars 2nd baseman continues to play stellar D, and added 3 knocks and his second stolen base in as many games.
Luke Carlin made his second consecutive start and he responded by smoking a double down the right field line for his first Major League hit. Carlin also gunned down a runner attempting to steal second.
Jody Gerut picked up his first hit since returning from Portland. Although it was his only hit of the series, Gerut made solid contact consistently and hit into some loud outs.
The newest Padre (and that's saying something lately), Bryan Corey, tossed a scoreless 9th inning. San Diego announcer Mark Grant noticed that the reliever pitches with his right (push off) foot directly on the rubber. It appears that Corey only uses the balls of his feet and toes to push off.
Kevin Kouzmanoff garnered FF praise on the first play of the game when he charged, fielded and threw out Rockies speedy leadoff man, Willie Tavares, on a bunt attempt.
Friday, May 9, 2008
There is little to say about Friday evening's contest at Petco Park. The margin for victory was predictably razor thin, so the three run allowed by Jake Peavy over 6 innings was clearly too much for the Padres anemic offense to overcome (despite statistically ranking as a quality start). Glendon Rusch relived Peavy, allowing a bomb into the sandbox in right center field to Matt Holliday, giving the Rockies a 4-2 lead that would mark the final score. The Friars managed their first run on a ground rule double by Peavy, followed by an opposite field double by Brian Giles. Their second run came on a first-deck bomb into the Western Metal Supply building by Kevin Kouzmanoff, who had previously grounded into a pair of a double plays. Kouzmanoff had entered the game as the least likely batter in the league to ground into a double play. Newcomer Jody Gerut played hard and easily tossed Todd Helton trying to advance to third, but was hitless. Otherwise put, same poor play, same poor result.
Jim Edmonds has been jettisoned from the Friars, marking the first of will likely be many moved intended to right a listing ship. The Padres front office had hoped that Edmonds would be a stop gap in center field for the 2008 season, so much so they agreed to take on his $6M salary, which they must now eat. In 103 plate appearances, Edmonds managed an on base percentage of just .265, lower than several teammate's batting average. His shoddy play in center proved a major liability for a team relying on its pitching to keep games close. In particular, his tendency to drift after catchable balls rather than rely on sound fundamental outfielding led to several catchable balls falling in for extra bases.
Replacing Edmonds will be Jody Gerut, who broke the season with the big club before being sent down to make room for Edmonds, who was coming off the disabled list. At eight years younger than Edmonds, Gerut offers a fresh set of legs (even though he is rebounding from knee surgery himself). He has posted a .952 OPS at AAA Portland with 4 stolen bases in 5 attempts, while mostly manning right field, with a few games in center under his belt. It is unclear how Bud Black intends to leverage Gerut, but one would have to assume that center or left field will become his position to lose.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Jake Peavy did what Padres fans like best - totally, utterly and unapologetically beat LA to a pulp, 4-1. The 2007 Cy Young Award winner lead the Friars over the hated Dodgers with a complete game performance. He fanned eight against just two hits and a single walk. The free pass came in the 9th inning, but was quickly erased with a tailor made double play. The game was decided early when the Friars jumped on Dodger starter Brad Penny for 4 runs on 5 singles in the bottom of the first. The dominant story of the game is quite completely told by the following FanGraph:
Graph from FanGraphs.com
Jim Edmonds returned the to lineup and looked a little out of practice on a couple of plays to left center resulting in a triple and double, respectively. To make room on the roster, Jody Gerut was sent to Portland, as expected given that he is optionable and Paul McAnulty is not.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
It would appear that Padres top prospect, Chase Headley, will start the season in AAA Portland. The move will allow Headley to continue to learn his new position by logging as many innings as possible in left field. The switch hitter has proved himself to be MLB ready but finds himself in a log jam in the Padres outfield picture.
As FF has previously noted, Jody Gerut has not only played himself onto the opening day roster, but he is penciled in as the starter in left. Scott Hairston is expected to fill the shoes of Jim Edmonds in CF until the balky calf of Edmonds properly heals. With the extra spot for an outfielder (assuming Edmonds begins the season on the DL) the Padres are expected to break camp with Paul McAnulty for the 2nd consecutive year. PMac is out of options and can flat out swing the bat. Brian Giles continues to improve from his offseason micro fracture surgery and will start his final season in a Padres uniform in right (KT holds an option for 2009). Bud Black is expected to give the veteran more days off during the long 162 game schedule, and this year it appears that he will have the bodies to fill the spot (no Sledge types on this roster). The Padres will shock FF if they leave Arizona without Callix Crabbe, the speedy and versatile Rule V draftee who has had a great spring and can play both infield and outfield positions.
As the the sand begins to settle on another March in the desert, it appears the Friars roster is coming together and at this point it will not include their stud prospect Headley. The Padres will see him at some point this season roaming the Petco Park outfield, and his tenure as a full time starter is, at most, a season away (with the likely departure of the second Giles in 2 years). The larger question at this point circles around the health of Jim Edmonds, and what to do with the pure hitting Paul McAnulty when Edmonds is healthy.
FF wouldn't be surprised to see the Padres deal McAnulty to an American League team, simply because they do not have a position for him. With the Pads and Peoria Sports Complex roommate, Seattle Mariners, discussing a possible deal for CF Jeremy Reed, it is possible to see PMac in Peoria again next season; this time in the Mariners clubhouse.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Jody Gerut is likely to get the starting nod in left field in the likely event that Jim Edmonds not be available on Opening Day. Additionally, the article suggests that Gerut may be platooning with Scott Hairston should Edmonds be return to the lineup. Rosenthal goes on to link Seattle Mariner Jeremy Reed as a candidate to roam Petco's spacious center field, if needed.
This would mean that Chase Headley is headed to Portland to hone his defensive skills in left field, despite doing as much as anyone could possibly expect to push his bat into the lineup. The cautious road is probably the best bet for Chase. One has to wonder if Bud Black would be as tolerant of a Klesko-esque left fielder (could Headley even be that bad?) as he was of Kevin Koozmanoff's cold start at the plate in 2007. The Moneyball approach says yes, but Black may say no.
Monday, March 17, 2008
The Padres open audition for the 5th spot in their rotation remains a mystery. With the start of the season is rolling towards the Friars, it appears that one of the likely three hurlers is pitching himself not only out of consideration, but out of baseball. Lefty Shawn Estes continued his comeback attempt on Monday by lowering his ERA 5 points from 20.00 to 15.00; not good if you are trying to pitch your way onto a big league roster. Estes' struggles are being taken advantage of by other candidates Justin Germano (current front runner) and fellow come back lefty Glendon Rusch whose spring ERA is hovering close to a run per nine. Both Germano and Rusch have Major League experience in both starting roles as well as serving in a long reliever or swing man capacity. In FF's opinion, Shawn Estes is all but done pitching at the major league level.
Callix Crabbe is inching closer to punching his MLB ticket as he had three more knocks Monday while showing his defensive versatility by playing the hot corner flawlessly.
Young star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is seeing his older brother Edgar's chances of making the team become more slim as Edgar's defensive consistency has been questionable, highlighted by an error on Monday.
Paul McAnulty struck out in both plate appearances Monday to see his batting average dip to .300; PMac still holds high hopes in making the opening day roster partly due to the fact that he is out of minor league options. The Padres (and FF) doubt the talented offensive player would pass through waivers.
Jody Gerut continues his push to make the squad as he powered up for the 3rd time this spring and deposited a ball into the RF bullpen.
Brian Giles saw his first spring action in a big league game while getting two at bats (no hits) and logging time in right.
Chase Headley adds another hit and continues to show that he has nothing to prove in the minor leagues.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
The Padres couldn't or wouldn't come to an agreement to retain their free agent center fielder Mike Cameron this offseason and instead turned the position over to former All Star and Gold Glove winner Jim Edmonds, who was acquired in a trade with the Cards. Immediately following this trade, questions regarding the age and health of the Friars CF (Edmonds) and RF(Brian Giles) accompanied the questions about the lack of a starting left fielder. Through the first week of Cactus League play the Padres Edmonds and Giles have combined for 1 base hit, granted Brian Giles has yet to lace up his spikes due to his recovery from offseason knee surgery ~ but then again, that in itself is a problem. Edmonds is now on the shelf for 2-3 weeks due to a calf strain he suffered while in the batters box in a game this week.
The only left field clarification to date is that Jody Gerut , Chase Headley, and even Paul McAnulty have all proved that they can hit enough to compete for playing time with incumbent Scott Hairston, who himself has never been an everyday major league starter. So, lets toss in the huge hole in center created by Edmonds' calf muscle and the Padres have a tough situation with few in house fixes.
On Friday Kevin Towers reported that he had talked with the Boston Red Sox regarding Coco Crisp, it is suspected that the Sox would want top prospects Chase Headley or Matt Antonelli ~ and the Pads are not giving those 2 away for almost anyone at this point. So, may the Friars see yet another aging player passed their prime sporting the sand and navy in FA Kenny Lofton? Or would the Pads give up top talent to bring Tony Gywnn, Jr. back home from the Brewers? Something will have to happen, because the season is drawing ever closer and the Pads outfield is getting older each inning that passes.
Look for the Pads to also speak to the Angels, who have too many bodies in their outfield - some who are out of minor league options. FF believes (or wants to believe) that the Friars will find a way to get younger, healthier, and faster in the outfield prior to the March 31st opener.
Frair fans have feared that 2008 would require the bulk of the outfield to maintain a RICE diet. While news that CF Jim Edmonds has only suffered a calf strain (likely to sideline him for 2-3 weeks), an injury at this early date of season is a harbinger of things to come. The other senior member of the outfield, right fielder Brian Giles, has yet to participate in a game and is now slotted to get his first action as a designated hitter in March 15. The additive nature of these reports doesn't bode well for the opening day lineup. On the plus side, these injuries should provide an extra-long look at Chase Headley and Jody Gerut, among others. General Manager Kevin Towers will have plenty of information upon which to act or hold tight within a couple of weeks...
A calf strain is defined by Wikipedia as:
A torn calf muscle happens when the calf muscle is pulled apart from the Achilles tendon. Severe pain is felt by the victim – you may think you've just been hit in the leg and hear a "pop." Sudden pain is felt around the leg.
This injury happens during acceleration or changes in direction. The torn calf muscle may spasm, and contract forcefully. The toes will point down. Bruises can show up in the leg, foot and ankle due to pooling of blood from internal bleeding. It may take some time for the bruises to occur, from hours to days depending upon where the tear occurred. The circumference of the leg will most certainly increase.
This injury may take several months to heal. Its important not to continue the exercise if muscle is torn as internal bleeding is taking place. See a doctor immediately after muscle is torn to get you on a rehabilitation routine.
Monday, March 3, 2008
The main storyline in Padres camp this spring is, has and will continue to be their left field situation. Two of the three prime candidates continue their torrid offensive attack on Monday against the Brewers. Jody Gerut and Chase Headley each collected 2 more hits while avoiding any defensive miscues. Paul McAnulty, whose name resides further down the depth chart came into camp in great shape, after shedding some 20 pounds, circled the bases after drilling a 3 run homer in a 6 run Padres outburst.
Scott Hairston is still the safest bet to assume the starting position, but the gap may be closing with each base knock by Gerut and each 440 foot bomb that exploded of Headley's lumber. This battle is heating up with the Phoenix heat index, and doesn't figure to be decided anytime soon. FF hopes that this is not the most exciting aspect of the Padres season!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Non roster invitee, Jody Gerut, has been swinging a hot stick early in the Padres camp. San Diego does not have an every day left fielder penned into LF and needs a reserve who has the ability to play all three OF positions with the aging Brian Giles and Jim Edmonds as their starters in right and center. As camp opens the Friars have Scott Hairston penciled in to left as the opening day starter, but that position is definitely up for grabs.
Gerut who has not played in MLB over the last 2 seasons due to knee injuries, rejuvenated his once bright career while hitting an impressive, league leading, .390 in Venezuelan winter ball. He has continued his tear by slapping a double yesterday and singling twice this afternoon in an annual charity game between Peoria Sports Complex residents, Pads and Seattle Mariners. The Mariners took the exhibition game tilt by a score of 10-3. With Cactus League play officially commencing tomorrow afternoon, the Padres staff has certainly taken notice of the strides that Jody Gerut is making. It remains to be the hot topic of the Padres camp and between the founding fathers of Friar Forum. Will it be the slight favorite in Hairston, the Padres top prospect Chase Headley, or the white hot Jody Gerut? Competition brings out the best in athletes and we at FF are exciting to see how it all plays out.
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