Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's a Great Day

Every day that you get to go to the yard is a great day, but today is particularly special. Today is the first day that the Padres organization has a full slate of eight games. Our teams in San Diego, Portland, San Antonio, Lake Elsinore, Fort Wayne, Eugene, Peoria, and the Dominican Republic all have games today.

A couple of the games (Fort Wayne and the DR) are already over, two (San Diego and Peoria) and under way, and we have four more throughout the afternoon and evening. Though it doesn't come with the same fanfare, today is the equivalent of New Year's Day for college football fans, and I look forward to it every year.

Enjoy!

17 comments:

staypuft1212 said...

I am twenty fours years old and I've been a diehard Padres fan my entire life and I'm not sure I'd call anything that has happened this season "A Great Day." This team is absolutely awful. The bullpen is leaky, we have three guys in the outfield, Scott Hairston, Jody Gerut and Paul McAnulty, that couldn't even MAKE another team and are starting here, the team might be the most unathletic, undisciplined, sloppy, careless team I've ever seen, not to mention, with the GLARING example of Adrian Gonzalez, and hopefully Chase Headley, the team couldn't hit it's way out of a paper bag. Luckily, I no longer live in San Diego and don't have to be directly exposed to the stench that emanates from the field at Petco Park. It just ruins my morning everyday when I sign onto the internet to read the newspaper. Please, do SOMETHING to end this, just give up and try to build for next year, trade GIles, trade Maddux and trade Wolf. It can't get any worse and we could improve the farm so we can make this team worth watching in the next couple years. At least watching young players lose is exciting, this team plays ugly, boring baseball. And because I know there is no way you can post this and stay kosher with the bosses, I wrote this for you Paul. One die hards analysis of this team, this season. Give me something to root for, please. My email address is russellanderson11@gmail.com if you'd like to answer.

Andrew Stebbins said...

and Will Inman named a Futures Game player!

Mike Skov said...

What percentage of a minor league club's revenue stream is money they get from the big club? Does that vary at each level? Similarly, what percentage of the big league club's revenues go to support all minor league operations?

Paul DePodesta said...

staypuft1212,

This blog is mine, not the Padres. I don't make a practice of hiding negative commentary. It comes with the territory, which is fine.

I certainly feel your frustration, which is what I wrote the other day and which was the primary reason for starting this blog in the first place. It's no fun to lose, and it's even worse to underperform.

There is no doubt that this season has been trying, to say the least. Much of our personnel is the same as the past two years when we won 88 and 89 games (top of the rotation, back of the pen, and middle of the lineup), and we felt as though the changes we made to last year's club were upgrades. Obviously, that hasn't been the case to date.

That said, I think you're being unfair to some of these guys... Scott Hairston, Jody Gerut and Paul McAnulty, in particular.

Paul McAnulty is currently in his first full season in the Majors, and he's not playing everyday. Not playing everyday is difficult for guys with ten years in the big leagues, let alone someone who doesn't even have 200 pa's in the big leagues. I don't think Paul's .350 obp and .352 slg in limited playing time is the reason for our poor record.

As for the other two, since Jim Edmonds was let go and Gerut was recalled in early May, Hairston and Gerut have combined for a .278 avg, .340 obp, and .426 slg (NL avg is .258/.330/.409) while playing solid defense in both CF and LF. After getting a little bit of regular playing time under their belts, the two have combined for a .319 avg, .393 obp, and .445 slg in the month of June. Will they keep up that pace? Probably not, but they're certainly good players.

Again, we have plenty of reasons for our underperformance, but I think your ire is misdirected in pointing out these three guys.

I appreciate the passion you have for this team. The only way to truly enjoy the winning is to take the losing personally.

Alex said...

I don't think Jody Gerut is a guy to rag on. He's had a very productive year so far and isn't a slouch with the glove either.

As Mr. DePodesta noted, Gerut has been hitting well with regular playing time, and his overall stats are pretty solid, especially when you factor in position and park. He's also a good baserunner I believe, which is something underrated that doesn't show up in boxscores.

I remember Gerut's rookie year in Cleveland he was a Rookie of the Year contender and had a nice year. Since then, injuries have plagued him. Speaking of which, where has Gerut been in 06 and 07? I know in 06 he was out recovering from injury, but did it last two years???

I think based on Gerut's track record, it's not inconceivable that he could keep up what he's been doing, which is be an above average CF.


The real disappointments thus far have been Greene, Kouzmanoff, and the injuries to Bard and Young. The season still is only half over though, so Greene and Kouz should even out (Kouz was much worse last year in the first half and finished strong). If Young and Bard come back strong those will be huge boosts as well.

I don't know if the Pads will be able overtake 3 teams for the division, but the 08 Pads have their worst days behind them for sure.


BTW, why is this New Year's Day for college football? I worked for a college team last year in June and don't remember anything significant happening (but perhaps I was just oblivious)

Alex said...

I forgot to mention this in the last point, but I do think a player does have some decent value in his baserunning. There was a perfect example of that in today's game when Kouz was thrown out at the plate (he would've been the tying run).

With 1 out, you need to break on contact (well, if it's on the ground). Kouz hesitated way too long, and with his footspeed that is a mistake you cannot make.

I have seen some baserunning metrics, but nothing really great in my opinion. I imagine the good ones are MLB exclusives. If you can, could you tell me if there are legitimate baserunning metrics out there? I'm sure every team has their own rating system, so I won't ask how it's calculated or anything, but it'd be nice to know that something actually exists in that matter.

Speed is also a good thing to have, even for guys who don't rack up SB's (Gerut fits this speed/no SB profile). Speed enables taking extra bases and clearly can helps an Outfielder's range. I've heard conflicting reports on whether or not speedy hitters are prone to higher BABIP's, but it makes sense as to why it would help and I can't imagine it hurting in anyway

ArizonaPadreFan said...

10 points and comments:

1) I am curious why the padres don't start Headley in the 3 hole with Gonzo in the 4 hole so he would see better pitches to hit. I would be interested to see how a Gerut, E. Gonz, Headley, A. Gonz, Kouz, Giles, Greene, Carlin, Pitcher would perform in a lineup.

2) Although the catching has come under fire recently, I sure like the hustle, mechanics and overall approach of Carlin over the other 3 backstops used this year.

3) Aside from Gerut's poor bunting, I would love to see him locked up for a few years. He has the right work ethic and has been a good line drive hitter after getting re-acclimated to the league. I think he has been one of our better defensive CF as well in the recent past (right behind Cameron). I catch a few games a week, and for the most part gets a good break on the ball and will get dirty trying to make the play. I sure like him better than Edmonds (who is thriving in the smaller NL Central parks both offensively and defensively).

3) Tough break for Hoff. The two guys who homered off him the other night probably wouldn't have hit a 95 mph fastball, but could catch up to an 86er. Personally I think low average contact hitters thrive off Hoff because it speeds up their bat. Does he only throw the FB,CU now, or does he still mix in a slider. Also, although his stuff looks fine, the big errors are in location location location this year.

4) The Padres were slightly better at this point last year than this year, but came alive when the clubhouse was shaken up with the addition of Bradley. As much as I did not like his personal characteristics, he could play, and fired up the other guys around him to play as well. I think the pads are lacking that voice and results that Bradley brought.

5) Is it really the players fault they executed poorly moving runners over with the bunt when BB has not tried it pretty much all of last year and this year? Perhaps he has on occasion, but I sure don't remember it. How can the players be expected to execute properly at a critical juncture in a game, if it is not executed in non-critical situations.

6) One thing I noticed in the inter-league play is that the opposing hitters took the ball the other way, or altered their approach at the plate with two strikes. Personally I think Greene and Hairston would be batting for a much higher average if they were not trying to pull everything, or putting the same swing on an outside pitch as they do on a pitch on the inside half of the plate.

7) Although this season has been deplorable, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with how the FO has performed in the draft these past two years. Keep up the good work, and we will start seeing the production pushing up from the minors like AZ, CO, Oak, Minn, and others.

8) One of the things I loved about the Braves of the early nineties was that they had a full blown Kangaroo court and had fun with it. If the pads would implement it I think it would sure cut down on the mental mistakes they make on a daily basis because the other players can have a teachable moment, have fun, and leak it to the media. The current team just looks lethargic too many times, with the same motions day in and day out.

9) It seems Kouz hits the ball too often on the non-sweet spot of the bat. Has anyone tried opening up his stance a little bit so his swing is cut down?

10) What is management doing to cut down on mental mistakes? If a player makes a mental mistake, are they required to come to the field the next day two hours early so they can work on it more?

It is tough living in AZ and rooting for the pads. I guess you can take the boy from San Diego, but you can't take San Diego from the boy.

Ross said...

Paul,

Like you said, the team is not so different from last year and the year before. Top of the rotation, back of the bullpen, and heart of the order. Why then does this team underperform so terribly? I think maybe the Padres got a little over confident with their ability to build a bullpen and now since Cla has steadily declined, they are left with no one credible to throw in tie games. If you say that Hairston, Gerut, and Mac are all above average major leaguers and worth keeping around, what changes could we possibly make for next year to improve (besides C)?

rjmil04 said...

Staypuft1212 is a little hard on Hairston, Gerut and McAnulty, although Hairston's lack of plate discipline is annoying. But I totally agree with his comments on trading Giles, Maddux and Wolf. I would even trade Young. They are the only guys with trade value that aren't young guys., ie., Gonzalez, Headley, Peavey and Bell. The Pads have to shore up the Minor League system. The way to do it is to make these deadline trades. Greene is an awful hitter and overrated by many on defense. Kouz is amazingly similar to Greene, horrible OBP and mediocre defensively. The catchers are abyssmal. Since the money will not be spent for free agents, make the trades for some AA/AAA guys that could provide some competition to these guys.

field39 said...

Paul

Were you aware of Dykstra's medical history, prior to draft? If so, why is it a hangup?

Gavin said...

Arizona, I completely agree with you about Bradley. This was the club's biggest error of the offseason. His presence in the 3-hole has been sorely missed. IMO if he would have re-signed we're looking at a completely different offense (and a few more wins). However, I actually appreciated his personality - I think his fire was beneficial to a team that has lacked emotion in recent years. Nobody hates losing more than that guy. He might be the most misunderstood player in the game. (I don't intend to get on a racial kick, but I think if he was white he would be considered a "gamer" by the media, instead of "angry," which is how he is widely perceived)

In response to your #1 point, you almost never see a rookie man that spot - too much pressure. Besides, there is no statistical data that supports the whole "protection" theory.

padresrevolution.com said...

I agree with arizonapadrefan's comment about the team coming alive last season when Milton Bradley joined the team. This team hadn't played with that sort of confidence since the days of Ken Caminiti. I really believe they would have done some serious damage in the playoffs had Bradley and Mike Cameron not been hurt down the stretch.

The current team, as well as the really good '04-'07 teams, lack the killer instinct it takes to ever be a great offense, one that is going to put the dagger into an opponent when they have a lead in the 6th inning and the opposing pitcher is on the ropes. I can probably count on one hand how many times the 2008 Padres have gotten an insurance run after the 7th inning. It's a rare occurence. It's almost like this team is too nice. A player like Milton Bradley isn't happy with a 1 or 2 run lead. He wants to go for the knockout.

With that said, this lineup is capable of being at least an average offense. We have AGON, who will be a known superstar once he finishes the season with 35+ homers and 125+ RBI's, and three young players (Kouz, Headley, Khalil) behind him that are each capable of hitting 25-30 HR's. And as far as I'm concerned, Gerut has proven himself as a starting outfielder in the majors.

The bench has been a bit disappointing, although Hairston looks like he can be one of the more productive fourth outfielder's in the league.

P-MAC, not so much. I would think that he would have a bit more success coming off of the bench, but he's just 1-for-15 as a PH. Do you think he just needs some more time to adjust to that role?

What do you think of Chip Ambres getting a shot on the Padre bench? He's a lot faster, more athletic, and appears to have much more power than McAnulty. Why has he not been given a chance to play regularly in the bigs and what has been the knock on him all these years?

Gavin said...

Paul,

Can you shed any light on the Dykstra situation? I don't want to jump the gun here - maybe the medicals aren't serious at all - but if his condition is a concern, why is the team failing to come up with solid medical reports BEFORE the draft? It has been reported that he had hip surgery (not sure when) so this couldn't have come as a total surprise.

Combine that with the fact that he plays the same position as our only legitimate offensive threat and I think it is quite fair to question this selection.

Once again, it might be nothing so I don't mean to get excited. However, if there is a problem - along with Stauffer, Bush, Schmidt, Carrillo and Gautreau - this makes six out of our last eight first-rounders that have succumbed to serious medical issues. Has the club considered reevaluating the way it gathers/analyzes its medical history reports?

I don't think anyone can deny that the team's biggest failing in recent years has been the lack of success of its drafts in general (especially 00'-04'), and specifically its 1st-rounders. I think fans have been given good reason to be skeptical.

Your thoughts?

You Know Me! said...

whats going on with dykstra?

Paul DePodesta said...

Re: Dykstra

Sorry, everyone, but I am not permitted to discuss a player's medical situation. As far as what we can know previous to the draft, detailed medical histories are not always available to the clubs before the draft. We do the best we can, but we're not dealing with full information.

Andrew Stebbins said...

I guess I missed something, but what's going on with Dykstra? Last I knew he looked like he could sign soon. I understand Paul can't give too much away, so fellow fans, what's up?

LynchMob said...

andrew - here's info on the status of the Dykstra signing ...

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/06/25/sports/padres/zbcb7b4cafb2ffe2188257474000fbfa6.txt