Trade Deadline Results & NL Round-Up

Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

Steve Stone as color man to the late, great Harry Carey used to repeat that quote often on WGN Cubs’ broadcasts. Everyone said Padres GM AJ Preller HAD to trade Brad Hand (below). His value would never be higher! He’s useless on a bad team, etc…

The most coveted & valuable player this Trade deadline (now past), is staying in San Diego. The MLB Trade deadline is about competitive teams gearing up for a World Series run. Everyone talks about ace starters, and they are what’s most valuable during the regular season. But they aren’t what’s available, as RHP’s Sonny Gray (A’s) & Yu Darvish (Texas) topped the list of available starters that actually were traded.

Yu Darvish (above) was costly, even as a 3-month rental, but the Dodgers kept their top prospects. RHP Justin Verlander was even dicier for the Tigers, considering his age and contract owed, so he stayed in Detroit. None were more coveted than Padres ace lefty reliever Brad Hand.

As we all know, every post-season comes down to the bullpens. Aces can no longer pitch complete games with any regularity, so it’s constantly a battle of bullpens from the 6th and 7th inning on. It’s the team that gets the toughest outs (late) that wins, and that means premium value for ace set-up pitchers. Brad Hand is Andrew Miller valuable (with a better contract), so Padres GM AJ Preller valued him accordingly. There was a precedent set the year before by the Yankees GM Brian Cashman, to extract something similar to what he received in dealing Miller (below) to Cleveland & LHP Aroldis Chapman (a rental) to the Cubs.

Also notice in this discussion I haven’t mentioned the value of acquiring a hitter at the deadline. That’s because there is very little. The rule is: acquire only to keep a position from falling into replacement level & adding depth. The exception is: Unless a HOF-bat with some peak years left becomes available. There were no HOF hitters available this deadline.

Don’t “acquire a veteran bat” because basically they’re worthless due to bad defense, which means giving up prospects for something that isn’t an upgrade. That’s why OF’s Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, etc… attract so little interest. They’re overpaid, overrated players who perform at (or below) replacement level. Teams like the Mets who don’t understand this get stuck with players like these. One way to screw up a promising pitching core is to pay top dollar to put bad defense behind them, and poor hitters in the lineup. The Braves have the same issue.

AJ Preller controlled the market, by NOT trading the biggest prize. Detroit’s closer LHP Justin Wilson was the best reliever that was actually dealt (to the Cubs).  Baltimore couldn’t deal its lefty closer Zach Britton because of injury issues, as he’s too much of a TJ surgery candidate.  In the end, desperate teams had to scramble back to their second options, or worse. See: Nationals acquire closer Brandon Kintzler from the Twins.

Meanwhile the Padres retained their ace closer for another season– at least. Brad Hand will get a nice raise in arbitration, while still being an amazing bargain, helping the Padres win games they would otherwise lose. Those kind of players are really, really valuable. AJ Preller set a reasonable price, and no one was willing to pay what Brad Hand is actually worth, so no deal was consummated for the plum relief ace of this year’s trade season. Every contender, save one [!] is going to regret not trying a little harder to get Brad Hand at some point this October.

NL Round-Up:

Brewers lost another “must-win” game in their rubber match at Miller Park with the Cubs on Sunday (7-30). Brewers fans can choose to 1) believe in 2017, or 2) notice their righty set-up men all stink, and 3) their starting pitching is breaking down (as usual), with RHP Jimmy Nelson as their only front line horse currently not on the DL. The rest of their starters are mediocre-to-poor. The Brew Crew are also below replacement level at 2B & CF.

Brewers fans love 3B Travis Shaw (from the Red Sox), and especially RF Domingo Santana (above– acquired in the Carlos Gomez & Mike Fiers-to-HOU deal) because they are both young and productive. 1B Eric Thames had a fluky hot start, but has cooled since; proving he’s nothing the Brewers should invest a future in. RF Ryan Braun can’t stay healthy, so GM David Stearns can’t deal him. Braun’s chronic injuries are turning a Hall-of-Fame productive hitter into an albatross contract for the small-payroll Milwaukee Brewers.

There are still too many holes to fill, and neither enough money from ownership to cover to the necessary payroll increase, nor the willingness to pay what it would cost in prospects for Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish & Brad Hand (and that’s just pitching need alone) to stay with the Cubs. The Brewers would be emptying their farm system on what would still be a flawed team, which is a mistake.

The Cubs probably won the NL Central when they acquired LHP Jose Quintana (above) from the White Sox. Acquiring left-handed reliever Justin Wilson and backup catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers at the deadline filled the Cubs bullpen & depth needs. The Cubs have Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer (below) running the show, which is about as good as it gets for baseball management. They made the best deals to get what they needed at the deadline, and improved themselves the most. Their chances of repeating have increased dramatically, while the cost in prospects was considerable, but tolerable.

The truly bad National League teams all currently reside in last place, and will finish there. These are the Phillies & Reds (no surprise), and the Giants which was unexpected. The Phils & Reds are direction-less, lacking leadership at the top. Don’t expect either of their fortunes to change until there are major front office shake-ups.

The Giants are now facing a complete rebuild, after a successful run in winning 3 World Series championships in 5 seasons. Giants GM Brian Sabean will need to take a long look at his organization this winter, as their championship window appears to have closed. They now have an aging & payroll-heavy roster that needs to be turned over. In many ways they are simliar to the Cardinals, but in a tougher division.

The NL West winner will be the Dodgers, and they will have the best overall record in MLB, which now decides home field advantage in the World Series match-up. More on them below. Both NL Wild Cards will come out of the West, in the Diamondbacks & Rockies– both of which were unexpected.

Of the two, the team more likely to be competitive in 2018-and-beyond are the Diamondbacks, with their ownership commitment and new front office. Arizona’s farm system needs to be rebuilt after the damage former-GM Dave Stewart inflicted upon it, and this limits their ceiling in 2017. They probably don’t have the organizational strength to match the Dodgers or Cubs in October, and will likely have to content themselves with a Wild Card and post-season appearance in 2017. But then again it’s baseball, and stranger things have happened…

The Rockies have a promising young pitching staff, which is carrying them in 2017. They will need to keep it healthy, and (of course) find an ace in order to take the next step competitively. I have my reasons for pessimism, and it mostly centers around Rockies GM Jeff Bridich’s decision making. The Ian Desmond signing (5/$70M) has been a bust for Colorado (-0.9 WAR in 2017, and currently on the DL). Only 3B Nolan Arenado (below), and SS Trevor Story are young enough to build around. The rest are veterans, some of whom are having great seasons (CF Charlie Blackmon & 2B DJ LeMahieu), but will soon be too expensive and in decline. Another example of how poorly the Rockies spend their money is LF Carlos Gonzalez. In 2017: -1.3 WAR (so far) for $20 million. The Rockies are having a great season (by their standards), but don’t expect a repeat of this team’s success in 2018.

As for the rest of the NL, most fit into an amorphic mass of slightly-below-average, veteran-heavy teams including: the Marlins, Braves, Mets, Cardinals & Pirates. Competitively, all these teams are similar to the Brewers as explained above; too many holes in their roster and not enough organizational strength & money to fix them. The Pirates are a typical example. The have the stud in CF Andrew McCutchen (below), but not enough around him. The have some decent young starters, but not enough… I can see how that would be frustrating for a Bucs fan…

The Marlins are impossible to deal with, as long as this team is up for sale. Right now, owner Jeffery Loria (below with NBA star Dwayne Wade) is trying to exploit every advantage in the market to maximize the sale price for his Miami Marlins. That means retaining all valuable assets, so nothing of significant value is moving here anytime soon. This franchise was decimated in 2016 by bad trades, and the tragic death of ace RHP Jose Fernandez.

Padres Update:

The San Diego Padres are again the outliers among the second-division in the NL, but this time in a good way. They are by far the youngest team in MLB, and yet they aren’t the worst. In the spring, the Padres were universally picked by MLB ‘experts’ to end up with the worst record in baseball– ~66 wins projected by most analysts. They currently sit in 4th place in the NL West at 47-58. Their current .448 winning percentage translates into 72.5 wins over 162 games.

The Padres are last in OBP. They have scored only 400 runs, while allowing 533. Their Pythagorean W-L is 39-66, which means the Padres have over-played their W-L record by eight games– so far. Padres are 4-4 in extra innings, and 13-13 in one-run games. Good & bad teams typically split those contests 50-50, which means extreme luck hasn’t been a factor in this over-performance by the Padres.

The reason the Padres record is so much better than their numbers is leadership & coaching. Last season I stated that rookie manager Andy Green was already a top-5 MLB manager. He’s moved up another notch, or two since. Andy Green handled Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Anthony Rizzo’s cheap-shot slide into C Austin Hedges perfectly.

Hedges missed a few days with a thigh contusion, while Cubs 1B Rizzo wasn’t suspended by Joe Torre and MLB. Padres fans weren’t surprised by any of this. Andy Green handled it, by not retaliating. This made headlines as Joe Maddon, Anthony Rizzo and the rest of their supporters looked like a bunch of bush-league blow-hards. Honestly, I was surprised by Maddon’s obtuse commentary & apologetics, after the fact.

The Padres started the season with three Rule 5 picks on their 25-man roster. All three are still with the team, as SS/UT Allen Cordoba (Cardinals) and C Luis Torrens (Yankees) are earning significant playing time for Andy Green. RHP Miguel Diaz (Brewers) is on the 10-day DL with forearm tightness, and may be shut down for the season. In that event, he’ll only need < 2 weeks with the Padres in 2018, before he’s sent back down to the minors. The point is, all three Rule 5 picks are staying with the Padres, and they won’t lose anywhere close to 100 games, despite what the ‘experts’ proclaimed.

Padres GM AJ Preller signed 4 [!] free-agent starters on one-year contracts this past winter, for <$2M each. Trevor Cahill pitched well-enough to be flipped to the Royals with LHP Ryan Buchter (valuable set-up guy) and Brandon Mauer (useless). In return Preller got LHP Travis Wood to start the rest of 2017 and all of 2018 for $1.5 million, along with a few prospects. That’s called getting ahead of the winter free-agent pitching market, while adding depth to your system.

The Padres always presume they can improve a pitcher’s performance, because they have the best pitching coaching in Darren Balsley (above). LHP Clayton Richard and RHP Jhoulys Chacin have performed as expected; innings eaters who get pounded too often. Only RHP Jered Weaver completely busted, and is probably finished for his career. Three-out-of-four on free-agent starting pitchers is an outstanding return-on-investment.

This is a developmental year for the Padres, and a big part of that is keeping their young starters (RHP’s Luis Perdomo & Dinelson Lamet) healthy by limiting their innings. This goes for Perdomo in particular, who threw 146.2 innings as a Rule 5 rookie in 2016. In that sense, the innings absorbed by Richard & Chacin have helped the franchise immensely, making their contracts a tremendous value to the Padres.

AJ Preller (above) has achieved a stunning organizational turn-around since the end of 2015. New manager Andy Green and longtime ace pitching coach Darren Balsley have worked with Preller in this development of young talent at all their levels. The results are now starting to show in the majors, as the Padres aren’t as bad as everyone claimed and what’s more, they’re also getting better faster than most anticipated. The OBP & SLG they lack in their MLB lineup, along with waves of premium pitching talent, are in the pipeline. Player development, as well as injury management & prevention, will determine this franchise’s fate.

Dodgers & Nationals:

A few weeks after the Rizzo/Hedges slide controversy, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts completely lost face in this incident, and was suspended one [!] game by MLB for shoving Andy Green as he was walking back to his dugout. Doc Roberts claimed he felt provoked by what Green had said during their discussion with the umpires.

Dodgers fans should be concerned over Dave Roberts’ volatility & decision-making under duress. It’s suspect at best. It’s easy to manage when everything is clicking, so Roberts looks good now and will probably be voted “Manager of the Year” by the sports-writing media. In reality, he’s not even Top-10, if that tells you anything about what you’re told.

The Dodgers’ post-season hopes depend (as always) on a LHP Clayton Kershaw, who is currently on the DL with a chronic back issue. They’ve got a ton of talent and a loaded farm system under GM Andrew Friedman, and have been the best team all season. They won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, while retaining their top prospects, so its their pennant to win without mortgaging the future. Sent to Texas were 2B/OF Willie Calhoun, who was the Dodgers’ No. 4-ranked prospect, RHP A.J. Alexy (No. 17) and IF Brendon Davis (No. 27). Good deal for both sides.

The Washington Nationals will win the NL East, but their post-season prospects are dimming. Already righty starter Joe Ross has been lost to TJ. Ace RHP Stephen Strasburg is currently on the 10-day DL. Max Schertzer & Gio Gonzalez are holding the rotation together, but another major injury will likely doom their WS chances in 2017.

Nationals starters (and players) are hitting the DL with regularity again. How bad is it?  Veteran RHP Edwin Jackson is now in their rotation due to injury attrition. Meanwhile the Nationals needed relief pitching help more desperately than any other serious contender. They would have had to deal the best of what’s left in their farm system to acquire Brad Hand. Nat’s GM Mike Rizzo instead acquired A’s relievers lefty Sean Doolittle & veteran righty Ryan Madson, along with Twins closer Brandon Kintzler at the deadline. As a rule, quantity over quality doesn’t work, especially in the post-season.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker (above) is once again pushing to get his injured players back sooner, rather than later: “You’ve got to get them back soon enough to be sharp and effective in the post-season,” Baker said. “Because [if they’re] back … just to be back and not sharp, it’s going to be detrimental to us. But we’d love to have them back, as they’re my starters. I’m hoping that we kind of get them back one at a time in chronological order to help us.” [1]

All this rushing (and useless “hoping”?) with the Nationals ahead comfortably, holding a 13-game lead in the National League East! And people wonder how Dusty Baker wrecks so many arms?

In conclusion, the NL post-season will be wide open with the Cubs having the most complete roster & best leadership, while not necessarily being the best team in 2017. I object to the DH, so I’ll leave the AL discussion– until the World Series.

………..<><><><><><><><><>……….

Carpe Diem: LF Ryan Braun to the Padres?

There are 5 years/$85M (through 2021) remaining on Brewers LF Ryan Braun contract. LF Alex Dickerson (or RF Hunter Renfroe), and a few middling prospects would likely make a deal– if Padres ownership is willing to take on the payroll. Prospect/MLB player value would be comparable to the C Jonathan Lucroy to Texas deal last summer, which wouldn’t hamper AJP’s rebuild. PED-stigma aside, Braun is a HOF-production bat as long as his back is healthy.

The Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Marlins and Padres are the 6 teams the Brewers can deal him to, without asking him to waive his no-trade clause. This gives AJP tremendous leverage in possibly acquiring one of the best right-handed hitters of this era. HOF-ers (and ace pitching) are what win WS.
The best fit of those 6 teams is the Padres. In terms of prospects available to make the deal the Snakes, Halos & Fish are all discounted due to poor farm systems. They simply don’t have the prospects to make a deal.
Positional availability & payroll limitations take effect too, as the Dodgers have an outfield log-jam– with unloading Yasiel Puig as their current priority.
The Giants have out-of-options Jarrett Parker who is left-handed & cheap– which is what they need in LF.  Their bullpen set-up situation is their priority and GM Brian Sabean won’t waste money on something he doesn’t need, unless it falls to replacement level. That’s how you win 3 WS in 5 seasons.

Anyways, the point is: the Padres are the most-logical fit for Ryan Braun. I believe AJP is taking these few weeks in ST to evaluate all his rookie & minor-league talent, in order to determine who is untouchable and whom he is willing to package. Owner Ron Fowler may be “biting his lip for now,” but the headline a few days back read “We’re going to have some fun,” and the article quoted him saying Opening Day payroll would be ~$75M. Right now it’s just under $57M [1]. I forecast the Padres/Brewers are going to make this surprise blockbuster very soon. Shhh!!

Why? 1) Brewers need to move Braun, and the time has come. He’ll be the last piece to be sold off. 2) Braun is undervalued & talented, and AJP covets that. 3) AJP has leverage and Braun fits with SD. Really only the D-backs & Giants could conceivably compete for his services among the 6 listed teams, and they aren’t likely to do so, due to payroll restrictions. 4) Padres owner Ron Fowler has money, and he wants to spend it.

This is a think-outside-the-box situation, an incredible opportunity to move the Padres franchise forward in it’s winning curve. It’s too good for AJP and Fowler to resist, IMO. I know it sounds like I’m out in left-field here [!], but consider this not only as a possibility but as a distinct probability, and watch for any more signs.

More Signs

Yesterday’s Padres headlines [2]:

Padres set with current crop of players
GM Preller doesn’t expect any adds before start of regular season
AJP is quoted, “Then again, never say never.”

Trades aren’t adds.

If Ryan Braun is acquired by the Padres, then this is my piece. If not, then Play Ball!!!

Acquiring LF Ryan Braun solidifies this lineup as competitive with the Giants & Dodgers. Padres lineup: 1) Manny Margot/Travis Jankowski (platoon) CF, 2) switch-hitter 3B Yangervis Solarte, 3) LF righty-masher Ryan Braun, 4) righty franchise player 1B Wil Myers (or reverse 3-4), 5) lefty pop & OBP 2B Ryan Schimpf, 6) power with excellent defense RF Hunter Renfroe, 7) Elite defense, hopefully-he-hits-enough C Austin Hedges, 8) SS will be the last position to be filled, proving the curse of Ozzie Smith as the hardest for the Padres to exorcise; I like the Luis Sardinas & Allen Cordoba mix.

That’s turning over a lineup from Gyorko, Norris, Upton, Upton, Amarista & Kemp!!! Padres team base-running was tops in MLB last season, and it will likely stay there or near. Their defense improved vastly, and will get even better everywhere except LF, with BJ Upton being clearly better defensively than Braun. Braun if healthy is average-to-slightly-below in LF. What he brings to the plate is all the difference in winning by transforming a lineup.

The 2017 Padres starting pitching has been filled out with low-cost, high bounce-back-potential free agents, but is still two notches (at least) below the NL West elite. They need Luis Perdomo to become their #2 starter, then find/develop an ace. The Padres bullpen should be a strength with the Carter Capps fixing his delivery to become the closer, and Ryan Buchter & Brad Hand as dominant lefty set-up men. The bullpen question marks come in with the righty relief corps, and that’s what the AJP-pitcher-round-up this winter was partly about. The dugout brains is there in manager Andy Green, ace pitching coach Darren Balsley and the rest, so most fans are confident they’ll figure it out. There’s tons of pitching talent, deep in their minor-league system.

This now is a 3rd-place team in the NL West, vaulting past the Diamondbacks & Rockies, with an outside shot at being a wild card contender. The Padres competitive window which appeared to be opening around 2019 or so, is now here in 2017. Note that this doesn’t interfere with their organizational rebuild, as the talent pool has been well-stocked and the Preller pipeline is already bearing fruit with Margot, and the last of the Josh Byrnes prospects. There’s plenty more to come, with prospect depth and payroll commitment/flexibility to get the player(s) they’ll need– whenever they’re ready.

This is a hungry organization with a huge chip on its shoulder, because it has never won a WS since its inception in 1969, and has too often been a joke. The conventional baseball wisdom this winter was the teams that improved themselves the most were CWS, SEA, BOS, blah, blah… Now these MLB experts are going to have to rethink and (gasp!) rewrite their narratives & predictions because this changes many things.

To all those I say: find me another GM who can dominate the Rule 5 draft, sign the best low-cost free agent starting pitchers (4 for <$10M), lock up your two best young players in Myers & Solarte with team-friendly deals, then grab the best right-handed hitter in the NL who has 5 years of affordable team control, without blowing your budget? The Padres OD payroll is now ~ $75M. AJP is the best GM in MLB because he works most completely with his organization, from ownership all the way down to his scouts, coaches & players. He even listens to his fans. He sees the big picture (in English & Spanish) better than the rest, and therefore anticipates a situation in which the Padres are going to have maximum leverage to improve themselves, and then he seizes the day.

The Crafty Spider

A crafty spider had very little, so he began spinning a web. He took great care in spinning, making his ties strong and using only the best silk. His web was meager to start, only able to trap smaller prey, but it worked well and consistently nourished the crafty spider. As the crafty spider began to grow in size, it kept spinning more web. Other spiders would look on and remark, “Why do you need such a big fancy web, you’ll never catch anything that large!” The crafty spider ignored all this and quietly and went on spinning. Night & day; day & night. Spinning, spinning, spinning. All kinds of webs were spun; webs that hooked & snared, webs that linked & held stuff together, webs that were shiny & beautiful. Eventually these links not only provided structure & support for the crafty spider, but also became webs of enchantment & deception for others– filled with pitfalls, persuasions & slippery slopes.

Within this larger house, was another spider who possessed one of the juiciest specimens [!] in the entire domain. This delightful morsel contained enough nutritive value to satisfy even the most ravenous appetite, but it came with a limited no-trade clause. This selected against the fiercest competitors within the species, including the dreaded Yankee spider and the hated Red Sox spider– most-toxic & desperately in search of a new Papi. These predators could only watch through the window with snapping jaws, as hunger pangs gnawed at their bellies, as only six lucky spiders would have the opportunity to wrap their legs around this bountiful feast.

The day came when the possessing spider realized that much of his web needed rebuilding. The section of his web with Ryan Braun was strong, but too much of the remaining structure was incomplete & weak. It had also become a luxury which was too costly to maintain. This spider needed fresh raw materials to build a better web, but where would he find them? He visited the webs of five available spiders, but found them to be in a state of disrepair and mostly barren. Some even looked pitifully worse that his own, while the remaining webs simply didn’t have enough space available for such a catch. Until the day finally came when the possessing spider had to bring his prize into the crafty spider’s web, at which point they were immediately caught.

………..><><><><><><………..

Padres Patchwork Pitching

Padres recall veteran right-hander Morrow
Return to big leagues comes more than year after sustaining shoulder injury 8-13-16
Padres manager Andy Green really needs a reliable long man out of the pen, and Buddy Baumann (5.1 IP, 6.75 ERA, 1.688 WHIP) wasn’t the answer. Plenty of reasons to be skeptical on Brandon Morrow being effective again, but at this point it’s try anything.

Brandon Morrow_RHP

[8/13 Results] James Shields vs. Marlins (ND) 3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 2 HR, 0 SO
Jared Cosart vs. Mets (ND) 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SO; 89 pitches, Padres committed 3 errors behind him. Jacob deGrom was a little better. Mets rallied for a run in the 7th inning, off young Padres reliever Jose Dominguez. Brandon Morrow pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning in his 2016 debut. Jeurys Familia brought in to close it out, but 1B Wil Myers homers with 2 outs, tying it at 2-2. Bullpen wars until the Mets manufacture a run in the 11th, winning 3-2.

Current 6-man rotation, all numbers with Padres through 8/13:

Age 28 LHP Christian Friedrich 4-8 W/L, 4.84 ERA, 87.1 IP, 1.489 WHIP
Age 23 RHP Luis Perdomo 5-6 W/L, 6.80 ERA, 94.0 IP, 1.862 WHIP
Age 32 RHP Edwin Jackson 3-1 W/L, 3.62 ERA, 32.1 IP, 1.237 WHIP
Age 28 RHP Paul Clemens 1-2 W/L, 4.03 ERA, 22.1 IP, 1.299 WHIP
Age 26 RHP Jared Cosart 0-0 W/L, 5.03 ERA, 14.1 IP, 1.560 WHIP
Age 32 LHP Clayton Richard 0-0 W/L, 6.75 ERA, 1.1 IP, 3.000 WHIP

Padres starting pitching is already scary bad, keeping in mind that Perdomo & Friedrich need to be shut down by September, or so. Edwin Jackson may well end up as their second-most valuable starter (after Drew Pomeranz– traded to BOS) when the season is over. Cubs are paying the last of his 4/$48M deal, which is nice.

RHP Edwin Jackson & GM Jed Hoyer

Jared Cosart is the intriguing project for Balsley & Green, so Padres fans are looking (hoping) for improvement. He’ll be in the 2017 rotation mix.  Paul Clemens is a long-shot at best, but the Padres are happy to have him. Clayton Richard is a usable arm to help finish this season, while reducing the workload on their young starters and relievers.

Ryan Buchter_lefty reliever

Righty set-up men Brandon Mauer & Jose Dominguez, and lefties Ryan Buchter (pictured above) & Brad Hand are valuable bullpen pieces. They also can’t be overworked. Brandon Morrow (and his like) are on the active roster to get the Padres through the season, so later effectiveness & health aren’t compromised in these young relievers. GM A. J. Preller & Andy Green have a lot more pieces in place, compared to one year ago. They just need to protect their young arms, and develop a few more.

Padres power up, hold off rally to top Mets 8-12-16
Andrew Cashner tonight 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 5 BB, L to CWS. In 16 1/3 innings since joining the Marlins, Cashner’s ERA is 6.61, allowing 22 hits and 12 earned runs. Next it’s James Shields against the Marlins; so far 3-7, 6.62 ERA in 62 IP for the White Sox. [see results above] Drew Pomeranz 0-2, 5.26 ERA in 5 starts, 25.2 IP for BOS. Fernando Rodney 1-2, 5.40 ERA 18,1 IP has also been a disaster for the Marlins bullpen. The waivers pick-ups (Edwin Jackson & Paul Clemens) have been better pitchers for the Padres.

RHP Paul Clemens

Nice work by Padres GM A.J. Preller, who has scraped up enough starters (three from the Marlins: Jackson, Clemens & Cosart) to get his young arms through the season, while maximizing their development.  If he needs more, he’ll find them.

Padres, Clemens eye turnaround at Citi Field 8-12-16
Padres have Clemens going for them tonight at Citi Field.  Game on, Mets fans!

Piazza-Clemens 2

…………….><><><><><><…………..

AJ Preller’s Padres: Youth & Upside

Steal City: Jankowski swipes home for 2nd time 8-10-16
The screenshot thumbnail shows what a great athlete CF Travis Jankowski is, as he touches home plate with his right hand, while running nearly full-speed & avoiding the catcher. He would have likely been out, if not mishandled, but it’s his speed which applied the pressure that made PIT crack. That needs to be the limit of his daring on stealing home, as a playoff team would have nailed him. Still: 25 SB, 5 CS is excellent all-around. He’s had a few replay calls turned against him, which proves how fast he is to the umpires on the field.  Padres fans also love his defense and .378 OBP.

CF Travis Jankowski: Padres AA

Jankowski has replaced Jon Jay, beautifully. The Federalist may still be traded, if he can recover from his broken wrist and clear waivers by 8/31.  Padres really can’t QO him, and he doesn’t fit their roster anymore.  Otherwise he’ll remain as a 4th outfielder. We’ll see…

Padres unconditionally release Olivera 8-10-16
Green said Wednesday that he had discussions within the organization to make sure that the Padres’ Minor League affiliates are cognizant of the replay process at the Major League level — even though it doesn’t apply in the Minors.

“We have to really do a better job, even if it costs us at the Minor League level, of holding the bag longer and holding our tags longer, and driving tags through guys,” Green said. “Those are things that you’ve just got to clean up as an organization.”

That’s leadership (Green & Preller) getting ahead of the curve. Great news for an organization that has been mostly behind. It’s why so many Padres fans are excited, despite their current 4th-place record. This team sold off all its contracts at the deadline, and got better!  Padres are younger (upside & cheaper), with better OBP & defense.  More power comes with age and experience.  Solid planning & execution, from Padres ownership & management; through to the coaches, scouts and the rest of the organization.

Hector-Olivera-3B

By officially releasing 3B/OF Hector Olivera, Preller proves this deal was a pure salary dump of RF Matt Kemp to ATL.  Padres eat $28.5M on Olivera. The Braves get shifted $10.5M of the LA Dodgers money (from SD) on Kemp’s deal, and owe the remainder of this year, plus 3 more years at $21.75M/year.

Preller & Kemp

Padres got a season and two-thirds out of Matt Kemp and paid him ~ $15M ($3.25M in 2015 + ~$12M in 2016), plus the $28.5M on Olivera for a total of ~$44M.  That’s an over-pay, (for sure), but not a disaster– due to it’s short length.  The longer an albatross hangs, the more it costs.  Kemp was likely foisted upon Preller, by an over-eager new Padres ownership group in 2014:

Peter Seidler, left, Kevin O'Malley, Tom Seidler, and Brian O'Malley of the San Diego Padres new ownership group

Padres fans thank RF Matt Kemp for his professionalism, and for hitting for the only cycle in franchise history in 2015.  Now, only the Marlins (existed since 1993) have not had a player hit for the cycle.

matt-kemp-padres-celebrates-cycle

Padres remain the only MLB franchise, w/o a no-hitter pitched.

A. J. Preller did a masterful job, dumping a losing player (currently .285 OBP) onto an organization that (obviously) has no idea on winning.  This opportunity came about for the Padres, because the Braves couldn’t handle their own mess.  When Hector Olivera became a PR disaster that wouldn’t go away, Preller swooped in and handled it for them, while dumping the player he HAD to trade– at minimal cost to the Padres.  ATL fans and coaches can argue Matt Kemp’s merits, but they need to realize Braves GM John Coppolella should have made the Padres eat more themselves, instead of just transferring Dodgers money ($10.5M).  Call the Padres’ savings on Kemp, A.J. Preller’s ‘handling fee’ on Olivera, doing what the Braves should have done long ago.

John Coppolella_Braves GM

The Matt Kemp dump may have been the most brilliant deadline deal A. J. Preller made.  It clearly made NYY GM Brian Cashman take a closer look at the A-Rod situation, and arguably influenced the Yankees actions.  The mighty Yankees were getting shown up by a West-coast ‘small-market’ team willing to eat ~$70M to improve themselves.  It was only $27M for the Yankees, who have now done what the Padres already did.   Notice, the Padres have done more, with much less– due to AJP’s skill & creativity.  Of course the Yankees get more hype on this, because they’re the Yankees.

Padres welcome back versatile lefty Richard 8-7-16
This must certainly be better than LHP Matt Thornton (Age 39, 17 IP, 5.82 ERA). Green & Balsley will work on Clayton Richard, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a crack at starting in September. Padres need to shut down RHP Luis Perdomo & LHP Christian Friedrich soon, so they’ll need all the arms they can get. Preller is doing his job, acquiring whatever pitching he can get, after trading his staff away for prospects or losing them to injury.  The Edwin Jackson pick-up (waived by the Marlins) has really helped: 3-1 in 5 starts, with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 IP.

Edwin Jackson_Marlins

Padres may use six-man rotation temporarily

Club hopes to limit innings during 16-game stretch without an off-day   8-7-16

Smart. It’s all about managing injury-risk for pitchers. Opposite of the Marlins.

………….><><><><><><><><……………

Fangraphs 8/11/16: The Padres Are Running Like Crazy People  [1]

Goodnight, A-Rod & Tiny Tim

We’ll take Big News At 11 for Yankees, Alex 8-7-16
Alex Rodriguez is to be DFA-ed by the Yankees, next Friday (8/12) at Yankee Stadium.  Yankees eat  ~$27M remaining on his deal through 2017.

Alex Rodriguez_DH

Baseball fact: Alex Rodriguez (22 seasons: .295/.380/.550) was the greatest SS in the history of the game, and easily one of the 5-best players ever.

Alex Rodriguez_ SS

He likely used PED’s because he never truly believed in himself, which is tragic.

A-Rod SS Rangers

Third base, (and second fiddle) was his unfairly-assigned role upon his arrival in the Bronx in 2004:

The Captain & A-Rod

As far as valuing Alex Rodriguez’s career, his best years were with the Mariners (1995-2000) & Rangers (2001-2003), because he played SS.  The Yankees could not have won it in 2009 without him.

Arod Albatross from the Boss

The Yankees acquired A-Rod and received value in the first half of his time in NY. He was clearly superior defensively to SS Derek Jeter, who selfishly insisted on staying at his position.  Alex Rodriguez responded by becoming a gold-glove 3B.  By the end, A-Rod was a DH: the ‘Albatross left by the Boss.’

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Freak_Tim Lincecum

Angels designate Lincecum for assignment 8-6-16
It also looks like the end for RHP Tim Lincecum. Some injuries are career-enders, and his hip injury was one of them. ‘The Freak’ was awesome with the Giants, and baseball fans are happy someone (Angels) gave him another chance, but he can no longer generate the necessary torque & velocity, so it isn’t going to happen.

Tim Lincecum_comeback-angels

Tim Lincecum’s 10-year career (9 w/ SFG), included: 2 Cy Young Awards, 4 All-Star selections, and pitching on 3 World Series-championship teams (2010, 2012 & 2014). He is listed at 5′ 11′, 170 pounds; and stood as an inspiration for normalcy in a PED-driven sports world.

Lincecum_High Times

Of course, Lincecum is notorious for smoking marijuana, so conventional PED ethics & results now become further blurred.  One last note on Tim Lincecum; the best mainstream article (I’ve ever read) on pitching was Tom Verducci’s “How Tiny Tim Became a Giant” in 2008.  Consider it essential reading for any serious baseball fan  [1].

Sports_Illustrated_Tiny Tim

………..><><><><><><…………

Padres Cash Out

Padres, Fish swing 7-player deal featuring Cashner  7-29-16

Andrew Cashner_2

Andrew Cashner pitched for 7 seasons in SD: 3.73 ERA, 30-49 W/L, 673.2 IP. He was pretty good when healthy, which wasn’t often enough, but his teams were mostly poor. Cashner has the stuff to dominate, but too often loses focus and allows the big inning. He has to handle this better to reach ceiling as a #3 starter on a good team.

It looks like a pretty good haul for the Padres RHPs Andrew Cashner, Colin Rea and a fringy prospect.  GM A.J. Preller had plenty to sift through, and he likely got the best deal for the Padres. RHP Jarred Cosart (age 26) is a project, with some potential. Rea had #4 starter written all over him. Injured closer Carter Capps too. Wow!

RHP Jarred Cosart was drafted in the 38th round by the Phillies in 2008, coincidentally their WS championship year. He shot through their system, and became the main piece of the RF Hunter Pence deal that sent Cosart to HOU in 2011. The deal was another bust for the Astros, and old-school GM Ed Wade was finally fired by new ownership after Drayton McLane, Jr sold out that winter. Cosart’s best year was 2014, he was age 24; 13-11 W/L, 3.68 ERA, 180.1 IP with HOU the MIA. He was dealt at the 7/31 deadline to the Marlins in a low-level 7-player deal that amounted to little. His issue has always been walks, and lack of punchouts. What scouts love is his low HR/9 rate and his projectable Texan frame. He seems to start well with an organization, then gets sidetracked. Jarred Cosart has <20 IP this year, so he’s fresh if he’s not hurt, which he may be. A.J. Preller has nothing to lose, so let Darren Balsley & Andy Green go to work on him. He’s a project, for sure.

AJ Preller: Padres GM

Last deadline it was David Price, Cole Hamels & Johnny Cueto available, so Preller hung onto Cashner. Patience & vision; supply & demand. I tip my hat to this organization, this rebuild has been beautifully planned & executed.

[Update 7-30-16]  GM Mike Hill and a few others in the Marlins front office must have been enamoured with RHP Colin Rea. In his interview during the MIA/STL game last night, Hill expressed his adamants that Rea is a big piece of this deal.  That’s how Preller got Jarred Cosart & Carter Capps thrown in, on top of two of their best prospects for Cashner.  Rea can probably pitch ~30-40 more innings in 2016, before he has to be shut down, which won’t help the Marlins down the stretch.  Besides that, he’s meat: 4.98 ERA, 99.1 IP, 1.46 WHIP.

The BJ Upton deal to TOR indicates the market for OF’s.  Josh Reddick (A’s) and Jay Bruce (Reds) should be retained by their teams, for what OF’s are going for. The service time and QO compensation are more valuable. My $.02

Ryan Buchter

Age-29 LOOGY Ryan Buchter 2-0, 2.93 ERA, 46 IP is probably all A.J. Preller has left for this deadline. Possibly CF Jon Jay?  We’ll see how the Federalist responds to having his wrist cast removed in a day or two… Preller likely keeps C Derek Norris because he’s cheap & valuable, just having a tough season, and therefore undervalued. RF Matt Kemp is untradeable.

Jon Jay_Federalist

Jon Jay is a decent CF and left-handed bat: .296/.345/.407. His strange 2016 batting splits: vs RHP: .275/.312/.397; and vs LHP: .346/.418/.432; indicate his value is on the short side of the platoon.  Some teams are hovering around replacement level in CF, and the Federalist (if healthy) is an upgrade.  Otherwise he’s a 4th outfielder on a championship-level team. Much depends on his recovery, and if teams are willing to wait a few more weeks.  He may be considered as a one-month rental, on a team with solid post-season expectations.  He’s owed ~$2M remaining on his last arbitration deal, and is not a player A.J. Preller can QO, because he’ll accept it and he’s not worth $17M/year. Jay would probably have been traded already, if he hadn’t gotten drilled in the wrist by Gio Gonzalez.

Espinoza (No. 21) leads three Padres prospects in Top 100
San Diego also lands Margot (No. 36), Renfroe (No. 52) on midseason list 7-28-16

The Padres owe Matt Kemp $18.25M/year for 2017-19. They’ve paid $21.5M for his first two seasons in San Diego, which is reasonable. What’s unreasonable is what A.J. Preller would have to do to deal Kemp, which is eat $40-45M (of the $54.75M owed). That’s ridiculous, but it’s what he learned in the BJ Upton deal. Therefore, Preller traded BJ Upton at a loss, because he couldn’t have both on his roster anymore, and BJ’s contract hurts less. Another year (or two) needs to expire off Kemp’s contract before he’s tradeable, so the Padres have to find a way to make the best use of him. His biggest assets are his power & durability, as he plays everyday and slugs well enough. Kemp will be age 32 in September, and lesser players start to breakdown at his age, but he’s tapered fairly well and that’s a credit to him & the Padres.

Matt Kemp RF Padres

Kemp’s biggest issue is his lack of range on defense & low OBP, which needs to be remedied by moving him down in the lineup, as fresh talent displaces him. When Matt Kemp is hitting 6th or 7th (like he should be on a championship team), then the Padres will have a formidable lineup. After the trade deadline, look for: CF (L) Jankowski, 3B (S) Solarte, 1B (R) Myers, LF (L) Dickerson, RF (R) Kemp, 2B (L) Schimpf, C (R) Hedges, SS (R) Ramirez, pitcher’s spot. Better OBP at the top, with good SLG at the bottom of the order– except for Alexei Ramirez.
Next spring the rotation lines up as: Tyson Ross, Luis Perdomo, Cal Quantrill (?), Colin Rea [about to be traded], and a large 5th-starter mix. Note that Ross will be rested, rehabilitated, and in his contract year.

Cashner & Shields

A.J. Preller has really owned this trade deadline, and he now holds the next big piece– RHP Andrew Cashner. Every contender would like to upgrade their rotation with a rental arm, and Cashner is coveted by the Giants, Rangers, Marlins, Orioles & Red Sox. Preller is holding out for the best package of what’s left of available prospects. Also, by taking his time, he’s running out the clock somewhat and putting pressure on other teams trying to make deals. Padres fans like that. Preller will also use that leverage, especially after how he was squeezed in the BJ Upton deal.

Fernando Rodney: Closer for Sale

Preller got in first with Fernando Rodney & Drew Pomeranz, and it’s a lesson in being first to market. Pomeranz was the plum starter available, and Preller got top value in return. Rodney isn’t nearly as good as Aroldis Chapman, but Padres still did very well with the Marlins because Preller dealt him early.

[Update 7-30-16]:  Fernando Rodney since being traded to the Marlins: 1-2 W/L, 4.15 ERA, 13 IP. >>>——–//————> He was legendary for the Padres for half a season. Bad deal for both teams so far as RHP Chris Paddack, the 20-year old prospect sent in return, now needs Tommy John surgery. At least Paddack and the Padres have time on their side.

C Derek Norris has had a tough season at the plate, having to work way too hard defensively, with all the injuries & trades to the Padres pitching staff. When Cashner is traded, 3/5 of the rotation (w/ Pomeranz & Shields) will have been traded, with their #1 starter Tyson Ross on the DL for the season. [With Colin Rea also to the Marlins, 4/5 of the Padres rotation was traded in 2016] .  That takes a tremendous toll on the primary catcher, and Norris often looks tired because he surely is. Backup C Christian Bethancourt has a lively bat, but poor receivership skills, and catcher is too important defensively. Keep Norris and bring up Austin Hedges to start the majority of what’s left of 2016. Send Bethancourt to winter ball, where he must dramatically improve his defensive skills, or else find another position or team.

C Derek Norris

It’s really interesting to hear the CWS are now trying to trade James Shields, who is suddenly pitching really well. Last start against the Cubs was W, 7.2 IP, 0 R, and he’s keeping the ball down in the zone much better, with livelier movement. He just needed to be on a competitive team, which the Padres weren’t. Whether the Sox can trade him or not, there’s a significant chance he will exercise his opt-out at season’s end. It’s a very weak pitcher’s free-agent market this coming off-season, and the White Sox FO are definitely concerned that Shields may only be a rental, and if that’s true, they overpaid and are try to make it up since they’re basically out of contention now. That’s a crazy organization to play for, and Shields may opt-out just to get away. It also depends on performance, so it’s definitely not decided, we’ll see…

James Shields_White Sox

Padres go for NL home run record

San Diego has homered in 25 straight games, two shy of Major League mark 7-28-16

Padres are going home for a series with the Reds who have a team ERA of 5.31. With those stats, a fan would expect the Padres to break the record, but it would be just like baseball (and this Padres season in particular), if it didn’t happen. Note that lots of bad pitching everywhere makes this kind of streak more & more possible. This one started 7-1 against the Yankees, and the Padres are 11-14 during, indicative of their own pitching woes. [Update 7-30-16: Padres shut out by CIN 6-0 last night, team HR streak ends at 25]

Left-handed power is always an asset, and new additions 2B Ryan Schimpf & LF Alex Dickerson have delivered it, giving Andy Green contributions up & down his lineup. Padres weren’t getting anything close to this early on. Nice improvement offensively, and it’s a great sign for this organization, which has had a history of being punchless.

LF_Alex Dickerson

Power pitching is in the minors, so fans remain patiently optimistic. After the trade deadline, the rotation will be Colorado Rockies-bad, with RHP Luis Perdomo (Rule 5 from STL) leading the staff. Higher injury-risk for pitchers, means an organization has to develop plenty of arms to remain competitive, due to attrition. The summer drafts and deadline trades have helped fill all levels with high-upside arms. The 2017 season will likely be the first year of relative stability under A.J. Preller, as he now has a team & system he mostly likes. Everything began with the Wil Myers deal.

Padres storm past Nats with late surge  7-24-16

Really nice win for the Padres! They win the season series 4-3, from a good team. Nice bullpen work, and great AB’s up & down the lineup. Honestly, I don’t understand Dusty Baker NOT using Bryce Harper in a game situation in the 8th, then substituting him for Papelbon in the 9th, down 10-6. Either give your star the day off, or PH him in the correct situation.

Tyson-Ross-RHP

Ankle keeping recovering Ross off mound 7-23-16
No point in bringing RHP Tyson Ross back this year. Padres are long out of contention and can’t trade him for fair value now. It will be mid-August at the soonest for any 2016 return.  Many bad things can happen, with little reward for the Padres. The priority is getting Ross right for 2017, as the Padres will need him to front a very young rotation. Shoulder injuries are the career-enders (vs. elbows), so a pitcher can’t take too long in coming back. Err on the side of caution, play it smart, and see the big picture.

Schimpf’s moonshot sends SD’s HR streak to 21 games 7-24-16
Ryan Schimpf’s line in 101 PA’s is .229/.356/.614, which is amazing. It’s the walks that make him playable, with the left-handed power skyrocketing his value. He’s 28, so he won’t get too much better, but what he’s shown (in a small sample size) is extremely valuable.

2B Ryan Schimpf

This is a great example of how A.J Preller covered himself at 2B, where the projected starter was Cory Spangenberg. Spangenberg performed poorly early, then injured himself and has been unable to recover. Preller anticipated this possibility and added Jemile Weeks, Jose Pirella, Adam Rosales and Ryan Schimpf– all on minor league contracts during the off-season. Everyone received a shot at one point or another, and fifth-in-line Ryan Schimpf has made the most of it. Preller found yet another (low cost) way to add a winning player to his team; on top of trades, the Rule 5, Amateur & International drafts. An improved coaching staff (remember he cleared out the system when he fired Pat Murphy & the rest of the deadwood after 2015), with an outstanding new manager Andy Green, also makes a huge difference in player development success.

I rate the best managers in baseball in the AL: Terry Francona CLE, Ned Yost KCR; and in the NL: Bruce Bochy SFG, Joe Maddon CHC, Mike Matheny STL, and Andy Green. Managers are more important in the NL, with the pitcher’s hitting, bullpen use, double switching, etc… Note that catcher’s tend to make very good managers, as the have to know all sides of the game.

If BJ Upton is moved to the AL East, it’s Toronto. They’re trying to win it all, and their current CF situation is Kevin Pillar, age 27; hitting .261/.290/.385 in 2016.

BJ Upton_2

The Braves him use his “government name” when he signed as a FA from the Rays. BJ is a handle. He also made the best double play I ever saw a few weeks ago off J.J. Hardy’s bat: 8-3 to nail Mark Trumbo who was trying to make sure he scores on an extra base hit, on a ball hit over the fence to the left of dead center in Petco. Unbelievable

AL East clubs discussing deals for Upton, Cashner
BJ to the O’s doesn’t make sense, as he’s basically the same player as CF Adam Jones. RHP Andrew Cashner makes more sense with their needs. Padres have no need for RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. It seems there needs to be a third team involved to get the prospects A.J. Preller needs in return, as the O’s system is pretty bare. We’ll see…

The 8/1 deadline is it for the 2016 Padres season, fans. Once these veterans are dealt, it’s full rebuild mode. Padres September call-ups will be interesting for a change. It’s been a beautiful transformation to behold. This planned window of competitiveness is cause for optimism, and has rarely (if ever) existed in franchise history.

Padres sign Cuban outfielder Jorge Ona  7-20-16
This caps it for the Padres in the International Draft, and they pretty much stole the show. Padres now have a much-improved farm system, and still have young controllable talent at the MLB level (Myers, Solarte), putting them far ahead of the Braves, Brewers, etc… in rebuilding. A.J. Preller still has a few assets to deal, whenever an agreeable offer presents itself. So far it’s been an astounding transformation for this organization, with Preller now on the job almost 2 years in San Diego.

Padres could use a good start from Andrew Cashner tonight against Adam Wainwright & the Cardinals, as it would make dealing him much easier. It would also help if the lineup scored some runs to support him.

Edwin Jackson_Enigma

Jackson flirts with no-no as Padres sweep Giants 7-17-16
That 12-pitch walk by Alex Dickerson in the 6th was huge, as it really drained Johnny Cueto. It helps to have some OBP at the bottom of the lineup with him & 2B Ryan Schimpf. Christian Bethancourt’s bat helps too, but his defense (passed balls & framing) is really poor, and that’s why he doesn’t play more. Nice sweep Padres. They needed it, as their schedule gets rough for the next 6 weeks.

Padres tab Jackson to start finale vs. Giants 7-17-16
RHP Edwin Jackson is here to eat up innings at low cost. Padres just traded Drew Pomeranz for the future, and the remaining current options are him and RHP Paul Clemens. Paul is not Roger, and he needs some more work, if there is any upside (though not likely) to be tapped. Therefore it becomes the enigma/riddle: Edwin Jackson. For perspective: GM Andrew Friedman traded him as a Devil Ray, to Detroit for RF Matt Joyce, and it helped Joe Maddon a lot. Padres first series sweep of 2016 is not likely today. [Padres won]

Padres deal Pomeranz to Red Sox 7-14-17
2B Cory Spangenberg was GM Jed Hoyer’s #1 pick (10th overall) in 2011– his last draft with the Padres before he left for the Cubs GM that October. This season Spangenberg is age 25, and ‘hit’ .229/.302/.354 in 14 games, before tearing his quadriceps while sliding into first base. He’s now re-injured himself twice in rehabilitation to end his season, after an initial 6-8 week recovery diagnosis. He has shown neither the talent, nor the brains to be a winning player. If Preller can keep him on the 40-man roster, then ST 2017 is his last shot with the Padres.

2B Prospect_Cory Spangenberg

Padres win stunner in 10th on walk-off balk 7-17-17
For a team that’s out of contention and in the process of trading away most of their assets, the Padres are making a good showing of themselves. This is largely a credit to manager Andy Green, who won’t let his team give up, despite their current hopeless situation. Remember, this team has been ravished with injuries. Showing resolve and finishing strong are winning qualities that will carry through to the future, when the Padres have more talent.

Green & Preller

This could have easily been a 100-loss season, and it’s now clear it won’t be (even with the salary dumps), and that’s actually a huge step forward for SD. The Padres are rebuilding without becoming an embarrassment to their fans. This maintains precious hope & optimism among the fanbase. It’s been a tough 2016 season for the Padres, but it’s also been a success for GM A.J. Preller with his turnover & acquisition of organizational talent. A competitive window will open in their future, in about 2-3 years.

Padres break through for victory over Giants 7-16-16
Andrew Cashner’s next 2-3 starts are worth a lot of money, to a lot of people. If Cashner throws well with no injury setbacks, he’s in line to be traded to a contender, with a shot at a huge payday if he succeeds. If he blows up, then Preller has to consider QO options on him, which he’d rather not. Padres have done everything possible to get him healthy and showcase him. It now falls on him to perform, as Preller can’t trade junk.

Padres place Upton on bereavement list 7-15-16
Bereavement leave is a player’s right, earned through solidarity & the collective bargaining process. MLB players didn’t have this before Marvin Miller became their MLBPA representative.  Best to BJ & his family

Yangervais Solarte_3B

Offense falls flat following Solarte’s early blast 7-10-16
Pitchers who throw ground balls are huge, as they give up less extra-base hits and home runs than fly-ball pitchers. Also, with a solid defense they are always one pitch away from a double play. The stuff is there for power sinker-baller Luis Perdomo, he just needs more experience & polish, which he’s getting under Green & Balsley. This has been a developmental season for him and the Padres in general, and there is noticeable progress.

Pomeranz, Marte, Bruce added to NL squad 7-9-16
LHP Drew Pomeranz is fair, for the Padres trading Rodney, who makes it as a Marlin, on his merits as a Padre.

Pomeranz leads Padres’ two-hit shutout in LA 7-8-16
Nice win for the Padres to climb out of last, after the Dodgers put them there to start. Drew Pomeranz is definitely for real, and it doesn’t matter about the All-Star situation. Kershaw obviously was the choice, and keeping him healthy is primary for the Dodgers. He’s 28 and has carried too much of the load for too long. He may need to be DL’ed the remainder of the season with his herniated disc in his back, depending on the severity and his rehabilitation. If necessary, the Dodgers must do it and deal with it. They owe Kershaw $35M/season through 2020.

…………><><><>><><><………….

Padres International Draft vs. Beltway-Bronx Bias

Jay’s wrist broken 6-28-16
Final thoughts on the Federalist’s wrist being broken: Gio Gonzalez is too wild, and a bit of a punk for fielding the ball like it was in play. You could HEAR it. FYI, Dusty Baker approves of this, as it gives his team dominance. Dusty has read some martial art books, you know?  He’s never had a reputation as a good handler of pitchers, so this is what you get.  It basically destroyed a critical piece of (what’s left of) Andy Green’s lineup, and an asset A.J. Preller was getting ready to deal. Padres owe the Gnats one.

Federalist4

Wallace homers; Friedrich struggles in loss to O’s 6-29-16
It’s bad enough that the O’s are simply a lot better, but the Padres got screwed again with the umpires. That’s clearly interference, and the inning should have been over. The Padres keep getting East coast biased, and it really gets old. The point is not whether they would have won or not, it’s about respect, and Andy Green understands that very well. He’s an excellent young manager. Sometimes you have to get tossed for your team. Chris Davis was clearly to the inside of he running box coming to 1st, and interfered with 1B Wil Myers’ ability to catch the good throw from P Christian Friedrich.

1B Chris Davis

A few other finer points of the game: the reason Chris Davis runs (illegally) to the inside of the box is because he’s a bad baserunner, and can’t hit the outside of the bag with his left foot. This is what a baserunner needs to (per the rules) on a chopper up the first baseline. Davis & the O’s were rewarded for poor play. East coast bias, Padres fans say.

Same garbage with BJ Upton getting robbed of a 2-run HR last week in Camden, with its antiquated foul poles causing all kinds of confusion. Replay officiating (in NY) all very convenient to the Orioles. Yes, the Padres stink so most of their fans don’t care too much about the results; it’s the lack of objectivity & respect which is disturbing. Too many East coast fans & media don’t even want to admit what really happened, expect to get all the calls, and then be allowed to control the narrative forever after.  It stinks, much like the bourgeois political economy we all live in.

Cashner likely to return Sunday vs. Yankees 6-29-16
This moves Erik Johnson to the minors or waivers. Thank goodness. Now consider that James Shields has actually been worse for the CWS.  It will be really nice to get Tyson Ross back– around August it sounds. Preller & Green have done all they can, but they’re totally outmatched against the upper AL East.

Skip Schumaker OF

Skip Schumaker joins Padres in front-office role 6-29-16
Everyone said he was a good guy when he was cut by the Padres in Spring Training, especially Cardinals fans. Those who say the Padres should be more like STL, here you go.

Bossman, Jr. robs homer, turns unreal double play 6-29-16

That was the Play-of-the-Year by BJ. There are only maybe 2 or 3 other active players who could even possibly make that double play. [1]

I don’t exaggerate when I say that BJ Upton & Carl Crawford saved the Rays pitching staff at least 1 run/game as compared to the rest of the league. Most of it was BJ. The best players of their ‘dynasty’ were: him, 3B Evan Longoria, 2B Ben Zobrist, RHP James Shields & LHP David Price– managed by Joe Maddon. They were awesome, with a team payroll ~$50-60M under GM Andrew Friedman.

Bossman, Jr2

I’ve been thinking about this play for several days (baseball is like that), and I’ve come to the conclusion that’s the best double play I’ve ever seen. Score it 8-3, with BJ Upton robbing J.J. Hardy of a 2-run HR.  The catch was made left of dead center in Petco, then the perfect throw to 1B Wil Myers.  Hats off, unbelievable!!

Padres acquire Paddack from Marlins for Rodney 6-30-16
Remember that A.J. Preller signed Fernando Rodney at the end of the off-season, meaning anyone could have had him for cheap. No one else wanted him. It was a great scrap heap pick-up & reclamation, as the Padres net a top 20-year old pitching prospect for it.

Adiós… >>>——————————->

RHP Chris Paddack

It’s 9:00 AM EDT [7-1-16], and this story still does not appear on the MLB.com News feed.  Fernando Rodney is an All-Star closer, so this is actual news, but apparently not for some.  FYI: Florida doesn’t always count as East coast. It depends…

Padres giving Maurer ‘first crack’ at closer role 7-1-16
I’m looking forward to the Yankees, who stink. Old, overpaid and poorly assembled. Too many egos with the NYY, make it an impossible situation for GM Brian Cashman. I don’t know how (or why) he’s stayed so long? Right now, LF Brett Gardner & SS Didi Gregorius are their only homegrown talent. Their starting pitching is bad after RHP Masahiro Tanaka. Nice bullpen, but too many extra innings will wear it down. Once again, Mariano Rivera was a unique closer and is irreplaceable. Torre & Girardi could manage games like they were 7 innings, then hand it to the best closer ever. They no longer have that luxury, even with Aroldis Chapman who is the only thing truly feared in their pen. Also note that DH Alex Rodriguez is at the end, and in many ways symbolic of everything wrong with their organization. It’s too bad, because he never needed PEDs. Alex Rodriguez was naturally one of the best shortstops ever. Now he gets an asterisk*

SS Alex Rodriguez

Padres give up 4 runs in the 9th, but Brandon Mauer gets his first save.  Padres win 7-6 over the Yankees. Are we missing Fernando Rodney yet?  Andy Green is going to have to be creative & flexible with this mess in the pen.

>>>>—————–//————->

It’s funny to me how the Tim Kurkjian-types are suddenly all excited about Fernando Tatis, Jr.– whom they still know nothing about. Preller knows. They never consider that A.J. Preller might actually know what he’s doing. It’s ESPN, MLB Network & Fangraphs ‘experts’ that are clueless on the Padres. Padres gotta win, THEN Preller is a genius; until then he’s an idiot to most. That’s America.

Fernando Tatis, Jr

But isn’t it the media’s job to see which teams are doing things right (at ALL levels), and predict them as the next up-and-coming organization? 2014: Preller hired, Wil Myers deal. 2015 Rule 5 draft: Luis Perdomo from STL. LHP Drew Pomeranz acquired from the A’s for 1B Yonder Alonso. Top-5 rated Amateur draft in 2016, with nearly everybody signed.  Fans, that’s progress.

Padres land 6 of Top 30 international prospects 7-2-16
This is the plan, and it’s a good one. Now it’s about player development for these kids. and trading the remaining veterans for more prospects.
Note that most infield prospects are SS, because these are the best athletes on young teams. Very few stay at shortstop as they progress through their professional careers, because the position is so demanding at the MLB level. Starting as a 1B, 2B or 3B prospect, upside is generally considered limited– due to lack of athleticism. Same with young center fielders vs. corner outfielders.
What has changed for the Padres today, is they have catapulted into a top-10 farm system, which is nice.  After emptying their last-rated system upon arrival in the fall of 2014, A.J. Preller has accrued tradeable assets, acquired major cornerstones for a winning future (1B Wil Myers and starting pitchers Drew Pomeranz & Luis Perdomo), and simultaneously built one of the best farm systems in the game.  The timely sale of assets such as Craig Kimbrel, James Shields, and most recently Fernando Rodney have all strengthened the organization in their returns.  Padres are now drafting & signing the top talent, in all 3 drafts; instead of being the team that gets ripped-off.  Fans can be confident with a GM like A.J. Preller, that future trades & draft selections (in total) will balance in the Padres favor. Franchises need solid leadership, in order to win, more than ever today. Padres finally have it.

…………><><><><><><><><……………

Padres News & NL Round-up

The Padres have now played every team in the NL, so fans can fairly gauge where they stand.  Padres are last in the NL West, with no hope of competing for the post-season. This was obvious on Opening Day, when they were shut-out 16-0 by the Dodgers, and swept in that Petco series without scoring a run.  Opening Day was the only start the Padres #1 pitcher, Tyson Ross has made in 2016.  Since then, Ross has been dealing with & rehabilitating from a shoulder injury, and is expected back sometime after the All-Star break.

Tyson_Ross

Only ATL & CIN are worse NL teams, and it should be noted that they are qualitatively worse. The Padres can be grouped ahead of them, with MIL & PHI as rebuilding teams. Thankfully, the Padres are much further along in the process with 1B Wil Myers, LHP Drew Pomeranz & RHP Luis Perdomo already in their future mix. Padres also have more in tradeable assets than these other bad teams including: RHP’s Tyson Ross, & Andrew Cashner (when healthy),  RF Matt Kemp, LF BJ Upton, CF Jon Jay 3B Yangervais Solarte, C Derek Norris & closer Fernando Rodney.   Fans can sense that GM A.J Preller is about to make another round of deals.

LHP_Drew Pomeranz
Ahead of the Padres for now are ARZ & COL, two directionless franchises that are caught in no-man’s-land; maxed out on payroll, yet still far short of fielding a truly competitive team.  PIT & MIA are next, with a few intriguing young pieces but lacking other key parts, along with the leadership to put it all together; expect both these teams to sink badly by August/September and into next year.

Jeffrey Loria

The remaining teams are all contenders to some degree, with the SFG & CHC being the class of the NL in 2016. The NYM are decent, but have serious injury issues with their young pitching staff.  WAS and LAD are similar, in that both are high-payroll teams that don’t win in October.  Both also have serious questions concerning their leadership, on-the-field & in the front office.  Always beware of STL, they’re a championship team, waiting in the weeds.

Matt Holliday RF

Pomeranz homers, shuts down Reds in win 6-25-16
If Andrew Cashner is anywhere near healthy by season’s end, he will decline a QO, if he hasn’t been traded.  Cashner is a better pitcher than Ian Kennedy, who received 5/$70M in free agency. A mid-20’s draft pick may be more valuable than any prospect package A.J. Preller is offered.  Obviously, everything depends on Cashner’s health and performance.  In the unlikely event Andrew Cashner accepts the Padres QO, it’s only a one-year deal for ~$16M, which isn’t a disaster contract. The rule in baseball management is: there are no bad one-year deals. That’s not 100% correct, but you get the idea.

Andrew Cashner RHP

Padres score in first 8 frames in win over Reds 6-24-16
Pete Rose has a remarkable lack of respect for today’s players. Example: his interview in the Reds booth during the 1st inning last night, when Wil Myers hits a home run, and Rose exclaims he can’t believe the ball went out– so the balls must be juiced. No credit to Myers for being a great hitter. He’s like that on FOX too, old-school to his grave…

Charlie Hustle

I used to be a Reds fan when I was a kid, but always preferred 2B Joe Morgan as a player & C Johnny Bench. With that said, as selfish as Rose has been, I still hope he gets the MLB HoF. He’s paid his dues, and many players have done much worse.

Walt Jocketty GM

The Reds are by far the worst pitching staff in MLB, and quite possibly the worst team in the NL. What the heck was Bryan Price arguing & getting tossed for? That last pitch before he got ran out was a strike, according to K-Zone. Cincinnati needs a clean sweep from ownership & management on down, otherwise they’ll continue to be NL fodder for a long time.

>>>——————————->

Archer

Fernando Rodney has a ton of trade value, as the Padres hold a $2M team option for 2017, and are only paying him $1.6M this season. You need a reliable closer, so Preller can go either way, depending on what’s offered. Look what BOS gave up for Kimbrel.

September call-ups in San Diego will be interesting this season. That will be a nice change for fans. Still, a lot going on off-the-field until then. Nine days until the new International draft period opens, with the Padres all-in on that. Only a few top amateur draft picks left to sign…  Nice Padres rebuild, A.J. Preller.

Upton Jr.’s near-homer changes momentum 6-23-16
BJ & the Padres got robbed of a 2-run HR.  Get some modern MLB foul poles Baltimore! You need them with these stronger players now.
…and to that clueless O’s announcer, asking why BJ & Matt Kemp were circling the bases: it’s because they BOTH knew it was a home run, and wanted to be near the dugout with their teammates when the call was correctly overturned.

Didn’t happen. I wonder if the umpires were ‘protecting their own.’ The 3B umpire on the call initially had a glazed look in his eye– like he knew he blew the call.  BJ didn’t care, and showed him up; and honestly that’s why I’ve always loved him as a player. You get hated on a lot for being that, so respect it.

Rodney just misses out on Padres record
Righty’s streak of consecutive innings without ER snapped, but San Diego could appeal 6-22-16

>>>———————————>
Fernando Rodney really should have the record, but that’s baseball, and it has to be scored a hit when the ball bounces off the bag. Notice Wil Myers is an off-the-charts defensive 1B, no errors so far. What a magnificent young player. Wil be Untouchable in future trade talks.

Wil Myers_Rays RF

Padres fans have been debating the Wil Myers deal endlessly.  Looks like: 1) the Padres stole Myers, 2) the Nationals got a good young pitcher and potential 2B/utility guy in Trea Turner from SD, and 3) the Rays got fleeced, receiving a 27-YO RF from the Nationals, who is having a career year hitting .255/.315/.443.  Rays also reaped a few useless minor leaguers from a barren Padres system.  Happened just after Joe Maddon & Andrew Friedman left Tampa.

CWS Statement on James Shields Trade

Want a good laugh Padres fans?  Go into the CWS forum, and read the comments on any James Shields start.

Shields shows improvement in steady start 6-23-16

White Sox fans: I just published a baseball piece on my site and laughingly referenced you at the end. It was intended as a compliment to your wittiness, clarity & direct style. I strongly prefer the NL, and truly appreciate being able to read your thoughts, clearly illustrating the hidden drama that runs this family franchise. It doesn’t take long to catch up, with the brutal honesty on this board. Jerry Reinsdorf ownership is family loyalty to the core, and they allow for too much incompetence & other bad stuff, most noticeably Hawk Harrelson broadcasting television. This nepotism & croynism poisons everything in the organization, leaving fans demoralized, over & over. Lifelong White Sox fans know this all-too-well.

Comiskey

This franchise goes back to Charles Comiskey, one of the most reviled owners of the Jim Crow baseball era. Reinsdorf is the last hardliner, old-school owner of the modern MLB era. He deserves credit for being willing to spend money when he believes his team has a chance, but gets demerits for consistent poor judgment in his selections for front office management & scouting. The CWS 2005 World Series is proof that even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, and flags fly forever, but it looks increasingly unlikely to happen again in Reinsdorf’s lifetime.

Buddy Bell, Rick Hahn & Kenny Williams all need to go at once if the CWS are to move forward. If anyone in that organization had even lurked into the Padres forum, they would have had all the information they needed to determine that James Shields was collapsing, meaning it was public knowledge. The White Sox are behind in every facet of their organization, and anyone brought in will need at least 5 years of serious ownership commitment in scouting, drafting, player development, advanced metrics and injury diagnosis & prevention, etc… just to catch up.

Jerry Reinsdorf

Obviously new management will want a new field manager in the end, but until then, Robin Ventura deserves some consideration & respect for what he’s had to work with. Questionable decisions on his part? Yes. But this entire mess, his fault? Not even close. Always hold ownership & front management accountable first in everything.

……………..><><><><><><><><><…………..

 

Friar Wired: Around the Horn

Myers named All-Star Week ambassador
First baseman eager to represent Padres, MLB during festivities in San Diego 6-17-16
Fangraphs has a new article titled, “Wil Myers Utilizing All Fields in Return to Prominence.”  Of course they say the Padres should trade him, like everyone else. They’ve been wrong all along, but NOW they know…

Wil Myers 1B

Padres, Edwin Jackson agree to Minor League deal
San Diego seeks depth for depleted pitching staff 6-17-16
“There was a point in mid-March when projections had San Diego’s starting five as: Ross, Shields, Cashner, Erlin & Maurer.” Maurer is in the bullpen, Shields traded, and the rest are DL’d.  Padres are desperate, so this is what a GM does.
No way they trade Wil Myers, he’s their cornerstone.

Jon Jay for Jedd Gyorko (STL) was a great swap for the Padres, even with them eating $7M this year.  I hope the Padres extend him a few years.  Alexei Ramirez was a nice low-cost pick-up, instead of the overpay on Ian Desmond who couldn’t play SS anyways. A.J. Preller also snagged starting pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Luis Perdomo & Christian Friedrich this past off-season, which were all under-the-radar moves that have paid off and show future promise. He also restocked the farm system with the Craig Kimbrel trade, and set the Padres up a nice 2016 amateur draft.  Yes they are in last place this year, but they’re in better position than ARZ & COL for the future.

From the 2014-15 off-season, Wil Myers was a steal. Shields was an overpay, and costing them $20M to go away, but an understandable gamble at the time for rotation stability.  Preller did a great job unloading him before the bottom fell out, and we’ll see about RHP Erik Johnson & prospect Fernando Tatis, Jr.  Matt Kemp was Preller’s worst deal, but it is still better than a lot of other GM’s biggest blunders.  Overall Preller has done a fantastic job rebuilding an organization that was in shambles when he arrived.

Erik Johnson aims to impress in home debut 6-16-16
The Nationals are the last top NL team the Padres have yet to face. It’s another good test for this team, and die-hards hope it doesn’t get ugly. Luckily for the Padres, Stephen Strasburg pitched yesterday. Hopefully fans will get a good look at RHP Joe Ross, to get some measure on the Wil Myers deal. The other piece of that deal from the Padres system was (soon-to-be) age 23 SS Trea Turner, who was up briefly for 3B Ryan Zimmerman on paternity leave, but is now back in AAA Syracuse hitting .293/.357/.439.

Billy Joel at Petco in May 2016

MLB announces All-Star Concert Series lineup 6-16-16
Gwen Stefani, OneRepublic, Tori Kelly headline acts set to perform 6-16-16
Did anyone here see ‘piano man’ Billy Joel @ Petco?   Just wondering since they advertised it all off-season. [1]

Perdomo stays grounded, gets first win as starter 6-16-16
Like AJ Preller said, with Perdomo’s stuff he would be a top 10 draft pick, if that was his availability. Gotta stick with him, too much upside. Snagging Luis Perdomo from STL is hopefully going to make up for trading away Ozzie all those years ago.  That’s been A.J. Preller’s plan since the Rule 5 draft.  Perdomo’s 22, sits at 95-96, and gets to 98 w/ tons of ground balls. Electric stuff here.

Luis Perdomo

Padres best Rule 5 success was surely 2B Bip Roberts taken by the Padres from PIT in the Rule 5 draft in December 1985. At the plate OBP is life and making outs is bad. Bip Roberts (.294/.358/.380) was a super-utility player, and one of the most underrated players in franchise history.

Bip Roberts card

After 1991, GM Joe McIlvaine traded him to the Reds for lefty closer Randy Myers. Note, any deals during this period in Padres history must be understood in the context of Tom Werner ownership, which ran from June 1990 to December 1994. Roberts had injury issues in SD, so of course he tore himself up playing on the notoriously hard turf (and unpadded outfield walls) of Riverfront Stadium. Along with CF Eric Davis, (HoF) SS Barry Larkin, and others, Bip Roberts could never really stay healthy playing for the Reds.

Marge Schott

Marge Schott owned the Cincinnati Reds from her inheritance in 1984 to 1999. Schott was hailed by luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey as a model of ‘feminist success’ after the Reds won the World Series in 1990. She was later suspended by MLB (1996-98) then forced to sell-out, due to her statements in support of Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler.

Padres string together rally to sink Fish in finale 6-15-16

Ichiro

Ichiro is an amazing & unique player. Notice how well he takes care of himself. It makes all the difference.
RHP Luis Perdomo is now 2-2, and hitting .250 (1 for 4). He pinch runs and has a stolen base.  Reminds me a bit of Fletch with the Lakers– he does all the little things they need. I don’t know where the Padres would be without him?  An All-Star in my book, admittedly his current ERA (8.79) is a little high…

Fletch Dreams

Shields, Sox optimistic rough debut just a blip 6-9-16
Padres fan here: for those CWS fans who didn’t know, James Shields is cooked. If Reinsdorf, Hahn or Williams are interested in another bat, Matt Kemp is available– please contact Padres GM A.J. Preller ASAP.

Alexei Ramirez SS

BTW, Padres fans have developed much appreciation for Alexei Ramirez. For a long time, the Padres have been replacement level at SS, and while the Cuban Missile has very little pop in his bat and doesn’t walk much, he hits just enough & is super-slick with a great arm in the field. He’s improved the Padres defense tremendously, and therefore helps their pitching staff. The Padres mostly can’t score runs, and have been shutout 10 times already this season. It was a situation where the CWS wanted to move in a different direction at that position, and it worked out for another team. Wondering what White Sox fans think of Tyler Saladino & SS prospect Tim Anderson?  Best of luck with Jimmy Rollins!!

>>>—————————>

Green: Padres deserving of ASG consideration 6-8-16
I don’t believe rookies should ever be All-Stars, as anyone can get hot for a few months & fool people. I think LHP Drew Pomeranz is for real, but this excludes him from consideration by my criteria.  Closer Fernando Rodney may be the only Padres 2016 All-Star. CF Jon Jay is very underrated. 1B Wil Myers may be their franchise guy, but it’s a deep position.  When 3B Yangervais Solarte stays healthy, he’s All-Star level.  A few pieces are there, but many are still missing for the Padres.

Amateur draft begins tomorrow night, so keep these thoughts in mind. There are only 30 or so MLB players in every amateur draft, so if a team get one player that’s average. If they get two, that’s spectacular. Three or more in one draft is extraordinary. There are one or two HoFer’s per draft, and obviously those are the picks to make. They aren’t always 1st round either, as Albert Pujols & Mike Piazza prove. It’s about scouting and the ‘eye for talent.’ This draft is considered ‘college light & high-school heavy,’ so expect many HS picks. People who have no clue will yell & scream no matter what GM A.J. Preller does, but the truth is no one will know how anyone did for at least 3-4 years.

Terry Collins

The All-Star manager (Terry Collins- Mets) gets to pick his staff, and obviously he takes his own guys. It would be really cool if he also selected Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley. I witnessed Jim Hickey in TB for many years and he deserves all his accolades, but for my money Balsley is the best pitching coach in baseball today. Without him, Drew Pomeranz isn’t a phenom.  [Andy Green was later invited by Collins. Cool]

……………..><><><><><><><><><………………….

Rime of the Seattle Mariners & Padres Ownership

Posted @ Padres.com

Ron Fowler

Padres chairman Fowler expects better from team   6-1-16
Ownership 101: be quiet and speak with your checkbook.  If there’s a problem with the front office or GM, then deal with it directly & decisively.  Don’t vent through the media. Building a winning organization takes time, hard work, money & luck.  Most owners are overgrown babies who are used to getting everything they want immediately.
The biggest historical detriment to the Padres winning, has been their ownership.  Ron Fowler’s weakness seems to be his impatience & meddling.  When an owner hires a new GM to a 5-year contract, that’s his guy.  That means the owner must refrain from bitching and throwing regime personnel under the bus, just because he can’t stand losing.  Since baseball is about losing, perhaps Ron Fowler is in the wrong business?  It’s going to take a leader with vision (along with a generous & meddle-free owner) to ever get it done for the Padres and their fans.
James Shields’ ERA went from 3.06 to 4.28. One blow-up start can do that early.  He’s been pretty solid mostly, but poorly supported.  He’s a professional, and owned that he stunk the other day.  Padres need OBP & SLG.

Padres homer four times to rout Mariners
Cano’s 16th homer isn’t enough in San Diego 6-1-16
Padres really caught a break with RHP Felix Hernandez going on the DL, as I was expecting to wake up to another Padres shutout loss.  Right calf strain for King Felix, and fans hope he gets better soon.  One of the best of this era– HOF no question.

Padres need support at the All-Star ballot box 6-1-16
Closer Fernando Rodney will be the Padres lone All-Star representative.  I hope he closes out a win, getting the NL home-field advantage in the WS. Except for 2010-12 (and a tie in 2002), it’s been all AL in the mid-summer classic since 1997.

Fernando Rodney

Padres watch 10-run lead disappear vs. M’s 6-2-16
When the Padres are bad, they’re really bad, as they keep finding unbelievable new ways to lose games. Frustrating & fascinating, all at the same time.  Give the Mariners credit for not giving up.  The best recent news for the Padres is that RHP Cesar Vargas won’t need Tommy John surgery.  Press on, Padres!!

Cesar Vargas

As a Padres fan, it hurts to come up short (yet) again, but what a run & great season guys. Amateur draft next week, Padres have 6 picks in the top 85.  International draft begins July 2.  That’s the organizational focus right now, and real Padres fans know it.  Again, hats off to the Seattle Mariners on that comeback, but Padres fans have seen it before.

…………..><><><><><><><><…………..