Thursday, May 31, 2012

Newsstand

Junior Seau's final days were plagued by sleepless nights, finds this USA TODAY story to which I contributed. In this story. new third baseman Orlando Hudson tells White Sox beat writer Mark Gonzales that "a groundball is a groundball." In case you missed it, Adys Portillo, who received $2 million to sign with the Padres four years ago, had himself a good week with Single-A Fort Wayne.

Cashner

Andrew Cashner is healthy. That's the lead to his story as May gives way to June. After missing all but 12 games of the 2011 season with an ailing rotator cuff, Cashner is launching fastballs that average 98.7 miles per hour according to FanGraphs.com. Unfortunately for Cashner, his pitching results two months into the season are below average, despite a promising strikeout ratio of 9.6 per nine innings.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pain or shrugs?

I put the following double-question to the Tweeps: Do the losses still hurt? Or, do you shake them off as inconsequential, inevitable outcomes within a rebuilding season? The poll coincided with this afternoon's loss to the Cubs, who rallied to complete a sweep. Chicago entered the three-game series on a 12-game losing streak. The Padres departed Wrigley Field with a 17-35 record that included a 5-19 road mark.

Here, following, are most of the replies:

2013 snapshot

Will the 2013 draft feature a player as tooled-up as Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg? "There's no one with their equipment," a scout told me today. Because they have the worst record in the major leagues, the Padres (17-34) would have the first pick of the 2013 draft if the 2012 season ended today. Of course, a lot can change within a draft class over 12 months.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Desert fever

The practice is an old one in baseball's front offices. Executives who go from one club to another eventually bring some of their former players with them. Unfortunately for the Padres, the approach has backfired of late. Negative returns have flowed from the nearly $19 million invested by Jeff Moorad's front office in three former Arizona Diamondbacks players: Orlando Hudson, Carlos Quentin and Micah Owings. (UPDATED)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

30th

For total spending on ballplayers in 2010-11, the Padres ranked last in the major leagues according to a study obtained by this blog.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Padres All-Star?

I asked the Tweeps who should represent the Padres at the All-Star Game.

Newsstand

What led Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto to pursue Padres reliever Ernesto Frieri? The details are in this well-reported article by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Frieri hasn't allowed a hit in nine games. Are you looking to buy or receive a baseball-related Father's Day gift? San Diegan Steve Tarde has written Gift to My Dad, a father-son baseball book that I found to be a quick read with an encouraging theme. For USA TODAY, I've been writing about Junior Seau, including the Celebration of Life, the "paddle-out" ceremony that included Drew Brees, and a message from Seau's former wife, Gina. Seau is the eighth member of the "Super Bowl" Chargers to die, all before the age of 45. With help from Darren Smith of 1090 AM, I wrote about the 1994 Chargers and their mixed legacy. Pick up the next edition of  Baseball America and you'll find my articles about Padres prospect Jace Peterson and whoever the team selects seventh overall in the upcoming draft.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rizzo

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune passed along this update on Anthony Rizzo from last week:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Media mumbo jumbo

Let's not make such a big deal about the Padres' injuries, OK?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review and Preview

A major league scout not affiliated with the Padres sees a flaw to Cameron Maybin's swing. The scout considers the changes in the middle infield addition by subtraction.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Richard's run

The Padres went deep into their playbook.

The Angels busted coverage.

Chalk up San Diego's wild victory that followed to the Wolverine Scramble.

Why on Luebke

Corey Luebke felt the need for speed.

The ride was exhilarating, but did the extra miles per hour exact a price on the pitcher's elbow ligament?

Based on what Luebke told them, the Padres believe it did. Luebke, the club announced today, is likely to have reconstructive elbow surgery next week. The surgery will come about a month after the revved-up lefty, in a career-long outing against the Phillies, may have increased the fearsome stress loads on his elbow when he aired out several fastballs.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friar Follies

Friday provided another memorable snapshot for the Friar Follies coffee-table book. As Matt Bush sat in a Florida jail, Justin Verlander dismissed hitters in Detroit, where he was two outs from his third career no-hitter. Meanwhile in San Diego, Jered Weaver would pitch the Angels past the Padres. For his career, Weaver, five months short of his 30th birthday, has a win-loss record of  88-48 and a 3.28 ERA. Against the Padres, he is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Against National League teams, he is 11-3 with a 2.74 ERA.

Friday, May 18, 2012

1987

In 1987, a man who thought he was on the verge of buying the Padres discovered he didn't have enough outside support, from either the commissioner's office or other club owners. So the sale was rescinded. Sound familiar? On the field, the Padres were an odd mix, prone to losing four of every five games through early June, yet several talented players made them worth watching. Larry Bowa, as popular with his players as Queeg was with his sailors, managed the '87 Padres. The team started out 12-42. That's worth repeating: 12-42. As the world's most knowledgeable Padres Tweeps recently discussed the '87 club with This Blog, someone joked that the '87 Padres were the most talented 12-42 team in baseball history. I consider them far more talented than the 2012 Padres, who are 14-25.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cabrera

Everth Cabrera looked like he had the yips in the summer of 2010 when the Padres, trying to hold onto first place, traded for Miguel Tejada and made him their regular shortstop over Cabrera. Even though Tejada was near the end of his career, he provided better defense and offense than what Cabrera was supplying.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prospects on DL

Padres GM Josh Byrnes confirmed that three of the franchise's better pitching prospects -- Robbie Erlin, Juan Oramas and Joe Ross -- are all on the disabled list. "We think these are short-term injuries," Byrnes told me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roach

In a perfect world, pitcher Donn Roach would bring to the Padres the groundball prowess he demonstrated in the Cal League and awaiting him in San Diego would be the homegrown middle infielders deluxe, Ozzie Smith and Roberto Alomar, each in the pink of his Hall of Fame, groundball-gobbling career.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Amarista

When I interviewed Alexi Amarista two years ago, his official height, 5-foot-7, appeared generous by 2-4 inches. Amarista joked about it, saying his fellow Angels farmhands called him the Spanish word for midget (ballplayers aren't known for the sensitivity gene).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finally

The TV deal between the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego has been approved by major league baseball. The deal hasn't been announced by the Padres, FS San Diego or MLB, but I'm told it was OK'd a week ago.

Newhan

Fellow blogger Ross Newhan spoke recently with Peter O'Malley, a potential bidder for the Padres. If other prospective buyers are eyeing the Padres, Newhan doesn't seem to be hearing about them. Here's his story. As a footnote, Newhan's son, David, was an infielder for the Padres and is the franchise's hitting coach at Lake Elsinore.

Monday, May 7, 2012

O'Malley

Reports in the mainstream media have Peter O'Malley attempting to buy the Padres, with an intent to complete the deal by the All-Star break. I think the reports are solid.

I am not optimistic, however, that O'Malley will succeed in buying the Padres if there are other legitimate bidders. I'm not sure Bud Selig would put his weight behind an O'Malley bid.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Payback?

To the same degree that San Diegans are blessed with winter sunshine, sea breezes year-round and summers blissfully short on mosquitoes and humidity, they are obligated to suffer if they care about the Padres, Chargers and San Diego State's football team. (As for Aztecs basketball teams, until recent years they were ignored by all but a few hundred loyalists).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Boras on Padres potential

Scott Boras is baseball's most famous or infamous player agent, depending on one's point of view.