Padres bloggin' since 2007

Are we hot?

May 5th, 2008 by

We are not.

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

30. Padres (11-18) Khalil Greene, who hit 27 homers in 2007, still is looking for his first in 2008 and has a .279 slugging percentage.

We all knew that the Padres were bad, but this really came as a surprise to me. Granted, the ESPN power rankings mean very little in the grand scheme of things, but we’re beneath the cliché bad teams like Texas, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

It’s a little like finding out you have a D- in marine bio. Sure, you didn’t think you were doing that well in the class. And even then, it’s marine bio; what did you expect? But a D-? That’s a tough one to swallow.

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5-3 Sacrificial Links: The Bats Are Back

May 3rd, 2008 by

Stone cold sober as a matter of fact.

Not back, back.  But back for long enough to show us what they’re capable of, scoring 7 runs on 14 hits against the Marlins Saturday night.  And demonstrate the crazy unpredictable nature of baseball coming from the team that seemed so far out of sync at the plate thus far in the year.

On the ongoing slow players needlessly giving themselves up on the bases watch, Paul McAnulty tried tagging from second on a pop fly to Jorge Cantu.  You may be concerned to learn that Cantu was playing third base at the time, yes, that third base.  He caught a foul ball near the infield wall and flipped to Hanley Ramirez covering.  The tag was closer than you’d think, but with two outs you have to know value of going from second to third is minimal.  Someone should be told that running just isn’t McAnulty’s game, though I never imagined it would need to be said.

Sacrificial Links

How to Score a Souvenir Baseball at Petco (The Baseball Collector)

This dude’s hobby is going to ballparks and taking as many souvenir baseballs from kids as he can.  At least something like that.  He carries more than 3,000 balls in his collection, employs a glove rigged with a string and pen to snag otherwise unattainable balls out of reach, brings a hat from each team to games and switches between them, and prepares a cheat sheet with names of players so he can call them by name, pictures, and other notes.

The story linked above (the guy’s name is Zack Hample) details his 2006 visit to Petco Park, plus his catch off a home run by none other than Barrold Rutherford Bonds (I made up the middle name).  There’s a Bruce Bochy autographed lineup card and a solid group of Petco Park photographias.  One note from the lineup card: Boch needs to work on his calligraphy.

Padres Playoff Odds (Baseball Prospectus)

Not pretty.  The worst of the worst, in fact:

2.1%: San Diego
2.9%: Pittsburgh
4.7%: Kansas City
5.4%: Washington
5.5%: San Francisco

I refuse to believe ours is that bad of a team.  The problem is, like what Myron at Friar Forecast has been saying: Even if they get back to their expected performance, at this point they’re starting behind the curve.  We’ll need an equally big run above what we expected, just to catch up.  If I’m Kevin Towers, I’d keep an ear out from here until the deadline for interest in Wolf or Giles in exchange for a building block.  It’s about that time.

PECOTA on Padres (and other) Prospects (Baseball Prospectus)

Back to more fun topics of discussion, Nate Silver applies his PECOTA projection system to determine the “upside” score of minor league prospects.  Upside is defined by Silver as “the degree and probability of above-average performance while the player is under the control of his parent club“.  In other words, the score rewards good expectations without considering the bad ones, and only during a player’s cheap years (usually until age 28).

Silver’s most recent article on second basemen prospects highlights Padre property Matt Antonelli.  He scores an upside of 70.1.  This beats the next closest on the list of of Damon Sublett from the Yanks at 69.4.  The highest prospect, for comparison, is the White Sox’ Alexei Ramirez with a score of 111.2, three rankings above our boy Matt.

Silver brings up what he calls “empty walks” when mentioning Antonelli.  He suggests Antonelli’s walks may not be sustainable by his bat when pitchers decimate the zone with strikes.  Craig Stansberry also gets a mention as a “very good prospect” with a score of 60.  Craig’s age of 26 limits his potential as a prospect.

In an older writeup of the PECOTA upside for first basemen, Padre prospect Kyle Blanks gets his due as the third best in the majors at 53.9.  Silver warns of PECOTA’s propensity to penalize weight in its calculation, a fault the system no doubt shares with its real life scouting counterparts.

That’s it for now.  Ask yourself if you’re either depressed or glad to read a Padres blog with Elton John references.  It has to be one or the other.

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This Close

May 1st, 2008 by

Top of the second, Josh Bard lines out to third.  Top third, Adrian Gonzalez ropes one straight at second baseman Chase Utley.  Again in the top of the third, Khalil Greene drives a pitch straight to the glove of Ryan Howard.  Brian Giles leads off the fifth and smokes one up the middle, Phillies shortstop Eric Bruntlett ranges to his left and makes the play at first.  Those were the shots I saw.

If any of those hard hit balls drop for hits, a likely scenario if they’re aimed a foot in another direction, this is a whole other ballgame.  That’s the game of baseball.  Sometimes it isn’t easy to watch.

There’s always slamball.

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Jake Peavy Wallpaper

May 1st, 2008 by

Good win today.  To top it off, I haven’t seen any slow players waddle their way to certain death on the basepaths for no apparent reason in a while. I don’t care what you say, that is indeed a reason to celebrate.

To do that, I present to you a Jake Peavy desktop wallpaper, arranged and designed (except the photo, that was stolen fair and square) by me, Melly Mel Nieves.  The style is all serious status.  It’s an expression of the inner pain and anguish that the kids are feeling these days.  Woeful, if you will.

I hope you enjoy.  If you choose to share the wallpaper, please send people here, rather than directly to the link itself.  Thanks!

Petco Park Wallpaper
[1280 x 1024] [1024 x 768]

Check the new ‘Wallpapers‘ page link above for my other two. That’s all the “blogging” for today!

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