Padres bloggin' since 2007

With warmest regards, a letter about Padres Public

March 2nd, 2013 by

My Dearest Sac Bunters,

It is with great pleasure to inform you that The Sacrifice Bunt has joined an awesome collective of Padres Bloggers called Padres Public. Join us there for content from your best buds Ray and Mel, plus loads of other great Padres writers.

Forever Yours,

Melvin

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The Sacrifice Power Rankings: April

April 3rd, 2012 by

Here’s another idea I’ll probably drop real quick: Every month, I’m going to go over which players are giving the owner-less Padres the most bang for their buck. As the season hasn’t started yet, this is based on projections but as the season goes on, I’ll update it with real numbers.

1. Cameron Maybin

The centerfield stud with the new contract is still making less than a million dollars and is one of the best bargains in baseball.

2. Cory Luebke

The starting pitching stud with the new contract is still making less than a million dollars and is one of the best bargains in baseball.

3. Chase Headley

The third base stud who probably won’t get a new contract until he’s with another team is still one of the most underrated players in baseball.

4. Tim Stauffer

This ranking is a bit generous and Stauffer needs to show that he can put it all together and doesn’t need to lean on Petco to get results, but let’s hope he rewards our faith in him.

5. Yonder Alonso

The Reds just announced that they think Joey Votto is $225 million better than Alonso. Let’s hope that fires him up a bit.

6. Nick Hundley

Don’t be surprised if Hundley jumps up this list as the season progresses. Even now, you wouldn’t be out of line arguing that he needs to change spots with Stauffer.

7. Andrew Cashner

This ranking assumes Cashner stays in the pen but he wouldn’t be the first Padres pitcher to make the transition from reliever to starter. He’s the only one who throws triple digit heat with nerve-racking shoulder, though.

8. Clayton Richard

Who? Just kidding. Not really. Who? With Volquez starting Opening Day, it sounds like Richard needs to be looking over his shoulder at Kelly and Co.

9. Will Venable

This is the year! His swing’s looking good! He’s got it all working! Words that have never been said about Will Venable before!

10. Edinson Volquez

Like I said, Volquez is starting Opening Day. For a former pitcher, Bud Black sure doesn’t think that starting Opening Day is a very big honor.

11. Luke Gregerson

Remember him? He’s the Clayton Richard of relievers.

12. Orlando Hudson

Hopefully he’ll have said something ridiculous on Twitter by the time I run the May ranking.

13. Carlos Quentin

Starting the season the DL won’t help Quentin jump up the list very quickly.

14. Jason Bartlett

There’s really nothing to say here. He’s bad and we’ve got no one else.

15. Huston Street

The Padres’ highest paid player will play maybe 60 innings this year, if he’s not traded, and that’s how small market teams maximize their resources.

Posted in misc, players | 1 Comment »

Why I’m okay with extending Hundley and trading Grandal

March 18th, 2012 by

(Earlier today, Jim Bowden semi-coherently tweeted that the Padres are talking to Hundley about an extension and “fielding interest on impressive catching depth but said they are not motivated to trade from it.”)

Before I start, I just want to say that I understand that I’m jumping to conclusions here in assuming that it’s one or the other. The Padres could very well be looking at Hundley and Grandal as a two-headed catching monster moving forward. However, since I don’t believe that creating this monster is the best use of the team’s resources, I want to start by saying I told you so.

After the 2010 season, when the team announced that Hundley would become the starting catcher, I argued that Nick Hundley is not our enemy and this season, he rewarded my faith by busting out with +3.5 WAR, tying him for seventh in the league among catchers. Hundley was able to reach this mark by being an absolute beast at Petco. At Petco! He had a 160 home wRC+ (!) this season and his 123 career home wRC+ is tied for second (with Mark Loretta) for players with at least 300 PA in Petco. Considering that Byrnes and co. seem to be letting the park dictate how they build their lineup, hanging onto a guy who’s Petco-proof is a good way to start.

Now putting on my old man hat, I like Nick Hundley because he clearly likes being a Padre. Over the past two winters, it feels like Nick Hundley has been everywhere. Every time the Padres unveil a new uniform, he’s there. Every time they’re out there kissing babies or whatever, he’s there. The man is omnipresent. Maybin’s new contract may signal that he’s the new Mr. Padre but as far as I’m concerned, he has to wrestle that title away from Hundley first.

Having said all that, I feel confident that Grandal will end up being the better catcher. He’s the third best catching prospect in baseball (depending on whether or not you still consider Jesus Montero a catcher) because he can flat out hit. He has the kind of bat that could play elsewhere (which sounds like a whole nother article) but it’s for this reason that I want to see what Grandal can bring back in a trade.

Over the winter, the Rockies traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and I bring this up because it is the kind of trade that we can look forward to if we put Hundley out on the market. And in case you’re wondering, Tyler Chatwood is something of an Andrew Cashner-type, and while we just traded a top prospect for the epitomic Andrew  Cashner-type, I think that we could do better with Grandal. Maybe the Rays don’t make a deal with Hak-Ju Lee (and with Jose Molina behind the dish, can you blame them?) but he’s the type of player that the Padres could target if they put Grandal out there.

And then there’s Austin Hedges. Maybe it’s a little premature to take him into consideration when making future plans but if there’s anyone worth getting illogical about, it’s Hedges. If you listen to the scouting reports, Hedges’ defense could play in the majors right now at age nineteen and if you listen to Keith Law, he has a “chance to hit for average with 15-20 homer power (at least).” Assuming that he doesn’t get hurt (which is admittedly a big assumption), it’s a matter of when and not if Hedges will reach the bigs. He could very well make it up by 2015, which would be the last year of a three-year extension for Hundley and it would give Hedges a year to apprentice before making the first of many All-Star appearances.

None of this is to say that the Padres have to follow this path. That two-headed catching monster does sound like some kinda nice. But if the Padres do choose to move forward with Sloth, I won’t be too upset and neither should you. He’s still not your enemy.

Posted in misc, players | 2 Comments »

June 25th, Bring Back the Brown!

June 23rd, 2011 by

Bring Back the Brown June 25thHere’s a heads up about another great Bring Back the Brown event, this Saturday, June 25th. Pregame party is at the Lincoln Room before a 5:35 start against the Braves.

While truth hasn’t flowed from this blog as swiftly as in years past, there have been some great events I’ve recently had the pleasure of attending, and I want to encourage everyone to come hang out. Talking Padres with the community in person, especially if there’s beer somehow involved, makes for a fantastic and fun experience. I can’t make it this weekend, and I apologize profusely. Nonetheless, it will be rad, so if you haven’t come out yet, put on some brown and join the blogging community for a good time.

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Boycott the Blue: Update 02/18

February 18th, 2011 by

Boycott the Blue

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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Who’s That Padre?

February 17th, 2011 by

Play everyone’s new favorite guessing game!

The winner receives, well, nothing, since I don’t really know the answers. But we’re Padres fans, winning can’t be that important to us, right?

Who’s That Padre?: Experience it!

(All photos courtesy of the AP)

Photobucket

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Photobucket

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We’re still alive!

January 24th, 2011 by

Have you ever missed a call that you intended to return, but then something came up and the day ended before you could? And then the next day, you meant to call them again but, because you were already late, there was no urgency so you put it off? And then days turned into weeks and then finally, maybe a month later, you called your friend back?

Back in December, we here at The Sacrifice Bunt teamed up with The Friarhood (you know, the guys bombarding your inbox) to be the sabermetric arm of their site. Since then, we broke down the acquisitions of Orlando Hudson, Jason Bartlett, Brad Hawpe, Chad Qualls, and Gregg Zaun, breakdowns that you didn’t see posted here. I should’ve said something earlier. I know, and that’s my bad. The Deion thing is new to me and I’m not used to being a two-way player, but we’ll be better about bridging the gap from here on out. Until then, here are the links to the Sac Bunting you might’ve missed:

Hudson double flaps his way to San Diego

Padres inaugurate a new shortstop with Bartlett

Padres pick Hawpe to bring stability to the middle of the order

Hoyer garbage picks catching, relief help

Hopefully, with pitchers and catchers reporting soon, there’ll be more to talk about. When I started writing today, it was for an article I was going to call “Is Chris Denorfia better than Ryan Ludwick?” The answer, I found out as I wrote, is not really. That should give you an idea of how bereft of inspiration I am. But hang tight, we’ve got some things coming down the pipe. In the mean time, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. I don’t have a job, or a life, so I’m on that thing all day.

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Transplant fighting Padres shirt

November 29th, 2010 by

San Diego Padres Shirt Your City So Great

Bothered more by  Cubs fans than a Padres loss? Does that transplanted retired lawyer and Cardinals fan from Columbia, Missouri need to be put in his place? What about that tough guy Red Sox fan on vacation from the craphole they call the entire East Coast?

I’m tired of visitors at Petco who are so damn proud of their home city they don’t want to be there anymore. Lets take back Petco Park for Padres fans. This shirt makes it easy, and it’s available now for $11.90 at the Sacrifice Bunt shop. For you hipsters there’s an American Apparel version as well.

As with everything else, we don’t make any commission on these, the price is as affordable as we can get. Use the coupon code “GIFTS2010″ for free shipping on orders over $30, so now’s your chance to pick up an I <3 Headley shirt as well.

Posted in misc, the funny | 1 Comment »

I know you’re angry. I’m angry too.

November 2nd, 2010 by

(but probably not for the same reasons)

In case you missed it, and given the way the regular season ended I wouldn’t be surprised if you did, the Giants clinched the World Series last night. Edgar Renteria, who had less than a hundred at-bats in the second half, was voted the series MVP after hitting a three-run homer off of Cliff Lee in the seventh to put the Giants ahead for good. Wilson came in, struck out Nelson Cruz, saluted his dad, and the World Series was over.

I have a confession to make: I was rooting for the Giants. If you wish to stop reading this blog, I understand but give me a moment to explain myself. I like the Giants. Oops! That probably made things worse, didn’t it? When they knocked us off on the last day of the year, I was more relieved than anything else. I’m talking to myself now, aren’t I?

It’s easy to look at the Giants and think “That should’ve been us!” In late August, it looked like it would be. The two teams seem to be built the same way. The Giants finished third in the league in FIP (3.74), right behind us (3.66). We were third in UZR (50.0), right behind them (56.4). They were a bit better than us offensively, but that doesn’t really mean much. Upon closer inspection, however, things are not as close as they seem so get your microscopes out. I’ve got some slides to show you.

We had the best bullpen in the league this year, and it wasn’t close. GAB and the guys contributed 73 wins above average, which was nine plus runs over the second place White Sox. The Giants came in fourth at 59.1, a still respectable number. It went well with the 141.4 runs their rotation was worth, which was good for eighth in the league (fifth in the NL) and which was much better than the 78.4 runs the Padres staff contributed. Latos and co. came in 26th in the league, which honestly sounds kind of crazy.

Mat with one T is obligatory. He is a legitimate ace and worthy of endless tangents, but I’ll stop myself here. After him, Richard had a solid-if-not-amazing season (3.81 FIP, 4.19 xFIP) and Stauffer and Young deserve credit despite their limited opportunities, but then things start to get bleak. The next best pitcher was Garland (4.41 FIP), then Correia (4.69) and LeBlanc (4.74). Garland and Correia both under pitched their xFIP, Correia by fifty points, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot for 2010 or the future, given the uncertainty of those two coming back. Comparatively, the Giants had three starters who out pitched our number two (Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner) and two more who out pitched our number three (Sanchez, Zito). Or, to put it another way, having an ace isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Having three aces. I’m exaggerating, at least a little bit, but the point still stands.

It’s easy to hate. It’s easy to look at the Giants and think that it should be us and to think that we deserve a part of that trophy because our collapse helped get the Giants there, but that’s a little arrogant. It distracts us from the idea, which is just an idea at this point, that we missed the playoffs because we weren’t as good as we thought. We were good, don’t get me mistaken. Teams don’t luck into 90 wins but as we found out, 90 wins don’t go as far as you’d think.

A lot was made of how the experts who picked us to finish last were wrong but who is ready to predict a first place finish for the Padres next season? It’s still early but it feels safe to say that we’ll go into 2011 with still only one elite hitter and one frontline starter. The 2010 team’s second best hitter was Chris Denorfia – are you willing to expect a repeat next year? Better yet, are you willing to give him the shot to repeat? There are a lot of questions surrounding this team, including but not limited to:

-Is Will Venable legit?
-Will Headley ever put it together offensively?
-Was Ludwick’s 2008 a fluke?
-What’s to be done with Everth?
-Are Jed and Bud willing to commit to defense and pitching?

And I’m just spitballing. If you look at the Giants, or the Rangers, or the Rockies for that matter, they have questions too but they have more answers than we do, including Lincecum, Posey, Hamilton, Cruz, Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, etc. These players make it easy for their teams to reload, especially since they won’t be changing addresses in 2012. Is it worth it for the Padres to make a run in 2011, knowing that it will be Adrian’s last hurrah in San Diego? It’s easy to see the benefit of such a plan, but it’s just as easy to see the detriment if you look for it.

It doesn’t always feel like it, but the Padres have been pretty good since moving downtown. In seven years, they’ve averaged 82 wins, 84 when you take out the outliers. But with only two playoff appearances and one postseason victory, who cares? The Padres have shown a strong commitment to being good and hoping that’s good enough. That’s a cynical point of view, given the team’s many limitations, so let’s say that they’ve shown a strong commitment to not upsetting the apple cart. What was the last bold move you can remember the Padres making?

I’ll give you a second to think about that one.

Jed Hoyer’s in a tough position. It’s one thing to ship Mark Teixeira out of town when you still have All-Stars around the field, and it’s another thing to ship Cliff Lee out of town when you’re floundering in last place, but what do you do when you’re coming off 90 wins? The Gunslinger is an apt nickname for Kevin Towers because it rarely seemed like he had a plan. He shot first and asked questions later. He could build a bullpen and he won some lopsided trades but hitting the track is no way to support a family. The cupboard was bare more often than not and while we’ve got some cans of soup in there now, we shouldn’t be expecting a Rockwellian Thanksgiving this year. Towers deserves a lot of credit for where he put this team, but he deserves a lot of blame too.

Where the team goes from here is yet to be determined. Hoyer and his staff are beginning their first full offseason. Not committing to Eckstein is a good start, while committing to Ludwick despite his struggles shows confidence. And Hoyer’s not one to shy away from shaking things up – just ask Hanley Ramirez, so there’s reason to believe we’re in good hands. Then again, Moorad is a professional meddler who has already said he wishes he had told his GM how to do his job concerning Pat Burrell. After a 90 win season, is the man who writes the check going to be willing to take a step back to take two forward?

I’m probably being too hard on the Padres. They’ve gone 129 and 107 over the past year and a half and they are a legitimately good team. Nothing can take away from what the Padres accomplished this year, not even a new pennant for the Giants, but 2011 is a new year and at some point, the Padres are going to have to start looking forward.

Posted in misc | 5 Comments »

Manhunter 2010, starring Jed Hoyer as Freddy Lounds

October 27th, 2010 by

Ray’s note: With all apologies to Thomas Harris and Michael Mann.

CUT TO:

INT. DOLLARHYDE HOUSE – NIGHT

DOLLARHYDE’S muscular frame bears the full body tattoo of William Blake’s Red Dragon — the head on Dollarhyde’s chest, the tail snaking down and wrapping around one of Dollarhyde’s legs. His back is to us in a weight-lifter’s pose. A rolled-up stocking covers Dollarhyde’s head to just below his nose. Dollarhyde’s teeth are jagged and brown-stained. And he smiles at LOUNDS in front of the white screen.

LOUNDS (O.S.)
Oh my dear God Jesus.

LOUNDS turns away. The shape of Dollarhyde passes behind his head. The kimono is on again.

PAST LOUNDS’ HEAD: SCREEN

A slide appears. It is Blake’s painting.

DOLLARHYDE
Look at the screen. That is William
Blake’s ‘The Great Red Dragon and
The Woman Clothed with the Sun.
Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes …

Next picture: Mark Teixeira, wearing a Rangers jersey.

DOLLARHME
Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

CLICK. Next slide. Teixeira, wearing a Braves jersey.

DOLLARHYDE
Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

CLICK.

LOUNDS staring in horror. We will not see the rest of the slider.

DOLLARHYDE
Mark Texieira, wearing Yankee pinstripes. Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

DOLLARHYDE
Mark Teixeira after his changing.
(as Lounds nods)
The Dragon rampant. Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

CLICK. Next slide. Francisco Cordero, wearing a Rangers jersey.

DOLLARHYDE
Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

CLICK. Next slide. Cordero, wearing a Brewers jersey.

DOLLARHYDE
Do you see?

LOUNDS
Yes.

CLICK. Next picture. Nelson Cruz, admiring a home run of his.


DOLLARHYDE
Do you see?

CLICK. Next picture. Elvis Andrus, making a throw from his knees.

DOLLARHYDE
Do you see?

CLICK. Next picture. Neftali Feliz, jumping into Bengie Molina’s arms.

DOLLARHYDE
Do you see, Mr. Lounds? Do you
see what I’m getting at?

LOUNDS
Yes, you seem to be pointing out
how the decisions to move their
star first baseman and closer
helped the Rangers reach the
World Series.

DOLLARHYDE
Very good, Mr. Lounds. You are free
to go.

Dollarhyde unglues Lounds’ skin from the chair and lets him go.

THE END.

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