Preaching Padre religion one post at time

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pads Bullpen Cracks Again

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.

Friar Fragments:
  • 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.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Headley Finally Arrives

The Padres front office has finally pulled the trigger on Chase Headley's promotion. He will presumably take over left field from a revolving case of the following characters: Scotty Hairston, Paul McAnulty, and Justin Huber. Kevin Towers has also indicated the Headley may be used to spell Kevin Kouzmanoff at third. He was quoted as saying,
I think the environment is much better than it was three weeks ago. We have got a lot of guys contributing offensively. When he gets here, he shouldn't have to feel like he's got to carry this ballclub. We're playing good baseball now... To me, now is kind of the right time to have him here, when things are going well.
This move has been alluded to for some time, though it appears that Headley may not see action until the Yankees series starts. A corresponding roster move has yet to have been made, but Scott Hairston's hyperextended elbow could move him to the DL, providing extra time for the front office to make a move.

FF is relieved to finally see the club's top prospect leveraged. We firmly disagree with the mantra of the "bad environment" that Towers has been spouting recently. The bottom line is that struggling club is great way to offer some low-pressure playing time for a prospect to get comfortable. Given the club's general lack of success in bringing prospects on board, we recommend the Friars completely retool this process. Everyone in baseball - and sports in general - knows the story: play well or someone else will get your opportunity. This is another opportunity for KT to learn from AJ.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Friar Sale?

The San Diego Padres have become a hot topic in baseball's front offices as ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that one AL executive feels that the Friars may open their doors early stocking players like Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Randy Wolf on their shelves. FF was a bit surprised to see Kouz on this list, although opening a spot for Chase Headley doesn't seem too far fetched ~ FF still would be shocked to see the 3rd baseman moved this summer. Other players that FF could see being dealt include a myriad of free agents to be; Brian Giles, Greg Maddux, Michael Barrett, and Tadihito Iguchi. If Estes continues to throw well, the Friars might be well served to swap him for a younger model. In smaller moves FF wouldn't be surprised to see a Scott Hairston or P Mac cleaning their lockers in San Diego.

Not even half way through May and it seems that baseball has given up on the 2008 installment of the Padres. Its a little sad, but at least there will be some exciting rumors swirling to help the water cooler chatter.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Peoria Pairing

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.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friars Claim MLB Basement

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Young Strong, Hitters Not

Chris Young bounced back from recent outings with a very strong 7 inning, 121 pitch performance at Petco Park Thursday night. He fanned 10 while allowing a pair of hits, including a home run, the only blotch on his excellent line. Unfortunately, that single run represented more than the popless Friars could muster, tagging Young with a 1-0 loss. This despite the Padres finishing with 5 hits and 6 walks versus the Giants 3 and 3, respectively. Paul McAnulty once again started for Scott Hairston in the second spot in the batting order. Stalwart Adrian Gonzalez had a rough night in taking a trio or strikeouts, a microcosm of the over Friar offensive attack.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Debacle Againt Diamondbacks

The Padres struggles continued Saturday night at Chase Field, as they parlayed a 3-1 lead and quality start by Chris Young into a stinging 3-10 defeat. The bullpen once again faltered, partially on the back of an uncharacteristic error by Khalil Greene, who had just entered the game as part of a double switch before watching one pass through the wickets. Kevin Cameron would eventually allow 5 unearned runs on the error, as well as 3 hits and 3 walks to pair with one run of the earned variety. Prior to the game spiraling completely out of control - a common occurrence for the Friars lately - Joe Thatcher allowed the DBacks to take a 3-4 lead in the 7th with the help of defensive miscues by Callix Crabbe and Paul McAnulty. Thatcher would eventually be tagged for the loss.

The offense made a decent run of it (relatively speaking). On the plus side, 60% of their knocks were extra base hits and 40% were round-trippers (a 2B and HR by McAnanulty and a HR by Brian Giles). On the flip side, they only had 5 total hits to have their team batting average settle at .238, trending towards the Mendoza line. Just one week ago they were leading the National League in batting average. They are still struggling with extra base hits and have maintained their dismal rate of 1.8 extra base knocks per game over that time period. These are tough times for the Friar Fans - try to keep the faith.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Help Wanted

FF is officially disgusted by the way that the Padres are swinging the bat. It has been over 90 innings and more than a week since the Friars have hit a homer, and extra base hits are so rare that when they do occur the base runner gets confused and keeps running (sorry, PMac). The fact is that when this team hits, they are moving 90 feet at a time. If you are going to play small ball, please acquire some speed to go first to third on the back end of two singles.

Something needs to happen with this team, and fast. Rumor has it that the Padres have some sort of offensive stud playing in Portland. The time has come for Chase Headley to be up with the big boys. Though Scott Hairston maybe more comfortable in left field, his one handed haymaker swings seem to be the reason that he has never been an everyday player in this league.

Kevin Towers should have a ridiculously high phone bill right now, and a move for the Matt Murton's of the world is not going to cut it. I know the franchise philosophy is to build around young players and fill the gaps with average and declining veterans, but something has to be done to reduce this drowning offense. With the outstanding pitching the Padres possess, it would be a shame not to field a quality lineup behind them to make a mark this season. The farm system is built up a bit ~ put some chips in play in hopes to push some runs across the plate.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Padres Pick Up Series By One

The Friars squeezed by the Dodgers 1-0 on a hot but smog-less Sunday afternoon game at Chavez Ravine to win the weekend series two games to one. Greg Maddux left the 95 degree heat after tossing 67 pitches over 5 innings of two hit ball, striking out a pair against a single walk. The heart of bullpen performed as you'd expect on paper, tossing four zeros on the board across Joe Thatcher, Cla Meredith, Heath Bell and Trevor Hoffman, respectively. The Padres lone run came on a moderately deep fly ball on a high change piece in the forth to Paul McAnulty, who again spelled Brian Giles. For the second consecutive game the Friars lone run was the result of a rare extra base hit. After Jim Edmonds walked to lead off the inning, shortstop Khalil Greene doubled Edmonds to third, where McAnulty would later convert him. This was the lone extra base knock for Bud Black's club.

Bell's Velocity Remains a Concern
As has been mentioned over the course of the season, Bell is regularly around 90 mph this in 2008 after typically hitting mid-to-high 90s in 2007. So far Bell is getting the job done with his less electric stuff, posting a 1.04 ERA over 8.2 innings, but he's notched just two strikeouts in the young season. FF is a big fan of Bell's, but we are concerned about how the decreased velocity bodes for his future health. We've many times noted the front office's love affair with relievers that post high strikeout to walk ratios. Last year, Bell put up nearly 10 K/BB while logging an out short of 94 innings over 81 outing, so it is unclear how the dichotomy between his reduced stuff and results will settle with the club in the long run.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Young Quality Start Streak Ends

Yesterday, FF blogged about how the Padres were struggling to hit anything but singles. Facing Padre nemesis Derek Lowe, we didn't have real high expectation that Saturday would be provide the breakthrough the team needed. But Scotty Hairston, batting lead off in place of a resting Brian Giles, started the game on in style with a triple down the right field line at Dodger Stadium. Adrian Gonzalez followed up with a double that he, Vin Scully, Andre Ethier, and FF thought was gone. At the bottom of the first, the Friars looked nstrong and had already accounted from more extra base hits than they had average per game for the season (2 versus 1.8). With Chris Young taking the hill, the euphoria of fast start quickly faded with Young command noticeably off. He was raked for just two runs in the first inning, but the hit hard along the way. From that poit on, Lowe settled into his normal role as Padre punisher and the Dodgers warmed up their bat to force Young out of the game in the top of the 4th with nobody out and 7 runs on his line in the box score (6 earned as Young booted a come backer). The Padre offense would scratch out just two more hits, both singles, on the way to an 11-1 drubbing. Wil Ledezma and Glendon Rusch were tagged with 3 and 1 runs in as many innings, respectively.

PMac in Right Field
After grumblings about his shotty fielding skills in left last spring, Paul McAnulty got the start in right field. Both he and center fielder Jim Edmonds were burned on balls over their heads. Giles will be out of action on Sunday, as he gets extra rest in front of Monday's day off.

Barrett At Least Two Weeks Away
Vin Scully announced that Michael Barrett is at least two weeks away from being back from the DL, giving Colt Morton extra time with the big club. Morton spelled Josh Bard after the game got away from the Friars.

Quality Start Streak Ends
Effectively spanning the first 11 games of the season, the Friars' quality start steak ended with the loss against the Dodgers. It was also marked the first time this season that a starter was hung with a loss.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Peavy Domination Tour Hits Stride - Completely

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.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hairston Launch Humbles Houston

The Padres have begun the 2008 season with two straight victories over the Houston Astros. The offense wasn't clicking on all cylinders as it was on opening night, but the Friars found Scott Hairston's 2 run blast enough to hold off Houston 2-1. The Padres had 2007 All Star, Chris Young, toeing the rubber on Tuesday and he battled through some control problems (5 walks in 5 2/3) to earn his first victory of the year. Young loaded the bases full of 'Stros after a base hit and 2 walks in the 6th. Skipper Bud Black turned the ball over to Joe Thatcher who got out of the jam after walking in the only Astro run of the game (and season). The lefty Thatcher retired the first batter of the 7th inning before giving way to side-winder Cla Meredith who cruised through the 2 batters he faced. Heath Bell worked a perfect 8th inning to set up baseball's all time saves leader in the top half of the 9th. Trevor Hoffman took his first steps into game action this year to the familiar sound of AC/DC's "Hells Bells". The Padres closer struck out the first and last batter he faced while working around a two out infield single.

Padres Points:

The Padres hand the ball to future Hall Of Fame hurler Greg Maddux on Wednesday night, the crafty right hander will attempt to keep pace with the top 2 pitchers in the Friar rotation.

Khalil Greene and Josh Bard each had multiple hit games with the Friar shortstop collecting 3, while the Padre backstop had 2. Brian Giles remains the only Padres regular without a hit through 2 games.

The Padres team ERA jumped all the way to 0.50 to kickoff the new year, Tuesday's 2-1 victory will be one of many close, low scoring affairs in 2008.

The Padres had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom half of the 8th (against former Friar Doug Brocail) after a 2 out Bard single sent Scott Hairston to second, an infield single by Paul McAnulty would have loaded the bases for a pinch hitter (presumably Tony Clark). Unfortunately, Scott Hairston got caught venturing too far off third after appearing to assume that P Mac would be called out at 1st.

Padres figure to start newly acquired Justin Huber in left tomorrow as the Astros will start a southpaw on the hill. Pads fans also figure to get their first view of the year of catcher Michael Barrett.

All time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is fashioning a longer hair style than in years past, reports out of spring training were that Mrs. Hoffman likes the longer locks.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 31, 2008

Peavy & Mates Blank 'Stros In Opener

The 2008 Padres campaign opened with a familiar sight as the Friars cruise to a 4-0 shutout victory over the visiting Houston Astros. The season opener is always a special occasion, however, with good friends and great hurlers Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt squaring off there was more allure around game 1 of 162. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner found himself in his tightest spot in the first inning after a leadoff single (and stolen base, who knew), and an one out walk; a couple of harmless infield pop-ups later the Friars were in their dugout taking their cuts versus Houston ace Roy Oswalt.

From that point forward Padres ace Jake Peavy took control of the game with his electric right arm and his bat. After the Friars wasted a 1 out double by new 2nd sacker Taditho Iguchi and a Kouzmanoff laser off Oswalt's hip in the first, the Pads took a 1-0 lead in the second inning via a Peavy sacrifice fly to left. San Diego's second run came courtesy a line drive single over the head of Astro shortstop Miguel Tejada by, you guessed it, Jake Peavy.

The Friars ace tossed 7 shut out innings while surrendering only 3 hits and striking out 4 on his way to his first win of the '08 season. From there, the Padres pen took care of the rest with Heath Bell working the 8th and Cla Meredith facing the minimum thanks to a great Scott Hairston throw nailing an over aggressive Tejada trying to stretch a single into a double to leadoff the 9th. All said and done, the Padres totaled 14 basehits in route to a typical 4-0 victory to begin the 2008 season.

San Diego Short Hops:

5 Padre hitters had a 2 or more knocks; Adrian Gonzalez, Khalil Greene, Josh Bard, and Paul McAnulty collected two hits apiece while Tad Iguchi swatted two doubles and a single to endear himself to the San Diego crowd early in the season.

The Padres played flawless defense after a questionable spring scattered with errors. It was a pleasant surprise for FF and Pads fans worldwide.

San Diego native and Aztec alum, Tony Clark, wasted little time getting in the Padres scorebook as he smashed the first pitch he saw in Padres colors for a RBI single.

Tuesday night features All Star starter Chris Young after his offseason workouts that centered around his larger midsection.



Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ChAAAse HeAAAdley

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.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Estes Continues To Struggle, Rusch Stays Relevant

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.

Spring Rolls:
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.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, March 3, 2008

Headley & Gerut Continue To Pound Pitching

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!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

McAnulty Still Odd Man Out?

One can't help but wonder if Paul McAnulty remains the odd man out after a piece run in the San Diego Union-Tribune that says:
[Bud] Black said Scott Hairston “might have the inside track” in the left-field competition, “just based on what he did last year.”

Black then mentioned Jody Gerut, Paul McAnulty, Chase Headley, Chip Ambres and Jeff DaVanon. He added: “A year ago, we had Terrmel Sledge, Jose Cruz Jr., McAnulty. We feel we've got better names” this year.

How'd you like to be the only guy included in the implied worst names from last year...

Labels:

Copyright © 2007-2009 Friar Forums, LLC