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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No Title for Now... Maybe Later? No, Probably Not.


Nevin mentioned in a radio interview before last night's game that he had talked to McAnulty about being more aggressive when pinch-hitting. During that evening's game, McAnulty got to bat in the ninth inning and after taking a pitch swung at both of the next two and drove the third pitch into the outfield for a base hit. The pitch he hit was up and out of the zone and I wonder if the aggressive approach had anything to do with Nevin's "coaching."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Padres Let One Get Away

Pizza Feed Pictures

(Howard) Lynch Mob has them here.

Title Track

I still can't figure out how the Padres lost last night. I'm thinking at least part of it has to do with the batting order employed by Bochy.
Damian Jackson
Mark Sweeney
Brian Giles
Ryan Klesko
Robert Fick
Sean Burroughs
Xavier Nady
Khalil Greene

At least the right eight players are starting and the Sweeney, Giles, Klesko, Fick 2-5 is relatively difficult to argue with in and of itself. Sweeney is probably the best #2 hitter available and Klesko and Fick almost certainly belong somewhere between 3 and 5. Also, Giles obviously belongs in the top third of the order.

However, there are also two players drastically out of position: Jackson and Nady. Xavier Nady leads the team in slugging and Jackson's on-base percentage is higher than only Burroughs' and Greene's. Nady must bat in between 3 and 5, preferrably 4th and Jackson should bat no higher than sixth ever. If that gets fixed, I think the lineup is much more frightening. Right now, opposing teams have an opportunity not to have to face the Padres' biggest bat until the third inning and also a fairly reasonable shot at only seeing him bat three times.

The batting order should work to highlight your strengths and hide your weaknesses. I've already mentioned why I disagree with batting Nady 7th, but Bochy has actually made that worse than it even has to be by batting Sean Burroughs directly in front of him. Batting Jackson first can almost be excused because of how well he has hit recently, but splitting up your team's best hitters is just stupid. You maximize the impact of your best hitters by batting them one right after the other and Bochy has not been willing to do this. :sigh:

Xavier Nady

Interesting fact, with last night's home run, Nady has matched his home run total from 2003 in exactly half as many games played and little less than 2/5 the number of at-bats.

Through last night's game, Nady has 157 plate appearances putting him on pace for only 330 this season. That's just unacceptable...

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Rotation

Title Track

Did I miss something? Padre fans and radio personalities are calling for some Padre or another (usually Burroughs) to be traded for pitching. I'm sorry, but pitching? Pitching? Are you kidding me? Obviously I missed something. Here's the rotation:

1. Jake Peavy
2. Adam Eaton
3. Woody Williams
4. Tim Stauffer
5. Brian Lawrence

What team has a better rotation than that? You have Jake Peavy who is the best young pitcher in baseball and one of the best pitchers in baseball period at the top. Adam Eaton has the stuff to be an ace. Woody Williams has anchored rotations in the past and has #2-3 starter stuff. Tim Stauffer is a rookie of the year candidate and Brian Lawrence is the best #5 starter in the game bar none. Also, Darrell May is one of the better spot starters you'll find. Why do we need more pitching? Anyone?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Padres Win Series, Place Nevin on DL

Title Track

Update [2005-6-26 23:51:31 by Richard B. Wade]: Check out my new blog, Future Friars, dedicated the Padres farm system. My first post is a look at recent call up Ben Johnson.

The good news, it just won't stop coming. Damian Jackson, of all people, led the Padres to victory today over the Mariners going 4 for 4 with two home runs. Ben Johnson, called up from Portland, logged a little time in Left Field.

(Lance: Ted Williams be damned; Damian Jackson is "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived." Except for maybe Xavier Nady.)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Nady Continues to Shine, Part II

Title Track

Xavier Nady: "Oh, put me in, Boch - I'm ready to play today; Put me in, Boch - I'm ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield... Just to hit the ball and touch 'em all - a moment in the sun; (pop) It's gone and you can tell that one goodbye!"

Bruce Bochy: "Maybe you shouldn't have run over my dog, slept with my wife or whatever it is I'm all bent out of shape about."

Nady has been exceptional in his limited playing time.

Xavier Nady

SecAvg: .366
Iso: .231

Counting Stat (Percentage)
PA: 150
HR : 7 (.052)
2B+3B: 8 (.060)
SB: 2/2 (1.000)
BB: 13 (.097)

Click here for "Part I."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bruce Bochy Cost Us Another Game, Part II

Title Track

Today's game is the first I have ever left early. Managers can't win a game for you, but they can lose them. Bochy has certainly proven that the last two days.

Bob Fick

Fick has been very good to say the least. In 66 plate appearances, he is hitting .339/.409/.542. Compare that to the catcher who thinks he deserves Varitek money batting .280/.309/.428 in 249 plate appearances. To reach that level of performance, Ficky would need to go 0 for his next 19. Ramon's still better than Miguel Ojeda, though...

(Lance: Ted Williams be damned, Robert Fick is the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.)

Update (6/25): Ficky would now have to go 0 for his next 22 to reach Ramon's level of performance.

BP Transaction Analysis

From Baseball Prospectus:
Placed C-R Ramon Hernandez on the 15-day DL (sprained wrist), retroactive to 6/18; placed RHP Adam Eaton on the 15-day DL (strained finger), retroactive to 6/16; recalled OF-L Paul McAnulty from Mobile (Double-A); activated RHP Tim Redding from the 15-day DL. [6/22]

Is it just me, or has this been a particularly rough year for catchers? Maybe it’s just the A’s fan in me, wondering if Jason Kendall spent all year hitting with a broken bat, but with Pudge Rodriguez hurting, Javy Lopez and Dan Wilson out, and Ramon Hernandez down, it seems like an unusually tough season on backstops. Ben Molina’s missed time, Victor Martinez has been as cold as Kendall, and this is all without bringing up the backup catchers, who’ve been pretty hard-hit as well.

So with Hernandez broken down for the time being, what did the Pads do? Something really cool: they asked Robert Fick to strap the tools of ignorance back on, giving an otherwise shame-faced pinch-hitter a chance at regaining an actual career for himself. Fick did catch five innings for the Devil Rays last season, but beyond that, he hasn’t caught regularly since 2001, that age-27 season that people felt meant that he’d arrived. Fick won’t get back to those days, but for a few weeks, it’s worth seeing if he can give you what you know you won’t get from Miguel Ojeda. A tip of the cap to Kevin Towers, Bruce Bochy and the rest of the Pad people for taking a chance, and potentially winding up with a stronger roster for it.

As for Eaton’s absence, it sounds as if he might only miss the two weeks he’s already missed a good chunk of, so that he’ll be back in the first few days of July. Darrell May did a good job finishing up Eaton’s injury-ruined start, and then taking Eaton’s turn the first time out. Because there aren’t any off days for the rest of the month, May will get two more turns, against the Mariners and Dodgers, neither of whom look like the sort of opponents you’d want to instead spot Redding against. It shouldn’t be the sort of thing that will cost them their hold on first place.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bruce Bochy Cost Us Another Game

Title Track

I am sick and tired of his incompetence.

(Lance: Richard would like to see Boch and Nevin in a steel cage death match. He would root for them to kill eachother.)

Paul McAnulty

McAnulty's Weighted Mean PECOTA Projection prior to this year was .238/.329/.386 and an EQA of .264. It asserted that there was a 50% probability that McAnulty would be a league average hitter or worse. His closest comparable player was Mo Vaugh in 1992. Mo Vaughn managed a stunning .234/.326/.400 that year with an EQA of .255. Last year at Lake Elsinore, Paul managed a Major League Equivalent line of .242/.335/.411.

I'd like to know how Towers decided that McAnulty deserved call-up more than any other player in the system. Jon Knott, for instance, makes a lot more sense. Knott's Major League Equivalent line last year was .255/.336/.444 and his Weighted Mean Projection this year is .254/.343/.441 and an EQA of .283.

I'm not going to say the decision is wrong. I just don't understand how it was made.

McAnulty Called Up...

to replace Dave Roberts in centerfield, of course!

I don't know what this has to do with the Padres, but I read the most amazing thing EVER at David Pinto's "Baseball Musings today. The Yankees overcame a 10-2 deficit to defeat the Devil Rays by a score of 20-11 this week. But there is precedent for such a humiliating loss.

On May 7, 1999, the Devil Rays jumped on the Indians' Doc Gooden (did any of you forget he pitched for Cleveland?) for seven runs in 3.2 innings, and continued to pile it on, eventually leading, you guessed it, 10-2.

Bobby Witt was having his own problems, and the Indians made a game of it. Then they made a mockery of it, embarrassing Tampa to the tune of 20-11. Tampa Bay allowed 8, count 'em, EIGHT, unearned runs, compared to a mere 5 unearned runs allowed by Cleveland. This must have been a wonderful game to watch.

The notion of this happening to THE SAME FRANCHISE twice is at once mind-boggling and also so funny I could pee myself. The humor faded, however, when I saw that the National League Champion Padres defeated the Braves that day to improve their record to 11-17.

(Retrosheet rules, doesn't it?!?)

The Padres Will Win the NL West

Update: 5:06 PM

Paul McAnulty has been called up from Mobile and Tim Redding from Portland. Ramon Hernandez and Adam Eaton have both been placed on the 15-Day Disabled List. I'm not sure why they called up a Double-A first baseman... I'll have some thoughts on the move later.

Title Track

There is a lot of negativity surrounding our first place San Diego Padres. It is my belief that it's unfounded, or at least not founded in reality.

They have outperformed their Third Order Pythagenport Win Percentage (Pct3) by over five wins. Rather than being a cause for concern, though, that is a positive. The team will not get a chance to regress toward the mean because the current Padres are not the same club that has a Pct3 of .505.

They are better at this point in the season than they were for most of it. Tim Stauffer is better than May and Redding. Woody Williams, who was injured, is also better than either of the team's six and seven starters.

Jesse Garcia and Adam Hyzdu have been demoted in favor of better players. Miguel Ojeda is no longer the #2 catcher. Fick is considerably better. Phil Nevin may be injured which will allow better players to get more playing time.

Mark Loretta will return from the DL in July as will Eric Young. Both are better than players currently on the roster.

The Padres have played over their heads at times and have staked an improved club to a better record than they ought to be starting from. This team played better than it was. They now are better than they played. They will continue to improve thanks to players regaining their health and rejoining the team.

Hey Friar Faithful, enjoy it.

The Lineup

Given the opportunity to fill out the lineup for the Padres, I'd do it like so:

RF Brian Giles
1B Mark Sweeney
LF Ryan Klesko
C Robert Fick
CF Dave Roberts
3B Sean Burroughs
2B Damian Jackson
SS Khalil Greene

Giles finds himself batting leadoff because he leads the team in On-Base Percentage. Fick is batting cleanup due to his ridiculous slugging percentage. Ryno is in the three spot because after Fick and Giles, he's the club's next best slugger. Sweeney is #2 because of his combination of high on-base percentage (2nd) and high slugging percentage (4th). Dave Roberts' slugging percentage (5th) earns him the 5 hole. Sean Burroughs on-base percentage (6th) has him batting sixth. Damian Jackson's on-base percentage (8th) combined with the fact that he plays second base slots him in at #7. The fact that Khalil Greene plays shortstop gets him in the lineup.

All decisions were based on this year's performance only.

One More Reason to Hate Interleague Play

The Padres are tied with St. Louis for the best record in the National League against National League teams at 35-21.

Monday, June 20, 2005

How Do You Spell Dominant? P-E-A-V-Y

Title Track

8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K, 0 HR

Wow. He's even the lead for Sports Center.

Ryan Klesko's defensive play in the top of the first inning is a big part of why the game went the way it did. I just thought I'd mention it so that it isn't forgotten.

(Lance: Jake overcame the forces of darkess, and I haven't the words...)

Good One

I just noticed this:
"Have the opposing team’s ace get the flu every series."
--Stone, on how the Cubs can continue to play wel

Eternal Damnation

Readers (yes, both of you), there's a special place for the Dodgers and their fans.

It's called HEEEELLLLLLL!!!!!

In the name of all that is good and holy,


(Richard: Legitimate. Content. Machine.)

Jamul Man Killed in Explosion

The headless body of Jamul resident Richard Wade was found in front of his television shortly after the Padres victory over the Twins on Sunday.

Autopsy results are pending, but authorities believe that Wade's head exploded immediately following Padre manager Bruce Bochy's order of a sacrifice bunt with runners on first and second and no outs.

Bochy is being held for questioning.

In related news, the office of the district attorney has released a statement indicating that San Diego first baseman Phil Nevin has been arrested and is being held without bail. When questioned about the charges, a D.A. source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Nevin had been taken into custody "on general principle."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Padres Win & I Don't Hate Phil Nevin

Title Track

It has come to my attention that people think I hate Phil Nevin. That just isn't so. I'm a fan of Phil Nevin. His 2001 season is one of the finest any player has had in a Padre uniform. I'm fairly certain it's the best any Padre has put up since Ken Caminiti's '96 campaign. My desire to trade Phil Nevin is that he is past his peak, but still played every day. He is being paid over $10 million and he is signed through 2006. Really, that's all.

The Padres won tonight and did so in impressive fashion. Brian Lawrence, in particular, was fantastic. He had great movement on his pitches and didn't make mistakes. Also, since I point out Bochy's errors, I thought I'd highlight what I felt was a really good decision in playing Robert Fick behind the plate. Speaking of Robert Fick, he threw out Torii Hunter by a mile.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Good News

Title Track

The Padres blew their best opportunity to win this weekend. I just don't understand what's going on in Bruce Bochy's enormous head. If you have a runner on first base with no outs, you are more likely to score than if you have a runner on second with two outs. Everyone should know that by now. Also, if a guy can't bunt (like, oh I don't know, Khalil) you're likely to trade an out for nothing. It should go without saying that a runner on first with one out is less likely to score than a runner on first with no outs. Maybe Bochy doesn't know that, though.

I promised good news, though. The National League West is absolutely terrible. The Giants, Diamondbacks and Rockies almost certainly will not finish the season at .500 or better. I will be shocked if the Dodgers win more than 85. If I'm right, the Padres only need to win 50 of their next 95 games. They ought to be able to do that. Even if they can't, it's possible they still may win the division. It really is that awful.

Go Padres!

Rules About Sacrifice Bunting

Rule #1: If you're playing an away game, do not attempt to sacrifice bunt.

Rule #2: If it is not the ninth inning or later, do not attempt to sacrifice bunt.

Rule #3: If the game is not tied, do not attempt to sacrifice bunt.

Rule #4: If you do not have a runner on second, do not attempt to sacrifice bunt.

Rule #5: If there is an out, do not attempt to sacrifice bunt.

That's the last time I explain the sacrifice bunt tonight. I promise.

Friars by MLVr

From Baseball Prospectus:
MLVr is a rate-based version of Marginal Lineup Value (MLV), a measure of offensive production created by David Tate and further developed by Keith Woolner. MLV is an estimate of the additional number of runs a given player will contribute to a lineup that otherwise consists of average offensive performers. MLVr is approximately equal to MLV per game. The league average MLVr is zero (0.000).

Player PA MLVr
Robert Fick 37 0.578
Eric Young 3 0.279
Mark Sweeney 87 0.248
Brian Giles 278 0.229
Ryan Klesko 244 0.186
Dave Roberts 197 0.11
Xavier Nady 136 0.082
Mark Loretta 184 0.049
Ramon Hernandez 245 0.032
Phil Nevin 261 0.007
Khalil Greene 174 -0.021
Geoff Blum 169 -0.036
Sean Burroughs 207 -0.074
Woody Williams 16 -0.122
Damian Jackson 101 -0.158
Adam Eaton 36 -0.256
Jesse Garcia 39 -0.317
Miguel Ojeda 64 -0.465
Adam Hyzdu 25 -0.493
Tim Stauffer 11 -0.599
Jake Peavy 24 -0.745
Brian Lawrence 28 -0.845

In Response to Richard

"I am in favor of trading Phil Nevin for anyone making less money and eligible for free agency after this season."

With a younger, cheaper, and possibly better Nady languishing on the bench, I couldn't agree more.

"I am in favor of calling up Justin Germano if we need another starter due to injury." (Richard: More than one start.)

Depends on who's injured, and how long they're expected to be out. I'm probably gonna take heat for saying that I think Tim Redding will eventually pitch well in the big leagues, and would be my choice over Germano.

"I am against trading for Barry Zito."

I think Zito might have trouble getting that curveball called for strikes in the NL, although that might not be an issue with the shared umpiring. Then again, he's had trouble getting the call for almost two years now. He doesn't throw hard enough to get away with much, and I don't expect his velocity will improve in his late twenties. So yeah, I'm with Richard on this one.

"I am against trading away Sean Burroughs."

People forget that Sean's only 24, younger than most rookies. I used to hope for George Brett; now I'm hoping for Wade Boggs. I expect what we'll end up with will be more Carney Lansford than Brett or Boggs, and that's okay, too. There's no obvious replacement. He's the best legitimate third baseman in the organization, and he will get better.

"I am against trading away Xavier Nady."

Until Nevin, Klesko, or Giles are moved, management seems to have made a decision not to play Nady. To give Nady playing time at the expense of Nevin or Klesko would be tantamount to sunk costs in an organization that has publicly stated that it can't afford sunk costs. To play him over Giles doesn't make sense, because Giles is the better player. But three years from now Nady will be better than all of them, and the Padres may regret not getting him in the lineup more often in 2005.
My guess is that the team lets Giles walk, and Xavier takes over in rightfield in 2006. If that isn't the plan, I hope they trade him for a player they'll actually use.

"I am against re-signing Bruce Bochy."

With the groundswell of support for Bochy's mayoral candidacy, he may not have time to continue managing the team.
If not extended by the Padres, I'm sure he'll land another managerial job immediately. He's respected around the league as much as anyone not named Torre or Cox, and it would be interesting to see how he'd do with the payroll budget of say... the Dodgers.
God help him if he ends up in the American League. I think it would kill him not to double-switch at least once a game.

"I am against re-signing Ramon Hernandez for anything more than 2 years, $12 million."

I agree with this sentiment, despite my admiration for Ramon. The fact is that somebody is going to pony up more cash, for more years, than would be prudent.
I hope Towers is looking for a replacement, and I hope his name isn't Wiki.

"I am against bringing in the fences."

I think playing in a pitchers' park helps an organization for one reason:
The pitchers can go deeper into games in fully half of the contests. Over the course of a season, a staff is required to throw less pitches. The effect this has on keeping the bullpen fresh, and in lessening injuries, in incalculable.
If the Padres can stay afloat through the summer, I expect to see my theory pay dividends later in the season.
If bringing in the fences helps the hitters, don't do it.

"I am against trading for Tony Womack."

In a previous post I compared Womack to former Pirates shortstop Frank Tavares.
I now realize that I was being too generous. Tavares could play a passable shortstop, and was a better base stealer than Womack.
Geoff Young has it right. A better comp for Womack would be Enzo Hernandez.

"I am in favor of trading for Hideki Matsui."

Who would we give up? Nevin? Don't the Yankees already have Nevin's left-handed twin brother (Giambi)?
We already have a glut of outfielders. I don't want to add another unless he plays a Gold Glove caliber centerfield.

"I am against letting any player with an on-base percentage under .350 lead off."

Well, yeah...

"I am against letting Phil Nevin play every day."

I think Richard should seek psychiatric help regarding his overt hatred for Phil Nevin.
It could be worse. I remember Willie Montanez, Broderick Perkins, and Randy Bass all manning first base for the Padres. I am forever scarred by these experiences.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

So You Can Remind Me That I Was Wrong

Title Track

I am in favor of trading Phil Nevin for anyone making less money and eligible for free agency after this season.

I am in favor of calling up Justin Germano if we need another starter due to injury.

I am against trading for Barry Zito.

I am against trading away Sean Burroughs.

I am against trading away Xavier Nady.

I am against re-signing Bruce Bochy.

I am against re-signing Ramon Hernandez for anything more than 2 years, $12 million.

I am against bringing in the fences.

I am against trading for Tony Womack.

I am in favor of trading for Hideki Matsui.

I am against letting any player with an on-base percentage under .350 lead off.

I am against letting Phil Nevin play every day.

Oh. My. God. NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I swear on all that is holy that if Tony Womack becomes a Padre I will abandon the team I have followed fervently for 30 years. Frank Tavares is available. Why not just sign him?!?!

Damn, I was joking when I mentioned the Yankees signing Womack in my last post.
I'm sure Kevin Towers reads this blog (well, why wouldn't he?!?!), but did he understand that my post was not meant as advice to him???

Richard, you've suffered through far fewer years of Padre ineptitude than I; please tell me you were joking.

Womack Trade Talk

Title Track

From the New York Post:
Tony Womack can be traded without his consent beginning today. Before that, he had a say in any potential trade because he was a free agent in the first year of a new contract.

Reportedly, Womack has been linked to San Diego. GM Brian Cashman wouldn't comment on trade talks, other than to say he's always looking for ways to improve the club.

Womack has a DT line of .243/.288/.274 and an EqA of .211. For his career, Womack's DT line is .263/.307/.346 and his career EqA is .243. In other words, he's not even as good as Geoff Blum. I don't understand this at all. Hopefully, it's as untrue as it is stupid. I'd probably give them Nevin, though.

Zito Trade Talk

Lawrence/Zito DT Comparsion
Player ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 Salary
Lawrence 4.67 9.34 1.3 2.35 3.26 $5.75M
Zito 4.66 7.55 0.98 4.32 5.56 $7.70M

I ask, "Why bother?"

In Which Richard is Very Sneaky...

To begin with, that was a dirty trick, Richard.

(Richard: I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.)

And another thing: the Padres have attained levels of suckiness I did not think possible. This reminds me of the days of Enzo Hernandez, Darrell Thomas, and Fred Kendall. But at least those old Padre teams had an excuse. They really did suck, to the depths of their souls. They were just truly bad ballplayers.

I honestly don't know what the hell is wrong with this team, aside from their new habit of letting the opposition outscore them. Not even the powerful magic of Dave Roberts, Winning Machine, seems to be helping.

If we were the Reds, we could just release our closer or maybe sign Eric Milton, and that would fix everything. Or if we were the Yankees, we could sign Tony Womack.

I feel better now.

Too Disgusted to Blog, Too Annoyed Not To

Quit Calling Into Radio Talk Shows

Memo to all of the idiots I heard call in after today's game, quit it. I'm tired of hearing the same stupid and mostly wrong assertions.

2004/2005 Comparisons

I keep hearing them. I'm tired of it. That isn't because there's nothing to be gained, it's because it's done incorrectly. I won't get into what people have done wrong, but I'm going to attempt to do it right.

You can't help but be struck by the return of seven starters to a third place team. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that of the seven, six of them are playing worse this year than last. Only Brian Giles has improved. The rest have fallen off. Some have been more/less consistent. Klesko and Burroughs have suffered relatively small drops. Greene and Hernandez have seen somewhat bigger declines. Loretta and Nevin are completely different players and not for the better. On the new starter, Roberts has been a big, big improvement offensively over Payton.

The bench is perhaps the most talked about "improvement" to the team. While Sweeney, Fick and Nady have been much better than any of last year's bench players, it's worth noting that both Nady and Fick were part of that group. Ojeda is the other holdover from last year and I think we'd all consider ourselves lucky if he could capture last year's mediocrity. Eric Young has been injured. Jesse Garcia and Adam Hyzdu were terrible. Neither Damian Jackson nor Geoff Blum has been league average. In fact, neither one has been as good as Kerry Robinson was last year. Terrence Long and Rich Aurilia were both more productive at the plate last year as well.

Granted, last year's bench had some amazingly bad performances. That includes the likes of Darren Bragg, Brian Buchanan, Jeff Cirillo, Jon Knott, Humberto Quintero, and Ramon Vazquez who were all better last year than Jesse Garcia and Adam Hyzdu have been this year. Only Alex Gonzalez and Dave Hansen were worse.

Don't misunderstand me, the bench is better, but that's really only because of Mark Sweeney.

The pitching staff underwent about as much change as the bench and is also considered to be better. Eaton, Peavy and Lawrence returned to the rotation. Peavy and Lawrence have not been as productive as they were last year; Peavy is still pitching very well, though Lawrence not so much. Eaton, on the other hand, has been much better than last year. The new additions this year are Woody Williams and Tim Stauffer. Neither has been as good as Boomer Wells, but both have been much better than Ismael Valdez. Many think the rotation is lacking, but it is as good as any in baseball.

The bullpen is supposedly a great deal better than last year. It certainly has greater depth. Hoffman, Linebrink and Otsuka have all faired no where near as well as they did last year. All are still very good, but they are not what they were last season. The rest of the bullpen is much improved. Chris Hammond and Rudy Seanez are both much better than any of last year's relievers that weren't part of the three-headed monster, with the exception of Antonio Osuna who we allowed to walk. Brian Falkenborg has been a disaster as has Darrell May and Tim Redding. Fortunately, Falkenborg has continued to improve and both May's and Redding's numbers have been better out of the pen than when starting. Of the 16 middle relievers and fifth starters employed last year, only Osuna and Witasick could have made this year's club. The top guys aren't quite as good, but the rest are better and by a lot.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Trade Phil Nevin

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I never bothered to suggest that the first baseman be traded because I couldn't imagine anyone wanting him. It has been suggested by Dan Graziano and Ed Price of The Star Ledger that the Yankees may be willing to eat Phil's stupid contract (hat tip: Gas Lamp Ball):

Another possibility is San Diego. The Padres can't take on any payroll, but if they dealt a player like Phil Nevin (who's making $8.5 million this year and next) for a player like Matsui (who's making $8 million this year and can be a free agent when it's over), it could help them free up some cash for other things.

That's a fantastic idea if it's actually possible. Matsui plays a much better left field than Ryan Klesko (Who doesn't? A lot of people actually, but that's not the point I'm trying to make). Also, Matsui is a free agent at the end of this year and that translates into both a draft pick and freed up cash. If the New York Yankees are stupid enough to make this deal, Towers had better be smart enough to take it.

Josh Barfield

Josh Barfield Batting Stats
Idaho Falls 18 277 16 54 23 86 0.058 0.195 0.296 0.267
Fort Wayne 19 536 26 105 31 164 0.049 0.196 0.248 0.189
Lake Elsinore 20 572 51 126 68 187 0.089 0.22 0.405 0.364
Mobile 21 521 48 119 49 129 0.092 0.228 0.403 0.38
Portland 22 241 18 55 13 69 0.075 0.228 0.327 0.188

Why was Barfield pushed through the ranks so fast? I just don't get it. Anyone?

Dave Roberts, Winning Machine

Today at 4:05, our Padres battle the Detroit Tigers. The Friars should march to victory behind the capable right arm of Adam Eaton and the centerfield stylings of the Winning Machine, Dave Roberts.

No TV, so listen to the radio yappings of Ted, paired with the infinite wisdom of Jerry. Talk it up on the in-game discussion over at Ducksnorts. All your favorite blogger heroes will be there!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Apparently, Richard is "Working on Something..."

... and I take him at his word. For those of you who read his work here and at Beyond the Box Score, you know Richard's always working on something.

Blown opportunities in tonight's loss to the Tigers. I already tried to post in depth, but lost the whole damned thing due to my own computer illiteracy. In summation, the return of the real Jake Peavy was thwarted by crappy Michigan weather, and now we're even losing to the Tigers. I know their manager belongs in the Hall of Fame, but still...

Tomorrow's another game (duh.. can you believe I didn't make it to the majors???), and I hope to witness a major league performance from our major league team. And for those of you who are enamored of having the quintessential fifth outfielder/pinch runner batting leadoff: We didn't win tonight with him in the line-up. Get used to it!!!

I sincerely apologize to Dave Roberts and his family.

(Richard: DR is a winning machine.)

(Lance: God, I hope that was tongue-in-cheek.... coincidence is a lovely thing, and I hear he's a wonderful guy.)

(Richard: It is mostly. I started that post as a joke, but it's somewhat difficult to ignore how much better the teams have performed with him in the lineup. Of course, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be ignored.)

I'm Working on Something, I Swear...

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Until I get around to actually posting, check out Beyond the Box Score. I've been analyzing New York's farm system and if that doesn't make you feel better about Fort Wayne through Portland, nothing will.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Richard, You Knew the Job was Dangerous When You Took It...

It's been nearly a week, and two scintillating (if I do say so myself) posts since I began contributing to this ever-so-fine blog. And I've learned so much in the interim.

For example, it's less than polite to alter the fonts at a blog you've only recently been invited to contribute to. Yeah, I should've known that, but still...

I confess to using various and sundry fonts that struck my fancy on my initial posts. 'Twon't happen again, be assured. Nonetheless, I offer a brief primer to bloggers looking to expand their staff:

Inviting a stranger to contribute to your website is not unlike asking a chick to move in with you; soon enough, your furniture will be rearranged while you're at work, post-impressionist prints will adorn the walls of your living room, and all those beer coasters you collected from your favorite bar will have been replaced by linen napkins and designer placemats from BedBath&Beyond.

There's no game today, which leaves my heart empty. Not literally empty, as this would insult my beloved wife, Robin. Just a little more empty than on game days.

And for both of you readers, howza 'bout you lettin' us know in the comment section what the Padres oughtta do with Punchless Burroughs? I hear the USA Women's Softball squad needs a utility infielder.

(Richard: Well, Sean is playing better defensive third base than anyone else in the NL...)

It Could Have Been Worse

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5-8 is a disappointing homestand. However, considering the virus and who we played, it could have been so much worse. Just be happy the rest of the division failed to take advantage.

Minor League Batting Stats

Commentary Completed...

AAA Batting Stats
Kerry Robinson 246 9 26 9 73 0.037 0.106 0.346 0.123
J.J. Furmaniak 234 17 57 23 66 0.073 0.244 0.298 0.348
Jon Knott 234 31 48 35 63 0.132 0.205 0.646 0.556
Josh Barfield 235 17 53 13 68 0.072 0.226 0.321 0.191
Ben Johnson 224 30 55 26 65 0.134 0.246 0.545 0.4
Bobby Scales 147 24 39 16 46 0.163 0.265 0.615 0.348
Michel Hernandez 150 21 19 7 42 0.14 0.127 1.105 0.167
Adam Hyzdu 101 25 31 11 25 0.248 0.307 0.806 0.44
Jesse Garcia 93 2 13 7 21 0.022 0.14 0.154 0.333
Tagg Bozied 43 1 4 6 12 0.023 0.093 0.25 0.5

Kerry Robinson is getting way, way too many at-bats. He shouldn't be on the team. Leading the team in plate appearances is outrageous.

A number of people seem to be in love with Furmaniak. Outside the cool name, he doesn't walk enough and he strikes out a ton.

Knott's getting older and has earned a shot. It's a shame that there is absolutely no room for him on the big league roster.

Josh Barfield still has yet to adjust to Triple-A. I'm hoping that's all there is to it.

Ben Johnson is showing good plate discipline and some solid power. That can also be said of Bobby Scales and Adam Hyzdu. I really don't understand why Hyzdu hasn't been able to put it together at the major league level.

Hernandez just doesn't have the power. He's got a hell of an eye at the plate, though. Bozied's numbers are the exact opposite.

Garcia sucks. He sucks a lot.

AA Batting Stats
Ronald Merrill 232 25 35 23 56 0.108 0.151 0.714 0.411
Paul McAnulty 230 24 52 23 67 0.104 0.226 0.462 0.343
Corey Smith 229 22 67 19 63 0.096 0.293 0.328 0.302
Kennard Jones 221 33 59 16 58 0.149 0.267 0.559 0.276
Greg Sain 198 17 45 13 48 0.086 0.227 0.378 0.271
Nick Trzesniak 163 21 43 15 45 0.129 0.264 0.488 0.333
Jason Clements 129 14 38 6 23 0.109 0.295 0.368 0.261
Casey Baker 116 16 32 8 26 0.138 0.276 0.5 0.308
Luke Carlin 94 12 14 7 29 0.128 0.149 0.857 0.241
Dustin Delucchi 91 13 22 5 26 0.143 0.242 0.591 0.192
Mike Richardson 86 16 33 4 16 0.186 0.384 0.485 0.25
Joe Gerber 34 5 13 4 12 0.147 0.382 0.385 0.333

Ronald Merrill has plate discipline to take a walk. He has the bat control and knowledge of the strike zone to keep his strikeout numbers low. He has good power. Unfortunately, he's 26 y/o and playing Double-A and can't seem to make regular contact.

Everyone on the team not named Smith or Sain have shown the ability to draw walks. Only McAnulty, Trzesniak and Gerber have shown any power to go along with that patience, though. And Gerber's only had 34 AB's.

The biggest issue I have is that the whole team is old. They don't have one hitter 22 y/o or younger. That's the biggest problem with the Padres farm system, actually. They're old.

Hi-A Batting Stats
Peeter Ramos 247 26 34 10 66 0.105 0.138 0.765 0.152
Fernando Valenzuela 241 28 36 22 77 0.116 0.149 0.778 0.286
Drew Macias 222 21 38 15 63 0.095 0.171 0.553 0.238
Juan Ciriaco 219 15 34 21 64 0.069 0.155 0.441 0.328
Brett Bonvechio 208 40 72 15 55 0.192 0.346 0.556 0.273
Steve Baker 201 10 43 20 71 0.05 0.214 0.234 0.282
George Kottaras 200 27 37 20 60 0.135 0.185 0.73 0.333
Brian Burgamy 198 19 37 17 58 0.096 0.187 0.514 0.293
Jordan Pickens 118 11 36 10 22 0.093 0.305 0.306 0.455
Michael Johnson 117 17 40 18 36 0.145 0.342 0.425 0.5
Andres Pagan 67 2 15 7 19 0.03 0.224 0.133 0.368
Skip Adams 55 7 14 4 15 0.127 0.255 0.5 0.267
Adam Bourassa 38 3 2 2 12 0.079 0.053 1.5 0.167
Matt Thayer 30 5 3 1 8 0.167 0.1 1.667 0.125
Craig Johnson 11 0 2 0 1 0 0.182 0 0

Ramos, Valenzuela, Bonvechio, Kottaras, Michael Johnson, Adams, and Thayer all have shown an ability to draw walks. Bonvechio, in particular, is piling them up. As seen with the Double-A club, only a couple of guys have the power to go along with patience at the plate. In this case, only Kottaras has the whole package.

The average age of the Lake Elsinore batters is 23. The median age is also 23. The ideal age for a Hi-A player is from 20-21. The farm system is old.

Lo-A Batting Stats
Brett Dowdy 226 24 36 16 64 0.106 0.159 0.667 0.25
Christopher Kolkhorst 225 41 37 13 59 0.182 0.164 1.108 0.22
Matt Bush 221 11 35 10 52 0.05 0.158 0.314 0.192
Lachlan Dale 218 19 82 23 46 0.087 0.376 0.232 0.5
Sean Kazmar 209 14 38 18 53 0.067 0.182 0.368 0.34
Tom Vincent 207 16 47 14 54 0.077 0.227 0.34 0.259
Peter Ciofrone 196 27 23 12 56 0.138 0.117 1.174 0.214
Yordany Ramirez 179 18 37 15 38 0.101 0.207 0.487 0.395
Colt Morton 151 24 39 17 43 0.159 0.258 0.615 0.395
Ruben Mora 74 9 15 3 14 0.122 0.203 0.6 0.214
Matt Lauderdale 73 10 15 8 25 0.137 0.206 0.667 0.32
Baudilio Figueroa 59 3 16 2 15 0.051 0.271 0.188 0.133
Brian Fryer 39 2 11 2 9 0.051 0.282 0.182 0.222

Patience is apparently harder to find at Low-A ball. Dowdy, Kolkhorst, Ciofrone, Ramirez, Morton, Mora and Lauderdale manage to reach the benchmark of one walk per ten at-bats. Of them only Ramirez and Morton have shown the ability to drive the ball regularly.

Yordany Ramirez seems to be the top prospect based on his internals and age (20), but his batting average is atrocious at .212. Morton's numbers are also good, but he's a bit old for Low-A.

Edit: Ramirez's outstanding internal numbers were apparently sample size flukes.

Average Age: 22. Median Age: 22. Old.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Stauffer Dominant, Bochy Lucky in Padres Win

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The Chicago White Sox led 1-0 practically from the first pitch it seemed. Unfortunately for them, Tim Stauffer would rebound with a vengeance and Otsuka and Linebrink would follow his dominance with scoreless innings of their own.

Stauffer's line on the night: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 92 Pitches (65 Strikes)

That is the very definition of dominance. In seven innings, he only allowed three baserunners while striking out a batter an inning. Two of the three hits and the only run occurred before Stauffer recorded an out. From that point on, Stauffer faced 22 batters and retired 21 of them. 71% of his pitches were for strikes and he needed only 13 pitches per inning. Sadly, Tim only received a no decision.

The reason for the no decision is that the Padres managed only two runs on 11 hits. The reason for that is Bruce Bochy and I'll tell you why. Bruce Bochy started a career .324 on-base percentage hitter leadoff. He batted Phil Nevin clean-up and two of his best hitters, Blum and Nady, saw action from the seven and eight spots in the order.

Bruce Bochy had already greatly disadvantaged his already shorthanded team before the first pitch was thrown.

Damian Jackson had more plate appearances than anyone else on the team, which should never happen, but fortunately he was able to overcome the odds to deliver in the clutch (DJ was 2 for 5).

Phil Nevin stranded several runners as he is wont to do and basically provided an easy out in between the Friars' two most productive hitters.

Blum was injured and his position in the lineup ended up helping the team as they were able, for the most part, to hide Sean Burroughs.

The Sox were able to avoid giving Nady anything to hit and contained him. When Bochy sensed the opportunity, he immediately lifted Xavier for a pinch-hitter.

Perhaps Bochy's most incredible decision was lifting Tim Stauffer for pinch-hitter, Miguel Ojeda. Tim Stauffer was approaching 100 pitches and is young, so it made sense to remove him. What doesn't make sense is the use of Miguel Ojeda as a pinch-hitter. Ojeda has put up worse numbers than Stauffer, let alone the other bench players. If Bochy insisted on a right-handed batter, Eaton and Woody Williams are both better options.

Thankfully, the good guys won anyway.

Tomorrow's Matchup

Brian Lawrence: Translated Stats
2005: 4.79 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 1.25 K/BB, 1.22 HR/9
EPL: 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.08 K/BB, 0.99 HR/9
San Diego Padres: .270/.347/.423

Freddy Garcia: Translated Stats
2005: 3.87 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 1.90 K/BB, 0.99 HR/9
EPL: 3.69 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 2.52 K/BB, 0.92 HR/9
Chicago White Sox: .267/.341/.436

Yeah, that favors the Sox, but so did tonight's game. I guess we'll have to let them decide this one on the field.

Some Stuff

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From Baseball Prospectus:

NL West Adjusted Standings
San Diego30.730.3278275
Los Angeles28.831.2275287
San Francisco24.234.8249301

If you buy into BP's methods (which I do to an extent), San Diego is the only legitimate winning team in the division.

More later...

Part of the "More" I Promised

This one's a big ugly table that's really only accurate through the 9th of June. All of the data is thanks to The Hardball Times (I'll make that a link later). Here 'tis:

Percentage of Team Win Shares
Williams, W1
Williams, R-1

Still More to Come...

Triple-A Batting Stats sans Commentary

AAA Batting Stats
Kerry Robinson 243 9 25 9 72 0.037 0.103 0.36 0.125
J.J. Furmaniak 229 17 57 22 64 0.074 0.249 0.298 0.344
Jon Knott 227 30 46 35 62 0.132 0.203 0.652 0.565
Josh Barfield 227 17 52 12 63 0.075 0.229 0.327 0.19
Ben Johnson 217 29 54 25 62 0.134 0.249 0.537 0.403
Bobby Scales 147 24 39 16 46 0.163 0.265 0.615 0.348
Michel Hernandez 143 20 19 6 40 0.14 0.139 1.053 0.15
Adam Hyzdu 98 24 31 11 24 0.245 0.316 0.774 0.458
Jesse Garcia 86 2 10 6 20 0.023 0.116 0.2 0.3
Tagg Bozied 35 1 2 6 11 0.029 0.057 0.5 0.545

More Random Stuff

I thought this was interesting. Maybe you will, too.

DT Translated Team Stats
Team ERA WHIP Batting Line
San Diego 4.36 1.32 .270/.347/.423
Los Angeles 4.94 1.38 .275/.349/.444
Arizona 4.5 1.36 .247/.324/.402
San Francisco 4.9 1.41 .262/.326/.408
Colorado 4.97 1.5 .253/.318/.400

Late Post, Due to the Fact that I am Fat and Old

By not checking his e-mail in a timely fashion, Richard missed out on the opportunity to sit in outstanding seats with me at Thursday's win over the Indians. This did not prevent him from stealing my thunder, however.

With boundless energy befitting a man his age, Richard posted an insightful, comprehensive analysis of Adam Eaton's early-season success, practically before Hoffy strode to the mound accompanied by "Hell's Bells." Scroll down and read it, all three of you, if haven't already.

With waning energy befitting the elderly and infirm, I give you the following comments regarding Eaton's ninth victory:
1. In a most philanthropic manner, Eaton seems to have decided that EVERY opposing batter is entitled to a three-ball count.
2. Coco Crisp hits the ball a hell of a lot harder than one would expect of a guy named "Coco." In fact, he hit three pitches as hard as any in the game, including Giles' dinger to dead center. Say it with me now: "Coco... Coco Crisp." Go figure.

Regarding last night's defeat at the hands of the White Sox, I have no comment, save that it inspired me to drink more heavily than I ought to.

Tonight, however, will be a different story, as I will be sitting in the Toyota Terrace, rooting furiously for a turnaround in our favorite team's fortunes. I am summoning karma from Batgirl's minions, as they will the hated "Bitch Sox" to horrible defeat. Which, of course, would mean victory for the Padres.

Perhaps I will post commentary on the Friars' striking down of the Bitch Sox before Richard does. But don't count on it, because the kid's good. Really good. As good as Coco Crisp, even.

Edit: Quit changing the font. :-P

Friday, June 10, 2005

Adam Eaton - How?

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There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding Adam Eaton's improvement. If you watch him, it's obvious that he's improved. If you look at his results, it's obvious. When you look at his stats, it makes no sense. My belief and that of others I have spoken to was that he's mentally tougher. It also seemed to me that he approached situations quite differently. Thanks to ESPN's fantastic (I can't stress how amazing it is) Splits, I think there may be something to my second assumption.


None On

Runners On

Scoring Position

Scoring Posn, 2 out

You can see a number of things from these stats. Simply stated, Adam's approach changes rather noticeably from situation to situation.

With none on, Adam is around the strike zone and seems to be trying to get guys to put the ball in play. This is evidenced by the high batting average and low on-base percentage. Adam also seems more inclined to make a mistake pitch. An ISO of .209 is quite large.

With runners on, you can see that Adam begins to throw more pitches out of the zone and seems to be willing to trade walks against extra base hits. With runners in scoring position, this becomes even more pronounced. ISO falls further still and his walks climb.

Once Adam gets to two outs, you can't buy a hit off the guy with men in scoring position. The low average and slugging coupled with the high number of walks show you that he isn't about to give in.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

And Now the Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

Much like Mike Tyson, I seem to be surrounded by a great deal of hoopla.
Also like Mike Tyson, it would appear to be much ado about nothing.

I'd like to begin by introducing myself to Richard's other two readers. My name is Lance Richardson, and I've had the fortune (good or bad, depending upon how you look at it) of being a baseball fanatic and Padre devotee for nearly all of my 36 years. All the years I remember, anyway.
I'd also like to thank Richard for inviting me to be a part of this blog. I've enjoyed reading it since his very first post, and I hope to uphold the standard of quality work he has set here. And can you believe the guy is only 19?!?! Why, when I was 19, all I was interested in was... well, that's not really a story for this blog.

I will be posting here, hopefully more than occasionally, with thoughts on the Padres and on baseball. Perhaps even thoughts unrelated to baseball, until Richard tells me that I'm boring the hell out of everyone.

I'll be attending today's game, in outstanding seats a couple rows behind the visitors' dugout. Hopefully our favorite team will provide fodder for my next post.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


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Frequent Ducksnorts commenter, Lance Richardson, has just joined Friar Faithful and I believe I speak for all three readers of this blog when I say we look forward to his contributions.

Padres Can't Score Runs

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Might I suggest this lineup for tomorrow:

LF Mark Sweeney
RF Brian Giles
CF Dave Roberts
1B Ryan Klesko
2B Sean Burroughs
SS Geoff Blum
3B Xavier Nady
C Ramon Hernandez
P Jake Peavy

No, really. I'd like to see that.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

For Padres Draft Coverage...

Go check out Peter Friberg's analysis at San Diego Spotlight.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who Doesn't Like Random Stats?

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Top Five Padre Players by WARP1:

Brian Giles: 3.4
Jake Peavy: 2.6
Ryan Klesko: 2.3
Chris Hammond: 2.0
Ramon Hernandez: 2.0

More Later?

Yeah, probably.

I Still Can't Believe This Trade Ten Years Later

Ken Caminiti33.4
Andujar Cedeno0.5
Steve Finley25.7
Roberto Petagine0.7
Brian Williams-0.2
Sean FeshN/A

from Houston for

Derek Bell19.5
Doug Brocail3.0
Ricky Gutierrez9.3
Pedro Martinez-0.1
Phil Plantier0.6
Craig Shipley0.3

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Adam Eaton's Improvement

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In 12 starts this year, Adam Eaton is 8-1 with a 3.48 ERA. His eighth win last season came in August and he posted a 4.61 ERA. His stats are most peculiar, though. He's allowing more hits per nine innings, more walks per nine innings and is striking out fewer per nine innings. He's allowing fewer home runs per nine innings, though. His stats are rather vexing. Here they are:

Adam Eaton20052004

Any thoughts? I'm confused.

Speaking of Improved Pitching

Can you guys believe how much Peavy has improved? Here's his '04-'05 comparison, which I found particularly interesting:

Jake Peavy20052004

Peavy is striking out more of the batters he's facing and he's also facing fewer batters. He just turned 24 this week and he's easily one of the more dominant and more efficient pitchers in the league. Oh, and he's probably going to keep getting better. I am really glad Towers locked him up.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Why was the Catcher in Right Field?

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I'd love to hear the explanation for that one. For his career Miguel Ojeda is a below average hitter (-4 BRAA) and fielder (-3 FRAA). This season he has been a below replacement level hitter (-2 BRAR) and has been a replacement level fielder (0 FRAR).

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Vote for Your Padres for the All-Star Game!

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It's not complicated. Click here and vote for them until you lose feeling in your mouse hand/arm, then switch hands and repeat.

Relevent Links:

Beyond the Box Score :: Fan Voting for the All Star Game


SI.com - Sabermetric All-Stars

Don't just sit there! Sit there and vote like a crazy person.