Justin Germano has signed a 1 year pact with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan. While we are happy to see the off-again-on-again pitcher land on his feet, we always prefer players traveling to the Pacific Rim's premier league sign with FF's official Japanese team of preference - the Yakult Swallows.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Kevin Towers and the Padres promote 4 minor leaguers on Thursday as three pitchers and AA catcher Colt Morton join the big league club. The three AAA hurlers include Mike Adams, who was 3-1 with a 5.52 ERA, Jared Wells, 5.85 ERA with 9 saves, and Josh Banks who is 1-1 with a 6.66 ERA in 8 games at Portland. To make room for the newest players the Friars sent both Josh Bard and Chris Young to the 15 day DL after they were each injured in the 3rd inning of Wednesday's game. San Diego also sent Joe Thatcher back to Portland and released Justin Germano.
Towers said he was going to make wholesale changes, which he has started to do. The only question FF has is where is Chase Headley?
Monday, May 19, 2008
The 2007 triple crown and Cy Young winner will be placed on the Disabled List retroactive last Thursday to rest a sore elbow. Wil Ledezma replaced Peavy in the rotation Monday night and got knocked around a little, as did Justin Germano and to a lesser extent Sean Henn.
Peavy had a MRI done earlier on Monday, with the results being less severe than they could have been with the pain occurring close the the "Tommy John" ligament. Luckily for Peavy and the Friars their was no structural damage, but the swelling and strained muscle were more than enough to send him o the DL. The Padres will promote Joe Thatcher to fill the vacant roster spot. Thatcher has struggled this season posting an ERA of 6.75.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Padres.com has reported that Friar manager Bud Black has removed Justin Germano from the starting rotation. In the short run, Black will insert Wil Ledezma into the rotation's 5th spot. This is not necessarily indicative of long run change, as Black is not committing to who will fill the 5th spot during the next pass through the rotation. There has been long running speculation that Shawn Estes will eventaully assume the spot. The article notes that Estes has an opt-out clause in his contract and that he has indicated that he intends to execute it if he isn't called up by May 15.
While not a major positive change, it's nice to see the Friars shake things up a bit. FF is skeptical of band aids on the club's already gory situation, but something is better than the "stay the course" approach embraced by the front office to date.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The rotation has consistently improved over the last two turns - even Justin Germano (relatively speaking). The root problem remains that this season isn't about the starting rotation's performance at the moment, but rather pinned to the performance of the offense. As we've previously discussed, one should expect to win a little more than 2/3 of quality starts (QS). Over these passes through the rotation, the starters posted 6 QS, but managed just 2 wins, half of what one might expect. In fact, Jake Peavy, Greg Maddux, and Chris Young have all been stung with a loss while posting a QS.
There is much talk of Germano losing his spot in the rotation, possibly to Shaun Estes or Wil Ledezma. His continued poor outings, coupled with the razor thin margin the team has required to posts wins, supports this decision in the very short run.
Padres.com reports Bud Black saying that if Germano is replaced, it will likely be with someone already on the big club. Reading between the lines, this almost certainly points to Wil Ledezma, who has been pitching fantastically thus far in the 2008 campaign.
Key Indicators per Rotation Pass
Friday, May 2, 2008
The Padres lost yet again, staking the claim to Major League Baseball's worst record at 11-19. Such a statement isn't exactly the way I had hoped to welcome my son to world and world of Friar fan-hood. Then again, this is perhaps the proper introduction to San Diego sports, as we have all had to learn how expect the worst to stay sane. But I digress - back to more of the same for this season of discontent. Justin Germano continued his streak of poor outings, allowing 5 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. Most of the damage came by way of the long ball. The Marlins managed 3 bombs, accounting for 5 of the 6 overall runs the plated. Kevin Cameron (3.72 ERA in 8 outings) and Wil Ledezma (1.08 ERA in 16+ innings) both posted perfect relief outings and should be considered by Bud Black for promotions in the bullpen's world order. Offensively, the Padres collected just 7 hits across 4 batters; Kevin Kouzmanoff did his best T. Gwynn impression with a 4-4 nights, including one double. Khalil Greene finally belted his first home run to give the Friars half of their runs in the 6-4 loss at Dolphin Stadium on Friday night. Colt Morton spelled Josh Bard, but has yet to claim his first knock of the season.
Mendoza Line Watch
The following players are currently at or approaching the infamous Mendoza Line, with nearly 1/5 of the season gone:
- Paul McAnulty - .222
- Khalil Greene - .217
- Josh Bard - .209
- Tony Clark - .208
- Justin Huber - .200
- Scott Hairston - .198
- Callix Crabbe - .160
- Jim Edmonds - .160
- Colt Morton - .000
Labels: BudBlack, CallixCrabbe, ColtMorton, JimEdmonds, JoshBard, JustinGermano, JustinHuber, KevinCameron, KevinKouzmanoff, KhalilGreene, PaulMcAnulty, ScottHairston, TonyClark, TonyGwynn, WilLedezma
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The fourth pass through the rotation wasn't pretty. A pair of quality starts (QS) in games 16 and 18 were squandered by the offense and turned into losses. In fact, game 16 went 22 innings, forcing Greg Maddux to save the bullpen despite being tagged for 9 runs early in the game 17. While this certainly increased the level of admiration the team and fans have for Maddux, it isn't exactly a situation anyone wants to see repeated. This 113 pitch outing marked the first time Maddux had eclipsed the 100 pitch barrier since July 19, 2006, with 102 tosses that day. To find and outing with a greater than or equal number of pitches for Maddux, one has to reach back into August of the 2005 season. Randy Wolf turned in a respectable outing for the only win in the rotation of the bullpen during this five game strech. The real story here is the Padres ability to capitalize only once in three very winnable performances turned out by their starters. We also have to show real concern for the position that Maddux was put into - hopefully he will rebound without additional wear and tear on his arm based on the extraordinary performance in game 17.
Key Indicators per Rotation Pass
Monday, April 21, 2008
Justin Germano entered the evening as one of the top five pitchers in National League ERA. After allowing 4 runs on 9 pitches, and 10 in 3.1 innings, he took a big loss Monday night at Minute Maid Park with former President George Herbert Walker Bush and his wife Bar in attendance. Wil Ledezma pitched an out shy of 4 scoreless innings in relief before giving way to Kevin Cameron, who tossed a perfect 8th. Padre hitting was good - for the Padres. 6 of 8 knocks went for extra bases while both Jim Edmonds and Adrian Gonzalez reached the Minute Maid porch for bases empty, opposite field bombs. Unfortunately, the Friars seem to be making a habit of losing big or wining tight. The combination of Minute Maid's friendly conditions and Jake Peavy's pitching will hopefully bring positive results Tuesday night.
Iguchi Occupies Eight Hole
Tad Iguchi has been mired in a deep slump and was dropped by manager Bud Black into the eighth spot in the order Monday. He responded with a single and a walk in 4 trips to the plate.
Flashing Some Leather
Both Brian Giles and Gonzalez made nifty catches in right field. Gonzalez went Willie Mays on ball down the line that was looking like an extra base bloop before he reached out to snag the out. Giles made a nice sliding catch of a Geoff Blum liner as well.
Bard is Back
Josh Bard threw out another runner, pushing his season rate for retiring would-be base thieves to 21%. This is significantly better the 8% mark he posted in 2007 and is especially impressive given the amount of work he's been receiving of late, which is bound to take its toll as the games add up.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
The third pass through the rotation finally saw Padre starters come down to earth a bit. Start 12 marked the first non-quality start of the season for the quintet (Chris Young) and game 15 saw the first quality start where the starter was tagged with the loss (Justin Germano). In all, the rotation was pedestrian with a 3.86 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, though these numbers a largely skewed by Chris Young's disastrous outing. Randy Wolf tossed a 1 hitter through 7 innings in his turn and Greg Maddux turned in 5 fantastic innings in 95 degree heat. In summary, the starters still provided the Padres 4 quality opportunities to win, of which 3 were converted. This group continues to the be lone bright spot in the '08 campaign. While round 3 might not have been hyper productive, FF and any other club in baseball would certainly take it as their average pass through the starting 5. Kudos to PYMW&G once again.
Key Indicators per Rotation Pass
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The Padres played it close Wednesday night, but a 7 run eighth frame put the Rockies ahead for good. Cla Meredith and Glendon Rusch were victimized for for four and three runs, respectively, for an eighth frame whose score San Diego fans more generally associate with an Antonio Cromartie interception return. This, and the Padres lacking offense, spoiled another strong Justin Germano quality start (7 innings of 3 runs ball) and hung him with a loss. Brian Giles was a one man wrecking crew with an RBI double and triple, the first a ground rule variety to left center and latter off Petco Park's scoreboard in right (for the second consecutive evening). Only Scott Hairston scratched out an additional Padre hit. The Friars will look to bounce back tomorrow behind the dominating Jake Peavy.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The starting rotation continued their torrid pace during the second pass though the quintet, posting an astonishing 1.50 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 5 quality starts. Tough to complain about that kind of production from the pitchers that shoulder the load for the entire staff. That said, while the winning percentage in quality starts from 1984 to 1991 was .674, the Friars posted a .400 over their last five games and just .500 for the 10 quality starts in 2008 (effectively). A starter has yet to produce a non-quality start, yet the team has just 5 wins to show for it. Nobody should get their underwear in a bunch at this juncture, but it certainly isn't encouraging.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Conventional wisdom for the 2008 season predicts that the Friars will only go as far as their pitching staff takes them. More to the point, the team's strength is supposed to be in its starting pitching staff. As such, we at FF thought it would be interesting to track each pass through the rotation to see how their performance is affecting the bottom line. This will be the first installment of 32.4 passes through the fab five.
It's hard to imagine the starters putting the club in a better position to win than it did during the initial pass through the rotation. Technically, 4 of 5 times the group toed the rubber they posted quality starts (QS). In reality, Chris Young was just one out shy of a QS himself, so FF will go ahead and round that up to a perfect five-for-five. A sub 1.50 ERA to go with an excellent WHIP of 1.08 and nearly two of three pitches finding the strike zone seems to support conventional wisdom. In fact, the Friars only posted three wins in these five games. If this doesn't correspond to FF's projections that the rotation would be compromised by a weak lineup, we aren't sure what does. Still, this pace would put the Friars in for a 97 win season, so we can't complain too much. Nice job fab five - let's hope to see these trends continue. We'd ask for a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio, but with the rotation averaging just short of 6 innings a start, that may be too much.
Friday, April 4, 2008
A trio of lefties took a strong start by Justin Germano (1 unearned run allowed over 6 innings) and turned it into a laugher. Step one in the three step path to defeat was lefty Joe Thatcher, who was clearly off his A-game after getting a ground out to kick off the seventh inning. He was allowed walk the bases loaded in a 1-1 game, with fellow lefty Bud Black standing by him to allow a 2 run single to 0-for-2008 Russell Martin. Black finally found his hook, bringing southpaw Glendon Rusch on to surrender a run scoring hit and collaborate with backstop Michael Barrett for a passed ball to plate another. A subsequent base knock by Padre nemesis Andrew Jones added the inning's umpteenth run. All told, Black under-managed the situation into a 6 run Dodger inning on just three hits. All of this following Brian Giles' game-tying jack over the Petco porch against a very sharp Hiroki Kuroda. FF generally thinks highly of Black, but is already flustered this season by his affinity for specific relievers (as we were in 2007). This is particularly unacceptable if the team is going to continue carrying 7 arms in the 'pen.
Tonight, the Friars will face the Dodgers in Hiroki Kuroda's Major League debut. Kuroda, from Japan's Kansai penensula, is known for his "shuuto" - a pitch that was heavily featured in the film Mr. Baseball, starring Tom Selleck. The pitch is most commonly translated as a running two seamer or a cut fastball. The transplant of Kuroda to MLB baseball is a big enough deal that it is being telecast live on NHK - the primary Japanese television station (think of it as Japan's CBS without ABC or NBC as competition). A massive number of Japanese reporters will likely be in attendance to find out if the Friars and Justin Germano can tame the shuuto. FF's take? Hai!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Big league pitchers need 3 solid pitches to be successful over the long run. In 2007, Justin Germano had a fantastic May, posting a 1.08 ERA, a 3-0 record and allowed a merger .515 OPS. He had two pitches and won just 4 games for the remainder of the season while posting 10 losses over that time. This spring, Germano has further developed his change up and has been inserted in the 5-hole of the rotation as a result. The development of this third pitch should go a long way towards keeping hitters honest - particularly given that it is a change up, thereby enhancing his fastball's effectiveness. Genmano's success may play a critical role in the 2008 campaign as the Friars boast a solid, but potentially fragile rotation, given the number of recovering and aging pitchers on the staff. With Randy Wolf and Mark Prior coming back from injuries and Greg Maddux not getting any younger, Germano may find himself bouncing throughout the rotation over the coarse of the year.
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