This offseason I thought about implementing a weekly review once the season started. It's week number one, and I'm already a day late. Not to be deterred, I'm pushing forward.
Heck, we're 6-2. That's good.
Offensively, we won every game in which we scored four runs or more, and overall we posted a .238/.330/.419 batting line. Too many fly balls led to the low average, but we drew our share of walks and had some timely extra base hits to boost both the obp and slugging. Individually, there are a handful of guys off to hot starts (Gerut, Hairston, Hundley, Blanco).
On the pitching front we've posted a 2.88 ERA as a team, good for 3rd in the NL. The bullpen, however, has a 1.17 ERA... just three earned runs in 23 innings and those runs all came in one inning. So, our bullpen guys have made 22 appearances, and exactly one of those appearances led to a run. That's ridiculous.
Fortunately, not a lot to report. There are a few guys who will definitely contribute more offensively as the season continues, but as with any lineup we'll likely have some guys swinging it well and others not so well in any given week. As a pitching staff, especially in the pen, we've walked too many hitters. We've walked 30 in 72 innings as a staff, but our rookies (Moreno, Gregerson, DeLaCruz, and Silva) have walked 14 in just 20.2 innings. A lot of that has to do with big league nerves, which should dissipate to some degree. Also, in rebuilding this pen during spring training, we opted for more power arms and knew that we would have to live with some walks.
This past week followed a simplistic model of successful Padres teams from the past few years in Petco: be at or near the top of the league in pitching and in the middle of the pack in offense. We've arrived at those results a little differently, but we're there nonetheless. Peavy, Young, and Bell - our vets - all pitched extremely well and have set the tone for the rest of the guys.
Eight games is just exactly that: eight games. However, 6-2 is certainly better than the alternative.
Our minor league teams are currently 10-9 overall with Fort Wayne (4-0) leading the way.
In Portland (3-2), Emil Brown (.996 ops), Chad Huffman (1.086), and Will Venable (1.087) all had great starts, and the pitching staff has a 2.45 ERA through five games.
San Antonio (3-2) has posted a .314/.412/.497 batting line as a team. Mike Baxter (1.084 ops) and Mitch Canham (1.275) and a few others have excelled, but Eric Sogard (1.472) has been downright silly.
Lake Elsinore (0-5) is off to a rough start, though they've had some tough luck and faced some rough matchups. The first three nights of the season were against three first round picks (Scherzer, Roemer, and Parker), so that won't continue. Logan Forsythe (.912 ops) had the best week offensively and struck out just one time.
Fort Wayne (4-0) has been devastating on the hill with a team 0.97 ERA. Meanwhile, Northwest League MVP Dan Robertson has started with a .455/.571/.727 line and Drew Cumberland is at .412/.444/.588.
I hesitate to include some of these numbers, because quite frankly they don't mean much of anything after just a few games. However, I felt it was important to start talking about some of these players.
The real purpose for this weekly review (we'll still see if I can actually get around to doing it every week) is to create a forum to talk about the week, so please hit me with your questions. Additionally, if there's anything that you'd like to see from this review in the upcoming weeks, please let me know.
Thanks for blogging. It's so nice to see such a responsive front office. Where does the organization see Drew Macias? It seems like he could be a valuable fourth outfielder. Thoughts?
As an A's fan in San Diego I'd love to know what the plans are for Gaudin. Will he be in the bullpen or do you plan on having him start? About how long until he's up with the MLB club?
Is there an update on Matt Antonelli's health?
When can we expect to see Mr. Dacker?
I was planning on going to Elsinore to see Durango and Dykstra. It looks like I am 0 for 2.
I saw in the news you've signed Chad Gaudin to a minor league deal. That's awesome, Gaudin can be pretty good when he's on a streak. But there's some advice I wanted to pass on to whatever team signed him this year.
Look, I know we're all laid back here in San Diego. And I'm sure nobody is looking to import the "serious business" culture of the Yankees here. But for the love of all that is holy, please force Gaudin to shave that thing off his face.
I mean, I'm an A's fan, former home to Rolly Fingers and Charles O. Finley's mustache bonus, and even I think Gaudin's facial hair is horrible.
Although I guess it could work to his advantage, psyching out the opposing hitters . . .
Also, if/when you call Emil Brown up, you need to bring back his player card from his Kansas City days, which read "Not just a snack, Emil." It's so stupid it's wrapped around to clever again.
Which pitchers have options so they can be sent down to Portland when you get back to 13 position players. Also, is there any chance that you will carry just 11 pitchers or are the days of that happening completely gone?
Wow. All good questions, so I'll try to answer all of them.
Drew has really come a long way in the past two seasons. He could always run and play good defense in all three outfield spots, but he has internalized our hitting philosophy as well as anyone in the system. That has taken him from a being a guy with a .340 obp (or so) and a .380 slg to a guy with a .375 obp and a .415 slg in AA and AAA. I think he's at least a valuable 4th outfielder at this point.
Paul and Matt,
We signed Chad Gaudin to a minor league contract for the purpose of making him a starter again. He had quite a bit of success in that role in the minor leagues and for Oakland in the big leagues. It will take him a little while to get his pitch count back up, but we think he can help us, and at just 26 years old we're not sure we've seen his best yet.
Antonelli seems to be coming along and is close to returning to game activity in extended spring training.
Jaff Decker, Kellen Kulbacki, and Lance Zawadzki all played in the extended spring training game today, so hopefully it won't be long before they report to their respective full season clubs.
The days of 11 pitchers are probably gone for us, at least in the short-term. We expect to use our bullpen actively this year, because we don't necessarily have five starters who have a long ML track record of pitching into the 7th or 8th inning.
On our current staff Gregerson, Hill, Meredith, Moreno, and Silva have options. Well, so do Peavy and Young, but they don't really count.
congratulations on the success of your team this early season. I got to watch a few of your games on MLB.tv and I think that you got the bones of a very good squad and are a year or two away from seriously contending. You trimmed your record player payroll of 2008 to almost half in 2009 and this should give you some flexibility in the near future. Before the season started I picked you to have a .500 record and finish second in the division to the Dodgers. I think I might have been slightly conservative on the record thing. Keep up the good work and I hope that our teams meet in a world series soon (Twins' fan here) :)
After the Pads' loss to Dem Bums on Opening Day in that all too familiar style, yours truly opined the following on Twitter and Facebook:
"2009 Padres = Same s@#$, different year."
I am all too happy to eat those words.
Here's hoping they keep it goin'.
By the way, the Lake Elsinore Storm got their first win this afternoon, taking it 9-0. They must have taken this post personally.
Paul, I realize he's only had 2 starts, but is there any concern that Silva seems to tire out quickly? Was wondering if the team is considering him for the long-relief role once Gaudin is stretched out...
You'd think Dan Robertson a 23 year old 4 year college player would of been able to skip FTW yet you glance at the FTW roster and it's packed with old college players.
Did the organization see something in MiL spring training to feel the need to hold so many of these players with "advanced" approaches back?
Congratulations on christening Citifield with a win and leadoff homer. Now the House That Gerut Built can be the answer to a trivia question that no one in NY will want to know the answer to.
Props to the bullpen so far this season! The cohesiveness of the team already seems better than at any one point last season. I'm excited to see how this plays out. How awesome was Jody Gerut's homer at Citi on Monday?
Here's an off topic question for you Mr. DePodesta if you don't mind: Did we get anything/anyone from Toronto for Matt Bush yet?
Thank you. Hope you can keep the weekly updates going for the season!
First time, long time.
Anyways, when someone is put in extended spring training, is that good or bad and why is it done?
I know new ownership just came aboard but has there been any talk previously about uniform changes? I've seen those alternative Royal powder blues and I thought they would look great with the Padres. A lot of teams in Pittsburgh wear black and gold(steelers, pirates, penquins) and it would cool if we kinda coordinate a bit with the SD Chargers and grab a powder blue alternative jersey. We look too much like the Brewers.
Bad news late in the day...can you comment on the Red Sox claiming Travis Danker?
Sounds like Cliff Floyd will be ready soon. Any estimated timetable?
I'd like to see him come up to pinch hit in good situations
Thanks for posting this info Paul. Been following the TinCaps play during their roadtrip to start the season. Looking so forward to opening up Parkview Field in style tomorrow! Hopefully we'll be doing it with a 6-0 team.
I'm very interested in the progress of Evan Scribner, the pitcher we got from Arizona in the Clark trade last year. I remember him putting up some crazy good numbers. How has he progressed? Any chance of seeing him with the big league club this year?
Any chance we are going to see Everth Cabrera leading off anytime soon?
Cpt Top Off,
Walter missed a lot of spring training with a sprained ankle, so he's a little behind the other guys. He did get right around 100 pitches against the Mets, so he's getting closer to being at full strength.
Last year we felt the draft was deep in college hitters, and we felt the the 2009 class wasn't going to be nearly as good. Therefore, we aggressively selected college hitters.
The carryover from that (and from our previous drafts in which we had a number of extra compensation picks) is that we didn't have room for everyone we thought was ready at the higher levels. We were able to get a group of bats - Figueroa, Weems, Forsythe - into Elsinore to start this season, but a number of players from last year's Ft Wayne club needed to move up as well.
We ended up taking cash instead of the PTBNL.
Scribner had a great year last year in the Cal League after coming over in the trade, and he's now the closer in AA San Antonio. He has one save so far and just three innings pitched.
I think Buddy will be making sure that all of our "bench" players get fairly regular starting assignments this season in order to keep everyone fresh. As far as lineup construction, that's up to Bud and Ted Simmons. I would guess that they'll allow Everth to hit in the bottom of the lineup for a while until he gets his sea legs.
I read that Buddy was thinking of keeping Jake and CY on regular rest. I think this is great and don't know why more managers keep there 1+2 on regular rest and skip 4-8 starts by the number 5 starter. Beside advice from the trainers can you give us your take on the subject?
DePo, I've been following/blogging on the Padres on and off for 7-8 years (click on my name to get to my site)... I particurlarly like following the minors. Bass now has 2 consecutive scoreless starts. Tell us more about him please...
Any idea when Mike Adams might be coming back? He was the best pitcher the Padres had in the pen last year, getting him back would be huge.
Also, I really like how Correia has looked thusfar. Not dominant obviously, but effective. Once Gaudin and Baek can get ready, there will be some real depth in the rotation.
I was wondering if you could comment on Frankie De La Cruz. Just one appearance after a week and a half is pretty discouraging--and I can't imagine that's good for his development. I liked what I saw in his sole outing, and clearly the organization is high on him, considering they traded for him rather than risk letting him get picked off waivers by Washington or Seattle. Is De La Cruz dealing with an injury, or is this just a case of Buddy refusing to use the youngster in close games? Our bench is already incredibly limited, with only 4 bench players (one of which, the backup catcher, won't be used to pinch hit anyway). If we're not going to trust De La Cruz, we might as well try to sneak him through waivers rather than let a valuable roster spot go un-used.
We're hopeful that Mike will be back sometime late June/early July. The good part about being a reliever versus a starter is that once you're healthy it doesn't take nearly as much time to get ready.
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