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Archive for the ‘Padres’ Category

The final rosters do not have to be finalized until Sunday afternoon, but looking at what we know today, here’s how I see it in the NL West:

Pos Giants Rockies Padres Dodgers D-Backs
C Molina Ianetta Hundley Martin Montero
1B Huff Helton Gonzalez Loney LaRoche
2B Uribe Barmes Eckstein DeWitt Johnson
SS Renteria Tolowitzki Cabrera Furcal Drew
3B Sandoval Stewart Headley Blake Reynolds
LF DeRosa Gonzalez Blanks Ramirez Jackson
CF Rowand Fowler Gwynn Jr Kemp Young
RF Schierholtz Hawpe Venable Ethier Upton
OF Bowker Smith Hairston Johnson Parra
OF Lewis
Spilboroghs Stairs Anderson Macias
IF Ishikawa Mora Hairston Jr. Amezaga Abreu
IF Veliz Giambi Salazar Belliard Roberts
C Whiteside Olivo Torrealba Ausmus Snyder
SP Lincecum Jimenez Garland Padilla Haren
SP Cain Francis Young Kershaw Jackson
SP Zito Cook Correia Billingsly Kennedy
SP Sanchez de la Rosa Richard
Kuroda Lopez
SP Wellemeyer Hammel Latos Haeger Benson
RP Wilson Morales Bell Broxton Qualls
RP Affeldt Bentacourt Adams Sherill Howry
RP Romo Corpas Gregerson Troncoso Gutierrez
RP Pucetas Flores Gallagher Ortiz Zavada
RP Medders Belisile Mujica Weaver Heilman
RP Runzler Smith Stauffer
Miller Boyer
25th Rohlinger Dayley Russell
Carroll Bailey
  • Giants: Peguero, Ford, Escobar, Cameron, Martinez, Posey, Buress, Sanchez, Torres
  • Rockies : Redding, Beimel, Street, Buchholz, Spier, LoDuca, Eldred, Phelps, Escobar, Hererra, Reynolds
  • Padres: Denorfia, LeBlanc, Antonelli, Cunningham, Durango,Thatcher, Barfield, Munson, Geer, Inman, Poreda
  • Dodgers: Ortiz, Wade, Monasterios, Ayala, Towers, Kuo, Hu, Ellis, Green, Barton, Paul, Belisario
  • D-Backs: Webb, Vazquez, Kroenke, Rosales, Noberto, Ojeda, Ryal, Hester, Mulvey, Buckner, Allen, Gillespie, Augenstein,

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Playing For Next Year

With just a weekend left in the regular season, the teams out of the running have started their planning for next season. Earlier in the week, the Cleveland Indians let manager Eric Wedge know his services would not be needed next season.  The Indians had high expectations going into the season, but they turned into sellers trading away high profile players Mark DeRosa, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez for younger players.

Now, word out of San Diego is that the new ownership team is going in another direction and letting long time GM Kevin Towers go. The biggest impact Towers has had on the team throughout the season was convincing Jake Peavy to be more open minded to a trade. At the end of the day, the Padres are doing Towers a favor because its will be hard to be excited about going to the office when the team is building to compete three years from  now.

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For one of my NL only fantasy squads, how to approach the availability of several top tier starting pitchers was something I wrestled with leading up to the auction draft this April.  With Santana available, I knew he would go for some big money. The thing I kept kicking around was would I be better off getting a pitcher who might be close to the talent of Santana, but would go for a price that would save me some money.  For the money saved by going for the lesser talent, I could use that money to help me go after an additional top tier pitcher. I thought this plan might work. Peavy was coming off an off year. He was rumored to go another team in trade rumors. We all  knew last year he was just not the same pitcher pitching away from Petco Park.  I figured I could save about $10 in the draft by going with Peavy as my top pitcher, rather than Santana.   Then, I could use that $10 to add to my budget for a second pitcher, as I just dropped Scott Olsen prior to the draft at $12.  I had targeted one of my favorites in Ricky Nolasco as that second pitcher.  At the draft, the numbers came close to what I expected on this plan. I saved $8  by going with Peavy ($31) over Santana ($39). I used that money to get Nolasco at $24

Its only three starts into the season, but it appears as if I might of been better at going with Santana as he has been dominant so far on the season. Here is the numbers compared so far on the year:

Player Park K BB ER H
Santana
Great American (Cincinnati) 7
4
1
3
Santana Dolphin Stadium (Miami) 13
1
0
3
Santana Citi Field (N.Y.)
7
0
0
5

Santana has 27K’s on the season, and only one earned run.

Player Park K BB ER H
Peavy
Petco Park (S.D.)

8
2
3
7
Peavy Petco Park (S.D.) 10 0 3 7
Peavy Citi Field (N.Y.)

5 4 3 6

Peavy has been good, but not great. He lucked out in his third start and got some good run support for his second win. His pitching  performance away from Petco has began by looking a lot like last year .

Player Park K BB ER H
Nolasco

Dolphin Stadium (Miami)

6
0 5 7
Nolasco Dolphin Stadium (Miami)

2 2
4
7
Nolasco
WAS
4
1
2
7

Nolasco started off good in his first start, and it looked like he might be in line to continue the good pitching shown in his second half of last season. But, later in the game he got lit up by the Nationals, but the Marlins run support gave him the win.  He has continued to look bad in the next two starts and the Marlins brass is trying to figure out what Ricky’s problems so far are on the season.

A lesson to be learned here. If you have a chance to get that special pitcher. Go for it. As, Santana is showing that he is that good. The bullpen blew alot of his wins for him last year, costing him a Cy Young. Unfortunately, for the most part, the voters look mainly at the pitchers wins, and don’t drill down enough on the pitching peripherals. Again, its only three starts, but the comparison here is worth following to see how this plays out over the season.

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Gaudin Eyes Petco

The Padres have signed former Rays farm hand Chad Gaudin to  minor league contract.  Gaudin made a wise move in selecting the Padres and Petco Park.  As, it has given other pitchers a new lease on life. Take Scott Linebrink, who was released by Astros in Spring training as a starter all those years ago, and went on to become one of the best relievers in the league.

It  looks as if the Rays quality control coach Todd Greene has some skeletons in his closet. He has been linked to a report he obtained steroids over the phone as a player.  It sure seems he has some explaining to do if he wants to keep his job.

Tulowitski continues to impress, and is showing again he will be a force in NL West.

Scott Boras talks about Nick Adenhart.

SportyTweets is a twitter resource for updates on your favorite team.

Major League weather.com resource

Another mention of the Phillies code red – the lineup issues facing Manuel with Burrell in Tampa and Ibanez another lefty in the mix.

Crasnick ina recent chat on Rays pen: “Percival looked very good in spring training, and he finds a way to get by even though he’s now throwing in the 89-91 range. Plus, Balfour records a lot of valuable outs with strikeouts in the 7th and 8th. Before the year is through, I wouldn’t be surprised to see three or four different guys recording saves for the Rays.”

Graphing 101 –  how to get game day data.

Bring twitter to your wordpress blog.

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In 2007, Jake Peavy was rewarded with his first Cy Young award as a 19 time game winner, while pitching most of his games in pitcher friendly Petco Park. His progression from one of the best best power pitching prospects in baseball, to one of the best pitchers in all of baseball seemed to have started in 2005. But, after the impressive 2005 season, his 2006 season was slightly a disappointment. But, fantasy owners who showed him the faith got to witness a Tom Seaver like season. With the 19 wins, an ERA of 2.54, a WHIP at 1.06, strikeout rate of 9.67 per 9 innings (which amounted to 240 Ks), these pitching numbers were the equivalent of a hitter winning the triple crown.

One thing I thought is interesting about Peavy, is he is a balanced flyball/ ground ball pitcher.

Name GB BABIP TB BB HR SO/9 DIPS ERA WHIP TEAM DER
Peavy 254 .266 253 68 13 9.67 2.76 2.54 1.06 .7125 (6th)

For example, his teammate Chris Young who had a real nice season in 2007 had only 131 ground balls (GB) on the season, where as two other very good pitchers in Brandon Webb and Hudson had over 400 ground balls on the season.

Name GB BABIP TB BB HR SO/9 DIPS ERA WHIP TEAM DER
Hudson 441 .281 298 53 10 5.30 3.40 3.33 1.22 .7188 (7th)
Webb 431 .277 295 72 12 7.39 3.18 3.01 1.19 .7066(10th)
Lowe 398 .278 293 59 20 6.64 3.89 3.88 1.27 .6991 (16th)
Oswalt 361 .300 324 60 14 6.54 3.51 3.18 1.33 .6997(15th)
Maddux 359

.297

326

25

14

4.73

3.55

4.14

1.24

.7125(6th)

The balls that are put in play on the ground are much harder to turn an out with than fly balls are as indicated by higher BABIP.

Name GB BABIP TB BB HR SO/9 DIPS ERA WHIP TEAM DER
James, C 157

.264

295 58 32 6.47 5.19 4.24 1.38 .7188 (7th)
Young, C 131

.235

183 72 10 8.69 3.43 3.12 1.10 .7125 (6th)

With Ground ball pitchers, the success the pitcher exhibits depends highly on the defense. Where as, fly balls are easier to make an out with. If a pitcher that is balanced like Peavy, he gets the benefits of getting the easier outs with the fly balls, and have the infield defense to help you out on the ground balls. A stat that measures this is Defensive Efficiency Ratio (DER ) :

measures the percentage of times balls in play are turned into outs by the team’s fielders, not including homeruns. There are different versions of the formula for DER but one most commonly used is (BFP-H-K-BB-HBP-0.6*E)/(BFP-HR-K-BB-HBP) where BFP = batters faced pitcher, H=hits allowed, K=strikeouts, BB=walks allowed, HBP=hits batsmen and E=errors

Thus, for these ground ball pitchers in 2007, How did their defense help them is worth taking a look at.

Projection GB BABIP TEAM DER
Hudson 441 .281 .7188 (7th)
Webb 431 .277 .7066(10th)
Lowe 398 .278 .6991 (16th)
Oswalt 361 .300 .6997(15th)
Maddux 359

.297

.7125(6th)

So, all these pitchers with the high number of ground balls, are backed with defenses that are good at making outs when the ball gets in play. Take some of these pitchers, and place them with a bad defense, it would be interesting how there numbers would turn out.

One last thing I decided to do was take a look at the Range of the infielders involved in these good ground ball pitchers. I used Dave Pinto’s PMR:

uses play-by-play data to determine the probability of a ball in play being converted to an out based on six parameters: Direction of hit (a vector), The type of hit (Fly, ground, line drive, bunt), How hard the ball was hit (slow, medium, hard), The park, The handedness of the pitcher, The handedness of the batter.

Arizona (99.87 19th)

C 1B 2B SS 3B
96.26 (24th) 99.98 (14th) 104.12 (4th) 100.82 (11th) 94.61 (28th)

Braves (100.66 10th)

C 1B 2B SS 3B
115.67(2nd) 104.28(7th) 97.70 (22nd) 99.22 (17th) 99.90 (15th)

San Diego (100.08 17th)

C 1B 2B SS 3B
95.97 (25th) 105.21 (5th) 96.61 (27th) 98.44(22nd) 98.37 (18th)

Los Angeles (99.87 20th)

C 1B 2B SS 3B
108.91 (5th) 97.07 (19th) 96.99 (25th) 105.60 (3rd) 100.85 (14th)

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bondsaway.jpg

Early on in the baseball career of Barry Bonds, he was known as one of the Pittsburgh Pirates Killer B’s. With the numbers Bonds was putting up on scoreboards throughout Major League Baseball for the Pirates in the early 90’s , he won two National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, and was proving to be one of the all-time greats. This was at a time the thought of Bonds breaking the all-time season Home run record 0f 61 home runs was certainly not on the radar, as his greatness revolved around his all around offensive game, and the ability as one of the best left fielders in the game. But, this was all before steroids era.

After reaching free agency after the 1992 season, he moved to West Coast and signed a long term contract the San Fransisco Giants. As the son of former major leaguer Bobby Bonds, he was joining the franchise his Godfather Willie Mays became a legend with.

His amazing offensive numbers continued when he joined with the Giants in 1993. In his first year with the Giants, he won his third NL MVP. The amazing thing about Bonds numbers that is often ignored is the amount of times that pitchers would not give him a good pitch to swing at. With pitchers pitching around Bonds and that the fact that he was a selective hitter, this led to a high number of walks (known as bases on balls) which in effect accounted for his always high On Base Percentage (OBP).

In the decade between 1990 to 2000, Barry Bonds was a slugger with his bat. In this time period, he never had slugging percentage (SLG) fall below the .514 line, and 6 out of these 10 years he slugged above .600. These were terrific numbers representative of a Hall of Fame career.

But, in 1998 the NL slugging pair of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were the talk of baseball parks around America. They were hitting home runs at a record pace, and two were gaining popularity and they were on a pace to beat Roger Marris’s all time season record of 61 home runs in a season. It was Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire that are credited for bringing the baseball fans back, after the strike ending season of 1994 that had caused many fans to stay away from the Major League Baseball product.

It is believed that Barry Bonds became jealous of these two and their record setting home runs, and turned to steroids in a pursuit to become the all-time Home run king. It is believed that Bond’s trainer Greg Anderson supplied Barry Bonds with the steroids, and in the year of 2001 Bonds was hitting home runs at an unbelievable pace. In the year 2001, Bonds hit 73 Home Runs and shattered the all-time record of 70 that was put up by McGwire in 1998. Since 2001, no player has come even close to that number of home runs. For Bonds though, after three consecutive 40 something home run numbers in 2002-2004, he was in range now to breaking the all-time career home run record that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron currently held of 755 home runs.

In 2005, he missed almost the entire season due to a knee injury, and in 2006 he clearly was still battling injuries but managed 26 home runs.

But, last season as the entire baseball community watched on, at the age of 42 Bonds went on to break the all-time home run record of 755. He signed off on the season with the record staying at 762 Home runs. The Giants decided to cut ties with Bonds and his contract was not renewed. He clearly is not the same players he once was, but he still led Major League baseball with his OBP last year and clearly could still contribute to a Major League team.

With Major league teams reporting to their camps in Arizona and Florida, Bond remains unsigned and still wants to play. He is under indictment that he lied under oath to the Feds due to his steroid use. Just recently, their was a press clipping that Bonds failed a drug test for steroids a few years ago that all the media outlets distributed. That report turned out to be a typo, and now the Bonds camp can now take the position that he can not get a fair trial.

In recent months, with the Mitchell report being released the focus with steroids on an all-time great has moved away from Bonds to Roger Clemens. Bonds has been working out on his own looking for a chance to still play. Is he being blackballed from the game? Here is a look a eleven teams (ordered from likely to unlikely) who could actually use a Bonds in 2008:

  1. Braves: The Braves have career backup Matt Diaz slated to be the starter. Bonds could serve a role here.
  2. Diamondbacks: The D-Backs just signed Trot Nixon as a reserve. But, with a young outfielder in Justin Upton, he could play a backup and an occasional starter.
  3. Pirates: With often injured Xavier Nady listed as a starter, Bonds could return to where it all began for him. Though, it would take away playing time from the young player movement here.
  4. Padres: Chase Headley or Scott Hairston right now is slated to start. Bonds could stay on West Coast and start.
  5. Royals: This franchise is looking to become a player after not being competitive since Brett left. The outfield here has no household names currently.
  6. Orioles: With a lot of the young players here, Bonds could take a role as DH. With Aubrey Huff, being a utility player all over the field.
  7. Rays: He would just have to beat out Gomes at DH. Baldelli eventually would have to get hurt also.
  8. Mariners: Wilkerson tend to be injury prone. Bonds could serve as DH or in outfield.
  9. Rangers: They passed on Sammy. Maybe they would take on Bonds with this young team. Seems unlikely though.
  10. Twins: Seems like Delmon Young and Barry Bonds could see themselves in each other. Unlikely pairing.
  11. Tigers: He could be reunited with his former manager Jim Leyland. But, his friendship with Sheffield seems to be a factor here. So, unlikely.

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This is not the Class of 96, nor is this an episode of Freaks and Geeks. We hope the players on this list will have a longer shelf life than those short lived but well known television series. Every year we talk about potential and prospecting as far as who will be the breakout player in the mix. Before we get started, I think we first need to recognize Padres General Manager Kevin Towers who seems to make a living using the theory when the draft gives you lemeons , make some lemonade. It seems like they have several players who are major league near ready and here are a few of them:

2005 draft : Chase Headley 2nd Round 66th Pick

2006 draft : Matt Antonelli 1st Round 17th Pick

2006 draft : Chad Huffman 2nd Round 53rd Pick

2005 draft : Nick Hundley 2nd Round 76th Pick

Now onto the prospect lists, where we hope the experts have done their best to identify who are the Joe Charboneau‘s and the  Mark_Fidrych ‘s in the top prospect mix.

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