Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chris Young and Josh Bard

I went to Lake Elsinore tonight to watch the rehab starts of Chris Young and Josh Bard and came away encouraged.

Chris pitched 3.2 innings on approximately 60 pitches, yielding two hits and striking out four. He did give up a homer to the final batter he faced, but his command was better than I would have expected after nearly a two month layoff. In fact, throwing primarily fastballs, Chris pumped 24 strikes in 29 pitches covering the first two innings. It was great to see him back on the mound.

Josh Bard also had a good night, hitting two hard line drives in his three plate appearances and catching CY's innings without incident.

For those of you who live in Southern California, a trip to a Lake Elsinore game is worth it. In addition to the atmosphere created by the ballpark staff, the team can flat out hit.

15 comments:

Jeff J. Snider said...

Having grown up in Lake Elsinore, it still seems weird to see real people talking about it like it's a real place. :-) I love hitting The Diamond for a game every time I am back in town visiting my parents; I haven't been yet this season, but I'll be there in a few weeks, so I'm excited to see some offense. I love that stadium.

Steve24 said...

I read on rotowire.com that CY even had to field a few come-backers and looked pretty comfortable doing so.

With regards to CY throwing mostly fastballs, I read somewhere that typically he throws something like 90% fastballs anyway. They've said his delivery is so deceptive that he can get away with it. I don't know if this is true or not, but if it is that's pretty unique for a starter.

I also heard because he's so tall it usually takes him a little longer to get his mechanics together in the spring, so a little rust from the layoff should probably be expected.

Still, this is very good news.

Steve24 said...

YES!!!! Rumour has it that the Padres about to move Tony Clark for a prospect! And so it begins!

Take those D'Backs behind the wood shed Paul!

kamalscott said...

ESPN is reporting that Tony Clark just got traded. It doesn't say what the Padres got back, but I can't image it is much. Good for Tony though.

Eric said...

Who wants to bet Tony Clark has greater success in Arizona than in San Diego! You'll be surprised when a veteran is surrounded by charismatic and talented players, something the Padres haven't had for a while now.

field39 said...

Paul,
Since you brought up the subject of Elsinore. What are your thoughts on Cedric Hunter?

maestro876 said...

Didn't Bard go 0-for-6 and allow a stolen base to a kid who almost never steals successfully?

Paul, can you tell us what happened with Bard? He hit so well for us in 2006 and 2007, but this year he could barely break .200.

Paul R. said...

Eric-

I think there is a good chance that Clark performs better with the D-Backs than with the Padres. However, I think that attributing his success there to the charisma of the players around him is a little silly. It might be attributed to the fact that he's blocked in San Diego by an All-Star 1B and only gets sporadic AB's as a pinch hitter.

Steve24 said...

Eric,

While I agree Tony's numbers will probably go up, it's going to be more due to increased playing time and better ballpark to hit in than anything else.

With injuries to their OF this deal makes sense for Arizona. Connor Jackson can play in the OF with Tracy and T.Clark splitting time at 1b. Also, Tracy might see some ab's at 3b. It's a good fit for the D'Backs. He just couldn't get regular ab's in SD to be effective.

Paul DePodesta said...

maestro876,

That's a fair question. At this point, I would say it's more a function of small sample size than anything else as he only has 130 at-bats on the season to date. In fact, last year Josh was hitting just .224/.308/.290 in his first 120 plate appearances, but he went on to hit .309/.385/.447 the rest of the way.

So far in his three seasons with the Padres Josh has just about 850 plate appearances. Even with the last 130 being subpar, he has posted an overall .287 avg, .362 obp, and .420 slg in that time. We certainly hope that he returns to that or has a big surge like last year when he's able to get back into the lineup for us.

John Ottavio said...

eric,

clark might do better, but honestly, i think he is much more of a product of chase field than anything. i believe he only hit 2 of his 17(?) home runs on the road last season with the dbacks.

Eric said...

While all of those are true statements, which I did leave off because I was being a bit sarcastic, being in and around a hall of famer's clubhouse and speaking to many former big leaguers and those who have been in the front office, having a vet like Tony Clark in a setting where there is something to compete for and win will do him well. Yes Chase Field is a hitters ballpark, but you still have to hit it square. But in fairness, Tony never had the chance to get into a groove.

Poolie said...

Please tell me Bard is not ever going back up. Dont waste ANY future time on him and Barrett, release them if you have too since there will be zero takers, and instead let Hundley and Carlin show us what they can do the rest of the year.

Bard and Barrett having been given enough chnaces, wont get any better and have been nothing but useless for the past few years.

RMDoyle said...

Paul,

I would like to know more on those LE Storm. How is Kellen Kulbacki progressing? His May thru mid June were pretty bad but he has been on a tear as of late. His BA is at .301 now and is really smacking the ball. What are your thoughts on Mitch Canham? He was the starting C for the Beavers when they won the CWS in 2007. Is he the future behind our plate in SD? Cedric Hunter really intrigues me, do you see him progressing to SA anytime this year?

Thanks

Steve24 said...

Why the lack of love for Bard?

He hit .285, .364 OBP, 42 runs and 51 rbi last season in only 389 ab's. Given 500 ab's those numbers would look pretty good.

So is it the sb's he lets up?

I'd love to get some scouts numbers posted on here showing two things -

1. Padres starting pitchers times to home plate

2. The time from when Bard catches the ball until the throw hits the glove at second base

Since those numbers are publish for guys like you and me we can't really tell why the Pads are so poor keeping guys from running. But I bet if we could see those numbers, we'd see the sb's aren't totally Bard's (or Barrett's) fault.

Maddux has been notorious for not keeping runners at first.

CY is also pretty notoriously poor at it with the lanky body.

I'm guessing Jake isn't great considering he's a power pitcher.

Wolf has been pretty good in his career but still thats three of your four starters not to mention that with Trevor's very high leg kick and Cla Meredith's sidearm delivery, the bullpen isn't exactly helping out either.

Not exactly an easy staff to keep guys in place with.

But one thing to note, in the Bill James guide for 2008 they have a category called CERA (catchers earned run average). Bard led all regulars in the bigs with a 3.44 CERA in 2007. Obviously a lot of credit needs to go to the pitchers for that, but I have to point out that Barrett, the other Padre catcher had a 4.14 CERA.

So what we do know is that while the Padres haven't been great at stopping teams from stealing, Bard has helped them keep runs from crossing the plate.

And isn't the object of the game from a defensive perspective to stop the other team from scoring runs?