Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coverage of the Padres

To all who have checked in and read the articles I've posted here on the San Diego Padres, I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoyed reading them. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to keep up the site, I'm now the sports writer for the Frisco RoughRiders (AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers). You can find my interviews and player profiles coming up at www.rangers.scout.com.

In the meantime, for your coverage of the San Diego Padres during this 2008 season, check out my buddy Todd at www.planetpadres.blogspot.com. He does a great job with his coverage and I know you're going to enjoy reading his opinions and articles.

Thanks again to everyone who checked in here and I hope to post something on the Padres or their minor league system in the neat future.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Maddux goes 7 strong in win over Giants

Greg Maddux shook off a rough first inning and retired 19 of the last 20 batters he faced in his 7 innings of work in a 8-4 win over the San Francisco Giants in their home opener, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out five.

It was a different feel at the ballpark, a face Giants fans had gotten so used to in his tenure is no longer there and now see their team moving in a different direction. Barry Bonds was not in the Giants lineup, his face was gone from the left field wall, as was the home run counter towards right center field. A good thing for the Padres as Bonds seem to wear out Padre pitchers in the past, homering 8 times off last night's starter Greg Maddux.

Adrian Gonzalez had a big night for San Diego, going 4-5 with a HR, 2 RBI's and 4 runs scored. Khalil Greene went 2-3 with a triple and driving in 3, Jim Edmonds also had his best night thus far going 2-5 with a pair of RBI singles.

The Padres jumped on Giants' starter Matt Cain early, and often. In the 1st inning, Adrian Gonzalez hit his 2nd HR of the season, a 2-run shot to left center after a Tad Iguchi double. In the 3rd, Edmonds would single home Iguchi, Greene would follow with a sac fly that would score Adrian Gonzalez, then Kevin Kouzmanoff would score on a throwing error off the bat of Scott Hairston.

For the Giants, the only real bright spot was catcher Benjie Molina who went 2-4 with 3 RBI's. Starter Matt Cain really struggled in his 2nd start of the season, going 4 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs (4 ER) on 7 hits, striking out 5 but he also walked 5 batters.

The 2 teams will face off again tonight at 7:15pm, Randy Wolf (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will go for San Diego. The Giants will go with young right-hander Tim Lincecum (1-0, 2.25 ERA).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Padres drop 3-2 decision in series finale

The San Diego Padres had plenty of opportunities to put the Dodgers away, but the same problem this team had last year, came up to bite them again. In more than 3 innings, the Padres had runners in scoring position, but failed to bring them in.

Not only that, but Brian Giles was thrown out twice at the plate. The first time coming on a fielder's choice in the home half of the 1st inning, then again in the home half of the third. Both came off the bat of Tag Iguchi.

Starter Chris Young had his typical good outing for the Padres. Going 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks and striking out eight. Only problem is, Dodgers starter Derek Lowe matched him, going 6 innings giving up 2 runs (1 ER) on 5 hits and striking out six. Both starters didn't factor in the decision since the game was tied at 2 after 7 innings.

In the 8th, Heath Bell worked his way out of trouble and the Padres handed the ball to Trevor Hoffman in the 9th. For the 2nd time in 4 appearances, Trevor couldn't hold a team at bay. Dodgers' catcher Russell Martin would open up with a leadoff single and would be sacrificed over to 2nd. Then Chin Lung-Hu would single, scoring Martin from 2nd and giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th, which was secured by closer Takashi Saito for his first save of the 2008 season.

The Padres will board a charter plane tonight bound for San Francisco for a 3-game set against the Giants. Greg Maddux, Randy Wolf and Justin Germano are all scheduled to pitch this week.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Peavy dominates, Padres win

If there was a question about whether or not Jake Peavy could repeat his performance of 2007, he's answered it over his last 2 starts of the 2008 season.

Peavy's last 2 starts, he's combined for 16 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, good for a 0.56 ERA and improved to 10-1 in 19 career starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 4-1 victory on Saturday. Peavy added a new pitch to his repertoire in the offseason, a changeup. Although he only used it a few times against the Astros in his first start, he mixed it in well against the Dodgers tonight.

Catcher Josh Bard, “He threw a couple on opening night, but I thought he did a really good job tonight. It gave him another pitch. Guys like Kent and Martin have seen his slider a lot, and it’s still the best slider in the game, but sometimes they’re cheating for it. We threw a little wrinkle in there. You can’t say enough.”

There was some controversy tonight, however. Padres' closer Trevor Hoffman had been warming up in the bullpen and was ready to go, but manager Bud Black decided to let Peavy go out and finish up his complete game. Jake said it was no disrespect to Hoffman, but more the confidence Black had in Jake.

Padres' pitcher Jake Peavy, “We have the best closer of all time down there, man. The guy’s as good as it gets. Division opponent, save situation. It’s tough to get back out there, but I appreciate Buddy showing the confidence in me. That’s absolutely no disrespect for No. 51. I just appreciate the confidence that Buddy showed in me. It was a good win for the boys. No doubt, we had to have it. Got to win this one to have a chance to come out tomorrow and win the series.”

Manager Bud Black, “We would have felt good either way. It was good to give the bullpen a day off and I think it was good that Jake felt good about his stuff. You combine all that and our decision after eight that he felt strong.”

The Padres will finish up the 3-game set against the Dodgers tomorrow afternoon from Petco Park. The Padres will have big 6'10" right-hander Chris Young on the mound while the Dodgers will counter with Derek Lowe. Game time is 1:05pm.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Series Preview: Padres v Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers come to town tonight for the first of 3 games ending on Sunday afternoon.

In Game 1 tonight, scheduled to start at 7:05pm. Justin Germano will make his first start of 2008 for the San Diego Padres. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they will counter with their Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda who is not only making his first start for the Dodgers but in the big leagues in general.

On Saturday, a matchup a lot of people will be keeping their eyes on, the Padres will have ace Jake Peavy making his 2nd start of 2008 and will be opposite Brad Penny for the Dodgers. Both pitchers won their first start and neither allowed an earned run.

On Sunday afternoon, Chris Young will take the ball for the Padres while the Dodgers will have Derek Lowe on the hill. Game time for Sunday will be 1:05pm.

Series Recap: Padres win 3 of 4 from Houston

The San Diego Padres got their 2008 season off to a good start this week, winning 3 of their 4 games against the Houston Astros.

On Monday, Jake Peavy outpitched Astros' ace and close friend Roy Oswalt and got help offensively.

On Tuesday, Chris Young was unusually wild, but held it together enough to get the win in a 2-1 victory with Trevor Hoffman getting the first save of 2008.

On Wednesday, it looked like the Padres were well on their way to winning their 3rd straight, coming back from a 3-0 deficit and taking a 6-5 lead into the 9th inning. Trevor Hoffman came into the game, wasn't given a called 3rd strike to one batter, Adrian Gonzalez just missed a line drive that would have ended the game and Lance Berkman made the Padres pay for it. He hit a 2-out 3 run HR off Hoffman to give the Astros a 9-6 lead, Hoffman was pulled after that bat at bat. As you might imagine, the Hoffman haters were out in full force after that game, calling the talk shows with "Trevor is done," "why is Trevor still the closer."

One night later, on Thursday night, the Padres wrapped up the series with a 3-2 victory and guess who got the save. Trevor came right back out the next night and made up for it, going right through the 9th inning with ease and picking up his 2nd save of the season. Kevin Kouzmanoff also hit his first HR of the season, a 2-run shot in the 1st inning off Astros' starter Shawn Chacon. Scott Hairston also had a big game, coming up a HR shy of the cycle, going 3-3.

Tonight, the Dodgers come to town in a matchup a lot of people are talking about. Justin Germano will get the start for San Diego (3-1) while Japanese starter Hiroki Kuroda makes his first start as a Los Angeles Dodger (2-1).

Monday, March 31, 2008

New season brings new faith, potential

It's morning, sun slowly coming up over San Diego and already movement has begun at Petco Park this Monday morning.

Some employees have already made their way in, looking over last minute preparations, make sure everything is where it should be, making sure the ball park is ready. The grounds crew will make their final checks of the field, raking the field, checking for any hard packed dirt and making sure the grass is cut just so. It's Opening Day 2008, the baseball season has returned.

Players are slowly waking up, cooking breakfast for their families, taking their kids to school, but there's an unfamiliar feeling in the pit of their stomachs, something they haven't felt since early October. It's the nervous feeling right before a ball game, they know it's time to put the 2007 season and all they've learned during spring training behind them. They know, at 7:05pm PST, the marathon to a 162 game season begins on March 31st, 2008.

In just a few short hours, the already bustling streets of downtown, packed with business men and women walking or driving to work, with be crowded with cars taking Padre fans to Petco Park. The restaurants just opening this morning know what's in store for later today. Fans that couldn't get tickets for Opening Day, will crowd their floors and tables, their eyes glued on their team.

The San Diego Padres will open their season tonight against the Houston Astros. Jake Peavy will get the start for San Diego, while the Astros will counter with Roy Oswalt who, oddly enough, is not only a very close friend of Peavy's but is staying at the Peavy home during this 4-game series.

It's the start of a new season, new faith in the team we've all come to love, new potential for this team to go deep into October and a new found belief that this year, will be the year.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Padres announce Opening Day roster

The San Diego Padres have announced their Opening Day roster for the 2008 season.

The first move made was to place Jim Edmonds on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 21st. He will be eligible to return to the team on April 5th.

On the roster, though unexpected through most of spring training, is outfielder Paul McAnulty. He's been on the opening day roster before, but he says this year has a whole different feel to it. "I feel like I'm in a whole new situation this year. This year, I'm going to get a chance to play a lot more. You never find out until you do it. I dedicated my whole offseason to working out and become the player these guys want me to be ... and the player I want to be, as well. Last year was just a down year, stuff like that happens. It's a question of if you can get back up or not."

Also on the roster are Rule 5 draft pick Callix Crabbe and non-roster invitee Jody Gerut, both of whom gave the Padres everything their scouts said they would during Spring Training and have earned their way onto the ballclub.


Jake Peavy
Chris Young
Greg Maddux
Randy Wolf
Justin Germano
Joe Thatcher
Cla Meredith
Wil Ledezma
Heath Bell
Trevor Hoffman
Glendon Rusch
Enrique Gonzalez

Position Players:

Josh Bard
Michael Barrett
Callix Crabbe
Adrian Gonzalez
Tony Clark
Tadahito Iguchi
Khalil Greene
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Brian Giles
Scott Hairston
Paul McAnulty
Justin Huber
Jody Gerut

Friday, March 28, 2008

Justin Germano named 5th starter

Padre fans can finally put the debate of "who will be the 5th starter" to rest. According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, the San Diego Padres have named Justin Germano as their 5th starter for the 2008 season.

Germano had a great start to the 2007 season, impressing everyone that watched him pitch, but maybe National League hitters figured him out because he really struggled through August and September.

He's done so well through spring training, he has really earned the 5th spot in the rotation and I think he's learned so much through last season that he'll put that all together and be even better in 2008. He's not relying so much on throwing curveball/slider, he has picked up a changeup and is throwing it for strikes and it has really become an out pitch, not to mention that he has increased his velocity on his fastball by at least 3 MPH according to scouts.

The question that this brings up is, when Mark Prior is ready to go, what happens to Germano? Does he get shipped out in a trade, does he slide into the bullpen? What we do know at this point is, he'll be the 5th starter for the Padres at least until the end of May or beginning of June. After that, we'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Padres close to wrapping up spring schedule

The San Diego Padres have all but decided their 25-man roster prior to their opening series against the Houston Astros next week.

There are a few positions that still need to be decided, and those changes may not be what the team first thought, especially with Edmonds feeling almost 100% and says he's ready to go for Opening Day. If that's the case, the previous idea that Jody Gerut, Callix Crabbe and Paul McAnulty would all make the team may have to be looked at again and re-decided.

The other final decisions that need to be made will be on the bullpen. They seem to have the players they want, but it just needs to be finalized. When you have guys like Cla Meredith, Glendon Rusch and Adam Bass pitching as well as they have, on top of Heath Bell and Trevor Hoffman, it's going to be a strong bullpen yet again in 2008.

I think a lot of the national media is taking this Padres team lightly, but this team is going to be stronger than that of the 2007 team, I have no doubts about that. A stronger, more determined Jake Peavy, Michael Barrett should have a better year, they'll have 1 second baseman (Iguchi) instead of a platoon, Kevin Kouzmanoff showed his ability, a healthy Jim Edmonds will go a LONG ways.

There are so many things that make this team the best in the NL West, but they need to put it all together to make that happen, not to mention to go deep into the playoffs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Looking for new music?

I know, I know, this isn't something I would normally post here, but I think it's worth the look to people who are interested.

For any of you wanting new music to listen to or any local bands that are looking for someone that can put together a demo video for you, this will give you both.

The band is called "The Breach" the song is called "Blue Eyes," take a listen and I hope you enjoy it.

On the flip side, the guy that directed the music video is Evan Kaufmann who is one of the best directors in the Dallas area. You can reach him here if you're interested in having someone professional to work with.

Padres make more roster cuts

The San Diego Padres moved one step closer to finalizing their 25-man roster for the start of the regular season that opens on Monday.

The Padres optioned infielders Oscar Robles, Craig Stansberry and Brian Myrow to AAA Portland, as well as assigning outfielder Chip Ambres and pitchers Adam Bass and Shawn Estes to their Minor League camp.

Also, with Jim Edmonds possibly starting the year on the DL, it means that Callix Crabbe, Jody Gerut and Paul McAnulty could all make the team and may share duties in left field with Scott Hairston starting in Center to replace Edmonds.

Adam Bass also could find his way onto the roster, especially since Rule 5 draftee Carlos Geuvara could start the year on the DL.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Padres pick up Black's 2009 option

Going into his 2nd season as the manager of the San Diego Padres, Bud Black has already made an impression on not only the fans of San Diego, but the Padres' brass as well.

It was announced today that the Padres have picked up Black's option for the 2009 season, but don't count out a long term deal before the end of this season.

GM Kevin Towers, "I think he's handled it very, very well. I think that for the first year, you couldn't ask for more. To have us where we're at right now, he's done a remarkable job."

"While we exercised Buddy's option for next year, we believe that he will continue to grow and develop as a Major League manager for many years to come. He has exceeded our expectations, and we are excited for the future of the Padres under his guidance."

Padres option Headley

The San Diego Padres made one of their more difficult decisions on Monday, optioning top prospect Chase Headley to their minor league camp.

What that means for the Padres is young outfielder Jody Gerut will possibly be the starter in left field when the 2008 season opens.  

The move was certainly no reflection on the way Headley performed in major league camp, but the Padres want to give him more time in the outfield in AAA Portland.  How long he will be with Portland before getting the call up to San Diego will be unknown, at least through the first month of the season.  Depending on injuries, he could get the call up as soon as May or as late as June or July.  The biggest factor will be the health of center fielder Jim Edmonds and right fielder Brian Giles.

Headley has to be disappointed with this move, especially because he performed at a higher level than a lot of us, Padres' brass included, thought he would.  He showed that he can make the adjustment from being a 3rd baseman to a left fielder and not be a complete defensive liability.

This can't get him down though, he needs to start the year in Portland and do everything that he's done in major league camp, show that he is ready and that he can play at a very high level.  Once he shows that, the Padres will have no choice but to bring him back up and let him be the left fielder of the future.

Wolf pitches 6 scoreless in 4-4 tie

Randy Wolf seems to be pitching himself out of the funk he's been in lately, today was the best day he's had thus far.

The Padres' left-hander went 6 innings today against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and was not scored upon, giving up just 5 hits, walking 1 and striking out two. Glendon Rusch, who came in in the 8th inning, continued his impressive pitching. He pitched a perfect inning, striking out 2 and lowering his spring ERA to 0.79.

Offensively for San Diego, Khalil Greene went 2-for-2 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Tony Clark and Tadahito Iguchi also collected 2 hits each for the Padres, Clark had an RBI. Brian Myrow added a HR in the 8th inning, his 1st of the spring, upping his spring batting average to an even .400.

The Padres will stay in Peoria to face the Kansas City Royals, game time will change to 7:05pm. Justin Germano will get the start for the Padres and is scheduled to go 6 innings.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cubs' 6-run 1st does in Maddux, Padres

Greg Maddux's former team didn't waste any time jumping all over him in the 1st inning. The Padres' right-hander gave up 6 runs (1 ER) in the first inning alone, allowing the first 5 Cub batters to reach base.

Maddux finished the day giving up 7 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4 in 4 innings of work in a 7-3 loss. Wil Ledezma, Trevor Hoffman and Enrique Gonzalez combined for 5 shutout innings behind Maddux, giving up just 5 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.

Cubs' right-hander Jason Marquis also had a rough first inning, giving up all 3 Padre runs in the 1st inning, a 3-run HR by 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez his first of the spring. His next 3 1/3 innings were almost perfect, giving up just 1 hit and striking out five.

Next up for San Diego, they'll be in Tempe to face the Los Angeles (don't call me Anaheim) Angels. Left-hander Randy Wolf will get the start for the Padres, Ervin Santana will go for the Angels. Game time is 1:05pm.

Headley likely to start the year in Portland

Chase Headley was moved from a place where had become comfortable to a place he had only played once at the University of Tennessee.

The third baseman turned left fielder has done nothing but impress the Padres' brass on how well he's handed playing left field during spring training. The conditions are unlike anything he'll face at Petco Park, but he's shown that not only can he track down fly balls in Arizona conditions, but his arm strength has improved. So much so that he threw out a runner at the plate this past Thursday. He's also impressed at the plate, out slugging every other player that remains in the big league camp.

You would think that with his hitting and impressive fielding, that he would have done enough to earn a spot on the Padres roster when they open the season at the end of March, but according to manager Bud Black and general manager Kevin Towers, it's more likely that Headley will open the season with AAA Portland.

Manager Bud Black, “The only question we have to answer ourselves is can the jump be made from Double-A to the major leagues with a position change on Day One? It's only a matter of time before this guy gets an opportunity in the big leagues.”

GM Kevin Towers, “He's validating pretty much what type of offensive player I thought he was. He's able to get into good hitting counts almost every at-bat and he's driven the ball from both sides of the plate.”

“All of this is going to take time. I don't know that he's going to learn a new position in a month. It takes time. He has a chance down the road to be an average defender out there. It certainly hasn't been a disaster.”

There's one thing that the Padres could be looking at is Headley's strikeout rate. He struck out every 3.8 at bats, striking out 13 times in 42 at bats included a 3 strikeout game against the Brewers this past Friday.

Do I think he's done enough to earn a spot? Absolutely, but I also think that Headley getting more time in Portland to hone his skills is also a good thing. The Padres don't want Headley in San Diego as a bench player, they want him starting every day, but they won't throw him to the fire too quickly.

The Padres are yet to make the decision on Headley, but the Padres need to make their roster decisions by this coming Thursday, so look for that to come down on Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

Padres release DaVanon, Fick

The Padres made 2 more roster moves on Saturday, leaving them with 40 players in big league camp.

They released veterans Jeff DaVanon and Robert Fick, deciding not to option them to their minor league camp because they already had the depth in their minor leagues and didn't want to take at bats away from their young players coming up.

Manager Buddy Black, "They're two veteran players that came into camp that were battling for positions on our club. They both acted and played with great professionalism, as they are, but the staff and Kevin Towers, we decided it probably wasn't going to work for either of those two as we move closer to March 31. We decided to do it at this time."

Black continued, "We felt our situation at Triple-A was pretty set with the number of young players we're going to have there, both in the outfield and in Fick's case behind the plate. Those guys probably wouldn't get the at-bats in Triple-A that they'd want."

CY goes 7 strong in win over Royals

If Chris Young didn't look season ready before, he does now. The big 6'10" Padres' right-hander pitched 7 strong innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi got the scoring started with a 2-run HR in the 5th inning, scoring Callix Crabbe who singled prior to the HR. The score stayed tied until the 10th inning when pinch-hitter Jose Lobaton's bloop single scored the winning run in the 10th. Adrian Gonzalez (.355) had a double and a single in 3 at bats.

Up next for the Padres, they will be at home in Peoria to face the Chicago Cubs. Greg Maddux will get the start against his former team opposite Jason Marquis. Game time is 1:05pm.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Edmonds likely to start the season on the DL

With the Padres close to the end of Spring Training games, it's looking more and more like center fielder Jim Edmonds will start the season on the disabled list.

General Manager Kevin Towers, "I think he's still a ways away from being in a game. There is still a chance that he'll be ready for Opening Day, but until he plays in some games and feels comfortable. It's tough to tell because he hasn't done any baseball-specific activities, he's just starting to do that. He's pushed it a little bit."

Towers went on to say that they want to have their 25-man roster set before they leave Arizona on March 27th. Meaning, they might put Edmonds on the disabled list retroactive to March 21st which would force him to miss the first 5 games of the regular season. Though, only 5 games being missed isn't something the Padres should be, or probably are, all that concerned about.

With that information known, the Padres could slide Scott Hairston into center field with Jody Gerut or Callix Crabbe in left. Why not Chase Headley you ask? It's seeming more and more like he'll start the year in Portland, but I hope I'm wrong about that.

Peavy roughed up in 4-3 loss to Milwaukee

Call is ineffective, call it not sharp but Padres' ace Jake Peavy didn't look like his normal, dominant, self on Friday afternoon.

The 2007 NL Cy Young Award Winner gave up 4 runs on 6 hits with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. The relievers that backed up Peavy, however, continued to be sharp. Glendon Rusch, who has been a pleasant surprise for the Padres this spring, gave up 0 runs and 0 hits through 1 2/3 innings, his ERA is a more than impressive 0.87. Joe Thatcher followed Rusch's performance, going 1 inning, no runs on 2 hits, his ERA now 2.45 this spring.

Offensively for San Diego, Kevin Kouzmanoff had a solo HR in the first inning, his 2nd of the spring, off Brewers starter Dave Bush. Paul McAnulty also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and an RBI while Josh Bard also had 2 hits with an RBI. On the down site, Callix Crabbe who had been impressive thus far, went hitless in 5 at bats. Chase Headley, after hitting a game tying pinch hit HR yesterday, went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.

On Saturday, Chris Young will face his former team the Texas Rangers in Surprise. He's scheduled to throw 5-6 innings in what should be his 2nd to last start before the start of the regular season.

Headley secures draw with Mariners

If you needed more evidence that Chase Headley is ready to play in the big leagues, and not just as a starter, he proved it on Thursday night with a pinch-hit 2-run HR in the ninth inning to secure a 6-6 tie against the Seattle Mariners.

In the 2nd inning, Josh Bard and Jody Gerut each had RBI singles and Scott Hairston had an RBI double, a 3-run inning for San Diego. Also on the offensive end, Adrian Gonzalez had 2 doubles, Brian Giles finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk in 3 plate appearances.

Justin Germano got the start for the Padres but had a rough go of things. He went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, striking out 3 and walking one.

The Mariners Ichiro Suzuki, who's had a hard time this spring, seems like he's ended that slump. He had 3 hits and scored twice, raising his spring average from .119 to .174. Raul Ibanez also had 3 hits for the Mariners in 3 at bats, Jose Vidro drove in 2 while Adrian Beltre drove in one.

The Padres and Brewers will battle it out on Friday from Phoenix. Jake Peavy will get the start for San Diego. Game time is 1:05pm.

Red Sox get $40,000, Padres got a gift bag

The Boston Red Sox threatened to boycott their spring training game yesterday because there wasn't a $40,000 stipend, the amount the players are getting, extended to coaches, trainers and staff for their trip to China.

So, with that being said, it was only normal that people wanted to know what the Padres had gotten for their trip to Beijing, China.

Padres' reliever Heath Bell “We got a gift bag. Inside was a ball, a T-shirt, two Snickers bars, a bottle of wine imported from California, a stuffed animal and a box of tea. I must have missed the money.”

Apparently, after this was said, a Major League Baseball official called the Padres and told them that the players that made the trip could expect a "small stipend."

Anyone see the Padres complain and threaten to boycott a spring training game? I didn't think so....

Kouz gets the ride of his life

Kevin Kouzmanoff has watched the Red Bull Air Races before from his apartment that overlooks the San Diego Bay Bay, but something he's never done is ride in one.

That changed earlier this week when Kouz climbed into the front seat of the plane flown by 2006 Red Bull Air Races champion and former World Aerobatics champion Kirby Chambliss for a flight over Casa Grande, Arizona.

Kevin Kouzmanoff “It was like an intense roller coaster but better. I have been a fan of the Red Bull Air Race for years and supported Kirby when he came to San Diego last year. To actually come out here and fly with him is one of the best experiences of my life.”

Matt Bush rumors untrue

The rumors yesterday that Matt Bush had no-showed to his rehab appointments was proved false yesterday.

Bush has been there every day, not missing a single appointment. Not sure why this rumor was reported in the first place, let's just hope someone isn't trying to bring him down on purpose.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Special Thank You

I wasn't sure I was going to do this, but it's the right thing to do when you close one chapter of your life and start another.

So, for those of you who are used to reading the site for updates on the San Diego Padres, forgive this one post but it's something I really need to do.

For almost 6 years, I've worked for one company located in Tustin, CA and have made friends that have made such an impression on me and who have helped shape who I am and who I'll become. To those that have effected me, this is my way of saying Thank You. Thank you for believing in what I was capable of, thank you for telling me to keep going to not let anything stand in my way and to just keep reaching for the next level or that next rung and keep pulling myself forward.

To Alisa, Christa and Bianca, thank you for watching out for me and being there for me when I needed you the most. Thank you for always lending an ear when I needed someone to talk to, especially over the past few weeks.

To Dean, Glenn and Mario, 3 of the best guys to work with and laugh with than I've ever known. As sadistic and twisted as you guys can be, there's never a dull moment and it makes coming to work that much more fun.

To Darrell, Geoff, Kyle, Tyler and Eric. There is not a better group of guys to not only be friends with, but to be on the golf course with. It's not golf, it's the comedy hour (especially Darrell's putting). There's nothing more fun than spending an afternoon on the golf course with you guys, it's something I'll miss very very much.

To Mark, someone that's not only a boss, but a die hard baseball fan just like me (I won't hold being a Yankees fan against you). From the moment I told you that Krystal and I were separating, you have been there every step of the way with advice and encouragement. Thanks for giving me the chance to work with a great bunch of people.

To the rest of the Parts Department (the best department am I right?), thank you for being such great friends and showing me that you can have fun at work every single day. Good luck in everything you guys do and know that there will never be another group like you guys.

Thank You!

Todd Kaufmann

Hensley throwing pain-free

Right-hander Clay Hensley doesn't need to look back at his appointment book to remember when his surgery was on his shoulder, he knows exactly when it took place. Nor does he need to remember how much pain he was in last season, even just brushing his teeth was excruciating.

Now, for the first time since August of 2006, he's starting to remember what it's like to throw without pain after he completed his bullpen session in Peoria earlier today. It was the first time Hensley has thrown off a mound since last season.

The smile he wears is unmistakable and when asked how he's coming along, he's all to happy to tell you. "My arm feels awesome. We got over the hump a few weeks ago as far as feeling any kind of pain or anything like that. Now it's just mechanics and getting the arm strong. We've stretched it out as far as we can go from flat ground."

Hensley continued, "I'm excited. I had absolutely no pain in my shoulder. I don't think that I knew how bad I was hurting until now. It feels good. I know it's fixed now. I know I can trust it."

What lays at the doorstep of the San Diego Padres is, what to do when Hensley is ready to make his return to the team? Not only do they have Clay returning from injury, but Mark Prior will be making his debut with the team as well, making a logjam in the starting rotation.

Will a trade be in the works? It's still too early to tell, but Hensley has made it very clear in the past that he doesn't want to be in the bullpen, he wants to be a starter. Knowing that, the Padres may have no choice but to package him in a deal to a team that needs a starter, provided the Padres can get what they need in return.

April and May could be the most interesting months for the San Diego Padres. Stay tuned...

Matt Bush a no show for his rehab?

According to Xtra Sports 1360 AM, Padres 1st round draft pick Matt Bush has been a no show to his rehab appointments.

It's unknown as to why he has not shown up, but he better have a good excuse. He's been nothing but a bust since he was drafted and this doesn't bode well to fix that reputation.

Corey Brock - Padres Beat Writer - MLB.com

Corey Brock, who covers the San Diego Padres for MLB.com, just returned from being with the team in China and took some time to do an interview for the site.

Todd Kaufmann: Corey, I have to start out by asking this. You do the mailbag on the Padres website, getting email questions from fans. How much time does that take out of your day and give me an estimate of how many emails you get from fans for that article?

Corey Brock: I get about 100 emails a week from fans asking questions. Some aren't worthy for print for obvious reasons while some are very well thought out. I try to get to as many as possible each week. I go through a few a day, sifting through the ones I plan on answering.

Todd Kaufmann: Everyone knows the names Brian Giles, Scott Hairston, Jim Edmonds and possibly Chase Headley. The names that a lot of fans have become curious about are Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe. Do you see one of both of these guys making the team and how impressed have you been with their performance thus far?

Corey Brock: I see Gerut and Crabbe both making the team, as I think Jim Edmonds is destined to being the season on the disabled list. Honestly, even if he was on the active roster, I think both of these guys would have made it. Gerut is having a great spring and projects well as a fourth outfielder or even as part of a platoon in left. Crabbe can play anywhere but first base in the infield, some center field and has speed ... something the Padres don't have much of. I like everything I've seen from Crabbe thus far.

Todd Kaufmann: Padre fans had heard the name Cooper Brannan last year, the Marine turned pitcher in the Padres system. How is he doing so far?

Corey Brock: Haven't heard much about Brannan, but my guess is he'll be back in the Arizona League during the summer of possibly short-season Eugene.

Todd Kaufmann: Justin Germano seems the shoe-in for the #5 spot in the rotation, but when Clay Hensley and Mark Prior are healthy and ready to contribute, will Prior automatically get the spot or will the Padres possibly turn it into a 6-man rotation with Hensley and Wolf swapping starts or Hensley/Prior?

Corey Brock: I wouldn't say Germano is a shoe-in for that fifth spot, though he's done well this spring, especially lately. Wil Ledezma and Shawn Estes has are being considered. I think Prior will have to show he's healthy and capable of having success no matter where he's put in the rotation, even more so if that fifth starter is doing well. Hensley is still a ways off from being mentioned in this group because he's further behind Prior from a rehabilitation standpoint.

Todd Kaufmann: We saw what Kevin Kouzmanoff was capable of doing last year after his rough start in April. Are we just seeing the tip of the iceberg with Kouz as far as his talent and capabilities?

Corey Brock: I see no reason why Kouzmanoff can't continue to develop as a hitter with a year under his belt, knowing the National League pitchers, knowing more what to expect. I don't know what he projects to offensively, but I would think it's close to his 2007 numbers.

Padres Blog Mailbag

This is something I've tried to do in the past with another site, but haven't had any success to this point, but I'm hoping Padre fans are better at this.

With the interviews I do, I usually ask myself what questions Padre fans would ask if they were doing the interview. So, with that being said, I want to hear what you Padre fans want to know. You can send your questions to prosportsbeatmlb@gmail.com or you can send questions for me in general, which I would also love to answer.

I'll take any questions or comments you may have up until Friday March 28th. Then I'll post them on Saturday March 29th.

Start sending those questions or comments in Padre fans. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.


2008 regular season right around the corner

Padre fans, get excited. We're just inside 2 weeks from the start of the regular season and another season of San Diego Padres baseball.

The starting rotation is set with the exception of the #5 spot, though Justin Germano seems like the favorite to land there. The good news is, the Padres still have Clay Hensley and Mark Prior who are likely to make their debuts in the first part of May.

The left field battle seems more competitive than even the Padres' themselves expected. Scott Hairston, Chase Headley, Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe not to mention Paul McAnulty are all making their arguments for a spot on the team. Hairston is a lock to be on this team when the season opens, Headley has played out of his mind even surprising people defensively in left but I expect he'll probably start the season in AAA Portland. Callix Crabbe is a Rule 5 draftee and has lived up to expectations and scouting reports. He can play all 3 outfield positions and fill in in the infield if necessary so he gives the Padres another versatile player. Lastly, Jody Gerut has shown flashes of power as well as gap to gap hitting all spring, showing that he may just make this team out of spring training.

It's looking more and more like Josh Bard and Michael Barrett will split more time behind the plate than they did during the 2007 season, which might bode well for both. Bard may have tired a little bit last season because he was the every day catcher until Barrett came on board. With both splitting time, look for both to have great years offensively.

Lastly, I think the bullpen has yet to be decided. Players like Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell and Cla Meredith have their spots assured, but who will fill out the rest of the bullpen that was among the best in baseball in 2007. Kevin Cameron and Justin Hampson are still recovering from injuries, so both of those players are far from automatics. If I had my guesses, I'd say probably Wil Ledezma, Joe Thatcher and Carlos Guevara are probably three that will probably get bullpen spots in 2008.

Out of the new additions to the Padres for 2008, here's my prediction for who has the biggest year and biggest impact for San Diego. I'm really excited about Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe because it gives them speed and additional pop off the bench and they don't lose much defensively. Tadahito Iguchi gives them much better defense at 2nd base and a steady name instead of using a platoon like the Padres had to do last season. Jim Edmonds, if he can stay healthy, and that's a HUGE if, he gives them huge power in the middle of the lineup and protection for Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff, not to mention hitting in front of Khalil Greene. But, the one guy that is going to make the biggest impact for this team is former DBack Tony Clark. He gives the Padres a great option to backup Adrian Gonzalez at 1st base, both offensively and with the glove. He's one of those guys you don't want to see going to the plate late in the game if you're a pitcher. He's going to be one of the more underrated moves this offseason and will make a HUGE impact on the San Diego Padres.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ledezma dominates in Padres' 5-0 win

Though Justin Germano is being looked at as the favorite for the #5 spot in the Padres' rotation, Wil Ledezma just made his case to why he could fill that role just as good.

A few days after Justin Germano looked like a lock for the #5 spot in the Padres rotation, Wil Ledezma showed why he may still be a name worth talking about. The left-hander went 4 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits, striking out 3 and walking 2.

Offensively for San Diego, outfielder Paul McAnulty led off the 6th inning with a solo HR, his 4th of the spring. Tony Clark went 2-for-3 with a single and an RBI double, Michael Barrett had a 2-run double today as well in a 1-for-2 day.

For the White Sox, John Danks got the start and was jumped on immediately for 3 runs in the 1st inning, though he would settle down giving up just 1 run in the next 4 1/3 innings though he did strike out 7 Padres in his total 5 1/3 innings of work today.

The Padres will have an off day tomorrow, though several big leaguers are expected to play in a minor league game at the Peoria Sports Complex. Left-hander Randy Wolf will get the start in that game, infielder Edgar Gonzalez will get the start in the infield.

Padres make roster changes

The Padres have 42 players still in major league camp, 35 of those are already on the 40-man roster, the 7 remaining are battling for the final 2 spots.

The San Diego Padres came back from China and immediately got to work at narrowing down their roster to 40.

The start of those moves was Edgar Gonzalez, the older brother of Padres 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who was reassigned to minor league camp. Pitcher Mark Gardner was outrighted back to the New York Yankees, which had to happen if he wasn't going to make the Padres roster since he's a Rule 5 draftee.

Here are the remainder of the moves....


Paul Abraham
Arturo Lopez
Wade LeBlanc
Marshall McDougall
Matt Antonelli
Mike Baxter
Will Venable
Drew Macias
Vincent Sinisi
Nick Hundley
Jose Lobaton

Optioned to the Minors:

Colt Morton (Portland)
Mauro Zarate (Portland)
Ernesto Frieri (San Antonio)
Wilton Lopez (Lake Elsinore)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Estes' struggles continue, Padres lose 8-4

It's becoming less and less likely that Shawn Estes will be with be Padres come Opening Day, but Callix Crabbe is making the Padres' decision harder with each performance.

Padres left-hander Shawn Estes, who was supposed to start the rained out game on Sunday, pitched on Monday against Arizona, where his struggles continued.

Estes gave up 4 runs on 10 hits through 4 2/3 innings, his ERA climbing to 15.00 this spring. He could stay with San Diego and start the year in Portland, but I can't imagine that will be the case. Estes may try to lock on with a team needing another starter, or hang up the cleates for good.

On the bright side for the Padres, Glendon Rusch continues to impress. He went 2 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. His ERA during spring...an impressive 1.04. Cla Meredith also got an inning of work in, giving up 2 runs (0 ER) and striking out 1, his spring ERA is 1.50.

Offensively for San Diego, Callix Crabbe continues to show why he should earn a spot on the Padres 25-man roster when they break camp in a few weeks. Crabbe finished the day going 3-for-3 with 2 singles and an RBI double, upping his spring batting average to .415. Jody Gerut homered to lead off the 6th inning, his 3rd of the spring. Both of these guys are showing why the Padres may not need to make a trade for another outfielder, they can do the job just fine in a fill in role.

Brian Giles made his first cactus league start for the major league squad, going 0-2 and making a play in right field. It's still unknown whether he'll be ready to go on Opening Day.

Up next for San Diego, they will be in Tucscon to take on the White Sox, Wil Ledezma is scheduled to start for San Diego opposite left-hander John Danks for the Sox.

Jack Cronin - Executive Producer XX Sports Radio

Jack and I go back a LONG ways. He's come a long way since the both of us grew up in Fresno, CA. Being the Executive Producer at XX Sports Radio, I thought I'd get his opinion on the 2008 San Diego Padres.

Jack Cronin: First of all, Todd Kaufmann is a guy I have known since 1st grade, going all the way back to Fresno, California. Todd was always the best athlete we had in grade school so there was never a question as to who was going to be the quarterback or the point guard and run our team. I know what a huge Padre fan Todd has become since moving here to Southern California and it is great to see him now get into the business of covering sports. I just got back yesterday from my trip to Spring Training, so I will try my best to shed some light on these topics.

Todd Kaufmann: I'm flattered J.C., it's been a long road for us both since those days, but I think we're going down the paths neither one of us imagined. Let's get started with the Padres.

Padre fans have heard so much about Chase Headley, but a couple of names that have seemed to go unnoticed are Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe. Are these 2 players that will be a big impact for the San Diego Padres in 2008?

Jack Cronin: We will have to wait and see if they make the 25-Man roster to begin the year for the Padres. Callix Crabbe is a Rule-5 guy which means a team must keep that player on their Major League Roster for the entire season or he would be offered back to his original team. I think Crabbe has a great chance of making the team based on that and that fact that he can play almost every position. San Diego is going to carry 12 pitchers for the first part of the season, if not the whole year, so they need versatile guys like Calix Crabbe.

Jody Gerut signed a minor league deal with the Padres, so he is going to have to work very hard to break through to the 25-Man roster. With guys like Paul McAnulty, Chase Headley & Scott Hairston all in front of him, I think it is going to be hard for him to break into that rotation.

As far as Paul McAnulty is concerned, he has impressed here in the Spring with the bat, and is out of options, so Kevin Towers told us that it is almost guaranteed that McAnulty will begin with year with the big league club because if they want to send him back down, they must pass him through waivers, and other teams would jump at the chance to pick him up.

Todd Kaufmann: Brian Giles is at the end of his contract, but the Padres hold a team option on him. In your opinion, is he back for the 2009 season?

Jack Cronin: The Padres hold a 9-Million Dollar Club Option on Brian Giles for 2009 (with a 3-Million Dollar Buyout), and they have made really no mention of how they are going handle that situation. My guess is that he will not be back at 9 Million Dollars. The Padres have embraced the Moneyball philosophy and have taken that even further by making a commitment to developing their farm system and using their own guys. That being said, if they can get Brian Giles back at a much lower rate, I think they would jump on it. I talked to a lot of people at Spring Training, and asked them about the knee injury to Giles, and nobody was surprised that he came back so soon from such a major surgical procedure. He is the type of ballplayer that coaches and teammate love and I am sure they would want him back. Plus he has proved effective at the leadoff position in his short time in that role.

Todd Kaufmann: Assuming Peavy, CY, Maddux and Wolf will occupy the first 4 spots in the rotation, who do you see winning the #5 spot?

Jack Cronin: Kevin Towers joined Darryl Sykes & I while we were broadcasting live from Peoria, and he told us that until Mark Prior is ready around June 1st, Justin Germano has by far the best shot at that 5th spot in the rotation. Germano had another good outing in China and it is almost a guarantee that he will be starting the season in the rotation.

Todd Kaufmann: When Edmonds went down with an injury, rumors started that the Padres were looking to make a trade for a center fielder. Was there any indication from the Padres that they were going to go that route, or were they always inclined to let guys like Gerut, Crabbe and Hairston battle for it?

Jack Cronin: The plan right now is to have Scott Hairston play in Center, with Paul McAnulty or Chase Headley in Left (And Brian Giles in Right). The Padres have the luxury of being able to send Chase Headley down to AAA-Portland because he has options and needs time to take reps in the outfield.

Offensively, he is ready to play in the majors, but they are still evaluating him defensively. Headley could start the season as the opening day Left fielder, but he will not start the year with the big league team as a bench player, he needs the time to develop and won’t do that as a Pinch Hitter.

I would like to see the friars stay with their guys, Headley, Hairston, Edmonds, Giles, McAnulty & Crabbe instead of a trade, but you never can rule out a late offer at the end of Spring Training.

Todd Kaufmann: What's your prediction for this team in 2008?

Jack Cronin: The National League West will be a dogfight, but with the arms the Padres have, they will be right in it. I don’t see why the Padres can’t get back to the Playoffs as the Champions of the National League West.

Dan Hayes - San Diego North County Times

Dan Hayes with the San Diego North County Times, stopped by for another update on the 2008 San Diego Padres.

Todd Kaufmann: I know a lot of fans keep hearing and reading about Chase Headley. In your estimation, has he impressed enough this spring to warrant being on this roster on Opening Day?

Dan Hayes: Headley has absolutely impressed enough this spring with the bat to warrant a spot on the roster. He's done a pretty decent job in the outfield too, but he still needs to be tested. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the Padres had Headley in Triple-A Portland for a little seasoning to start the year off. That way his learning curve doesn't come at the expense of major league wins and losses.

Todd Kaufmann: The last time we talked, you had Shawn Estes being the #5 guy in the Padres rotation when the regular season opened. Has that opinion changed?

Dan Hayes: Estes has gotten off to a rocky start. Essentially, he's pitching like a guy who hasn't competed in two years which has pushed him back a little. Right now the Padres are happy with the spring put forth by Justin Germano and he's the current frontrunner. He's only allowed a run over his last nine innings and the Padres like how he's using his change-up more often and his curveball less.

Todd Kaufmann: Wade LeBlanc is getting his first start this spring against the Oakland A's this afternoon. Any chance he's a Padre when the season opens or do you think he needs time in Portland before he makes the jump to San Diego?

Dan Hayes: LeBlanc has opened a lot of eyes around camp this spring and a lot of it has to do with his change-up. Kevin Towers likes his makeup and thinks he's a middle of the rotation guy in the future. I don't think he makes this club out of camp if everyone stays healthy. But Leblanc sounds like the team's top option if someone goes down.

Todd Kaufmann: A guy that Padre fans have been keeping their eye on, if for no other reason than his last name, is Edgar Gonzalez. From what you've seen, has he done enough to make the team or do you think he's too far on the outside looking in?

Dan Hayes: Edgar's in a tough spot. He's one of 13 guys scratching and clawing for two, perhaps three bench spots. He's got great credentials with the bat but his defense isn't quite at the same level. Don't get me wrong, Gonzalez's glove is solid but just not spectacular. One upside he offers is that he's versatile. He has played every infield position thus far and made an appearance in the outfield. And I've heard he's even willing to throw on the catcher's mask to act as the team's emergency backstop. That could help him make the squad.

Todd Kaufmann: Brian Giles and Trevor Hoffman are both at the ends of their respective contracts, but the team does hold options on both players. Will either player be back with the Padres in 2009 or is this the swan song for both?

Dan Hayes: I could see Giles coming back it would be after the team selected to buy him out for $3 million and then re-signed him for a cheap deal. There's no way the Padres will pay $9 million for him. If Hoffman were to have a down year, I could see them handing the job over to Heath Bell because he'll be significantly cheaper and seems to have a closer's makeup. But if Hoffman has another solid year I'd think the team might be hard-pressed to let him walk. He is the San Diego Padres. And even though the Padres are paving the way for this to be Jake Peavy's team, it'd be tough to get rid of Hoffman when he's still performing well. I think odds are better that Trevor returns.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mark Prior encouraged by his work

The Padres right-hander, and often injured Mark Prior has been encouraged by how his throwing sessions have gone thus far.

Prior hasn't started throwing to hitters yet, but he says he's happy with the way he's been throwing. He doesn't quite have the movement or velocity he's had in years past, but like Greg Maddux, velocity isn't everything.

Team trainers as well as the Padres' coaching staff will decide when Prior will start seeing live hitting.

Prior is expected to miss the entire month of April, but could be back the first part of May, which means the Padres could get both Prior and Hensley back at the same time.

Hensley could start throwing soon

The right-hander, who had surgery for a torn labrum this past off-season, could begin throwing off the mound as early as this week.

There's time time table for Clay Hensley's return, but just the fact that he will be returning, and doing so at 100%, is good news for the San Diego Padres. Hensley suffered through the injury last season, saying the pain was so bad that it hurt just to brush his teeth.

He's been throwing off flat ground including a few long toss sessions, but he's ready to get back on the mound, just to see how his shoulder is going to react.

I would expect Hensley to start the year on the 15-day DL, but he could be back as early as late April or perhaps the first part of May. Whenever he does come back, the Padres will get that much stronger with him on board.

LeBlanc roughed up, Padres lose 9-3

Young left-hander Wade LeBlanc didn't have quite the first start he was hoping for, Padres got into an early hole and couldn't recover.

LeBlanc gave up 5 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits, lasting just 2 2/3 innings. Things didn't get any better for San Diego when minor league reliever Mike Johnston came in to relieve LeBlanc, promptly allowing 6 batters to reach base before finally getting the 3rd out in the 3rd inning. Carlos Guevara went 2 innings, giving up 0 runs on 1 hit, striking out 2 and walking 2.

Offensively for San Diego, Tony Clark upped his spring batting average to .429, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the 5th. Callix Crabbe and Chip Ambres also picked up RBI's for the Padres. Crabbe doubled in Robert Fick in the 3rd, Ambres homered in the 7th his first of the spring.

The A's got big output from Brooks Conrad and Mike Sweeney. Conrad went 2-for-5, hitting a 3-run HR along with an RBI double. Sweeney also homered, a 2-run shot off Padres' starter Wade LeBlanc.

Next up for San Diego, the Padres will travel to Tucscon and Hi Corbet Field to take on the Colorado Rockies. Left-hander Shawn Estes will get the start for San Diego. Jake Peavy will also be on the mound, though he will be pitching in a minor league game at the Peoria Sports Complex. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:05pm. Also, a little less than an hour from now, the Dodgers and Padres will play the final game between the 2 squads from Beijing, China.

Headley, Crabbe homer Padres fall to Brewers

Has Chase Headley proved, once and for all, that he is worthy of an Opening Day spot with the San Diego Padres?

Chase Headley hit another monster spring training blast, this time a 400+ ft HR in the third inning his 3rd of the spring. Is there any question that Headley deserves a spot on the Padres roster come Opening Day? Callix Crabbe also homered for the Padres in the 7th inning, it was his first of the spring.

Randy Wolf got the start for San Diego, giving up 3 runs (2 ER) on 4 hits through 4 innings of work, getting the loss in a 6-2 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers. Adam Bass and Dylan Axelrod combined for 0 runs on 1 hit, striking out 3 in 2 combined innings for the Padres.

On the Brewers' side, Claudio Vargas continued his successful spring training. He held the Padres to just 1 run through 5 innings of work, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 3. He improves to 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA this spring.

Next up for the San Diego Padres, young left-hander Wade LeBlanc will get his first start of the spring against the Oakland Athletics at the Peoria Sports Complex. Game time is 1:05pm. Also, make sure you tune in for the 2nd of 2 games between the Dodgers and Padres in Beijing, China.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mark "Mud" Grant of Padres Channel 4

This was the first time I had gotten a chance to interview Mark "Mudcat" Grant, color analyst for the San Diego Padre games on San Diego Channel 4.

Not only is he the same funny, well spoken and baseball savvy person he is on the air, but he's a genuinely great person to do an interview with. Thanks again Mark!

Todd Kaufmann: When fans, like myself, watch a TV broadcast it seems like they're treating it like a job. That's not the way it is for you and Matt is it, both of you genuinely enjoy what you do?

Mark Grant: Absolutely. Matty and I have a great time in the booth doing the games. Matt is one of the best baseball announcers, if not everything outside baseball and he's a great guy to work with.

We're not only announcers, but we're fans of the game. We may joke around and be funny, but if I were to put in a game tape I can guarantee that it's 90% baseball. We know that we have an audience to cater to and we want to make sure that they have as much fun watching the Padres as we do.

Todd Kaufmann: Speaking of broadcasting, you stopped playing in 1994 and did a radio show on KFMB as well as Padre broadcasts. What made you want to get back into playing again in 1995?

Mark Grant: I had elbow surgery, I want to say, in the Spring of 1994. I took that year off to rehab, did the KFMB thing but I was only 30 years of age at the time, so I wanted to give it one more shot.

When I started feeling pain in my arm again in 1996, that's when I decided to hang it up for good.

Todd Kaufmann: As a player, you've experienced what it's like to be traded. How hard is it on a young player to be traded and have to move to another city?

Mark Grant: The first time is devastating, because you want to work your way up to the big league club and see your hard work through the minors pay dividends. You want to stay with the team that drafted you, but then you realize that there's another team that wants you and that's a good feeling as well.

I can tell you, I wanted to be a Giant for a long time but getting traded to the San Diego Padres (1987) was the best thing to ever happen to me.

Todd Kaufmann: Being a former major league ball-player and when you and I talked briefly before you mentioned your son is also playing. What do you tell him when he's playing?

Mark Grant: Have a great time playing the game of baseball, but always give 100% effort. I will NEVER get on you for your performance, but I will get on you if you're not giving maximum effort.

If you went 0-for-10 in your first 10 at bats, I want you going up for your 11th at bat with the mindset that "you might have gotten me the first 10 times, but this time I'm going to get you." If you give up 10 straight HR's, I want you to face that 11th batter knowing you're going to get him out.

I want him to enjoy the game that I love and that I enjoyed playing for so many years, that's the most important thing to me as a dad.

Todd Kaufmann: You know I can't let you go without a Padres question. When you look back at the 2007 team and look at the 2008 team, though I know the roster isn't set yet. What jumps out at you that makes you say "this year is going to be special?"

Mark Grant: I think seeing the young players come through the Padres minor league system, guys that have a real shot of making the big league club.

Chase Headley is having a great spring and could make the team to start 2008. Paul McAnulty is also have a good spring and has a chance to break through. The other thing, I would say, is having a 100% Chris Young on the hill for the Padres, along with Jake Peavy and Greg Maddux. If CY doesn't have that oblique injury last season, just imagine what kind of numbers he puts up in 2007.

WRITER'S NOTE: Mark Grant is also an entrepreneur of the "San Diego Rally Stick" a.k.a the "Magical Shillelagh." If you're interested in picking one up for the San Diego Padres 2008 season, you can go to www.markgrantshillelagh.net.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Padres' offense quiet, fall to Cubs in the 9th

Padres' starter, right-hander Greg Maddux had to exit after 2 innings of work with a thigh bruise after getting hit with a line drive off the bat of Cubs' 1st baseman Derek Lee.

Callix Crabbe and Marshall McDougall seemed to be the only highlights for the San Diego Padres this afternoon in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

McDougall hit his first HR of the spring, a solo shot in the 7th inning against left-hander Sean Marshall, he also walked 3 times and scored on an RBI single from Callix Crabbe in the 5th. Speaking of Crabbe, he had a good afternoon as well finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI. Crabbe is currently hitting .364 this spring.

Starter Greg Maddux was scheduled to pitch 4 innings, but after leaving with a thigh bruise after 2, Mark Gardner replaced him going 2 innings and giving up 1 run on 3 hits and walking 2. Wil Ledezma pitched an impressive 4 innings, giving 1 run (unearned) on 2 hits with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.

For the Cubs, Ryan Theriot and Sam Fuld both drove in 1 run a piece, as did pinch-hitter Alex Cintron who had the game winning 2-out single in the bottom of the 9th off Padres' reliever Carlos Guevara.

Starter Jason Marquis went 4 innings allowing 0 runs on 2 hits, walking and striking out 2. Left-hander Sean Marshall went 3 innings, 2 runs (1 ER), 1 walk and 2 strikeouts for the Cubs.

Next up for the San Diego Padres, they will host the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow night at the Peoria Sports Complex. Left-hander Randy Wolf will get the start for the Padres. Game time is schedule for 7:05pm.

Also, stay tuned to San Diego Channel 4 tomorrow tonight starting at 10pm PST as the Padres will play Game 1 of 2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers from Beijing, China.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

4-run first paces Padres 11-5 win over Giants

The Padres offense wasted no time getting to Giants young right-hander Tim Lincecum.

After a Jeff DaVanon single and Tad Iguchi getting hit by a pitch, Barrett would singled home Jeff DaVanon from 2nd for a 1-0 Padres lead. Tony Clark would single to load the bases but Lincecum got Greene and Ambres out on strikes, which set the stage for Chase Headley. He hammered a bases clearing double to center to extend the lead to 4-0. It was Headley's only hit of the day in 3 AB's but he made it count.

Also having big days for the Padres, offensively, were outfielders Jody Gerut and Paul McAnulty. Gerut hit his 2nd HR of the spring, a solo shot in the 7th inning off Giants' reliever Erick Threets. McAnulty his his 3rd of the spring, a 3-run blast off Brad Hennessey in the 8th inning.

On the pitching side, Chris Young didn't look nearly as sharp as he has his previous two outings, but I'm sure getting little sleep with a newborn in the house is a legitimate excuse. CY gave up 3 runs on 4 hits in 4 innings of work. Enrique Gonzalez, Cla Meredith and Joe Thatcher combined to no hit the Giants over the final 5 innings, striking out 4.

Up next for San Diego, they will travel to Mesa to take on the Chicago Cubs. Jason Marquis is scheduled to start for the Cubs, opposite Greg Maddux for San Diego. The Padres also have Wil Ledezma, Kevin Cameron and Mark Gardner scheduled to pitch tomorrow as well. Game time is 1:05pm.

Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union Tribune

With Spring Training in it's final weeks, Union Tribune's Tom Krasovic stopped by for a Spring Training report on the San Diego Padres.

Todd Kaufmann: From what you've seen of this Padres' ballclub thus far in Spring Training. Give me a few things that you really liked and a few things that the Padres should be concerned with?

Tom Krasovic: The most significant positive development for the Padres is that Chase Headley is showing that he can be a competent left fielder. He doesn't have the footspeed to outrun the ball or overcome most bad reads, but he has generally shown decent tracking skills in very difficult conditions. His arm strength is OK, but he needs to learn how to throw the ball 200-250 without having it tail so much. That was to be expected, though. Bottom line: Because Headley is showing enough comepetence in left, his bat should come into play for the Padres at some point in 2008. As for his offense, another positive is that his swings and approach are more "orthodox" than those of Sean Burroughs and Josh Barfield. Not that being unorthodox is fatal. Obviously it isn't. But Headley has a simple, sound swing that scouts say should hold up in the majors. Burroughs and Barfield really didn't have a "load" to their swings. That's an obstacle at the higher levels, unless you're as freakishly talented as Paul Molitor or Moises Alou.

A few other positives: Left-hander Wade LeBlanc looks fairly comfortable against major-league hitters. The Padres expect him to join them at some point in 2008. Outfielder Jody Gerut is moving fairly well, always a big thing for someone who's had reconstructive surgery on both knees. He's also hit the ball hard consistently since the first intrasquad game. Outfielder Scott Hairston, who's been diverted by injuries a few times in his career, also is running well. Brian Giles and Mark Prior have had smooth comebacks, so far, from surgery -- though it's still very early for Prior, who has yet to face a hitter.

Concerns: I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Edmonds comes back from his calf strain and delivers a few big hits in the first week. That's what he did in 2003 after suffering a calf strain. But he's lost some hard-earned conditioning to this injury, and at 37, his ability to bounce back can't be what it was in 2003. Justin Hampson is off to a bumpy start, largely because he lost 10 days to shoulder tightness. Shawn Estes struck out one of his first 30 hitters. Just a hunch, but I'm not so sure things will come quite as easily for a few relievers as they did in 2007.

Todd Kaufmann: You had an article on Wade LeBlanc towards the end of February about his "stupid good" changeup. How good is this left hander and is he a legit candidate for the #5 spot in the rotation?

Tom Krasovic: He's a longshot for the No. 5 spot probably because there are veterans there who have the inside track, but Bud Black is intrigued with LeBlanc, and the front office believes he'll be up here in 2008. He does need to improve his fastball accuracy. But if you're a lefty with a good changeup and a decent fastball, you're halfway home at Petco Park.

Todd Kaufmann: What's the progress of Jim Edmonds?

Tom Krasovic: Edmonds is moving better but it still looks like at least two more weeks before he's ready.

Todd Kaufmann: How impressed are you with Chase Headley? Do you think he's a shoe-in to make the club out of spring training?

Tom Krasovic: Headley may be the most impressive position prospect I've seen from the Padres since I got the beat in January 1995 -- though Khalil Greene's defensive instincts and bat speed really jumped in the 2004 spring camp, and Derek Lee was obviously a fluid athlete with a ton of raw power. Headley is solid across the board and his power has exploded the last two springs. Sure, maybe he will strike out a tad more than you'd like, and I think some of his tendencies in this area aren't getting exposed in the Cactus League. But he's got a broad set of advanced hitting skills, and he's exceptionally mature for a 23-year-old.

Jerry Colemanisms

Padre fans, or baseball fans in general, if you've ever heard Jerry Coleman doing a Padres broadcast and thought to yourself "what did he just say," you'll enjoy this website a whole lot.

It's from Baseball-Almanac and has about a dozen or more of Jerry's best quotes during game broadcasts.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Angels rough up Peavy, Padres 8-4

Jake Peavy started the 1st inning trying to work on the command of his fastball, but after giving up 4 runs on 4 hits to the Angels, he decided it was time he stopped fooling around.

The next 2 innings of work, he held the Angels hitless while striking out three. "I couldn't let some of those guys go to bed tonight thinking, 'Man, he's kind of flat,'" Peavy said.

Glendon Rusch had an impressive outing today, going 3 innings, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 4. His spring ERA is an impressive 1.35.

Offensively for the Padres, outfielder Jody Gerut hit his first HR of the spring, a solo shot in the 1st inning off starter Jered Weaver. Colt Morton also got his first of the Spring, a 3-run shot in the 8th inning off reliever Kasey Olenberger. Chase Headley finished his day going 1-for-3, his batting average currently sits at .409.

Up next for the Padres, they'll head to Scottsdale to take on the San Francisco Giants. The Padres will have 6'10" right-hander Chris Young on the mound against 2nd year right-hander Tim Lincecum. Game time is 1:05pm.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rangers quiet Padres offense 5-2

In the first night game of the spring training schedule, the Padres offense was finally quieted, this time by the Texas Rangers in a 5-2 loss on Monday night.

Justin Germano got the start for the Friars, throwing 4 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits. He looked like he did through his first 5 starts in 2007, going 5-0 to start the season. The Padres offense, however, didn't help out much tonight.

The Padres got on the board first when Scott Hairston was hit by a pitch. Hairston would proceed to steal 2nd, advance to 3rd on a sac fly by Tadahito Iguchi and would then score on a wild pitch to Kevin Kouzmanoff for a 1-0 Padres lead.

The lead would hold up until the 5th inning, when the Rangers scored 3 runs off left-hander Shawn Estes, they would add 1 more in the 7th and 1 in the 8th for a 5-1 lead. The Padres would get 1 of those runs back in the bottom half of the 8th on back-to-back doubles by Paul McAnulty and Jody Gerut.

Some of the team, including 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez and closer Trevor Hoffman, will pack their bags tonight for an early morning flight bound for Beijing, China. The rest of the team will remain in Peoria to face the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow afternoon at 1:05pm.

On Friday and Saturday night, the Padres will face the Los Angeles Dodgers from Beijing, China. Padres Channel 4 will have the coverage starting at 10pm PST on both nights.

The Minor League Report with Denis Savage

Denis Savage of Mad Friars stopped by for our first official segment of "The Minor League Report."

Todd Kaufmann: With the way Chase Headley is playing, do you think he should be the starting left fielder for the San Diego Padres?

Denis Savage: I do believe he deserves a shot based on his offense but also believe he should get some more looks at left field in Portland to continue shoring up his defense. Asking him to be major league ready at the position with only 20 games under his belt may be a bit much to ask.

Todd Kaufmann: What's your take on Wade LeBlanc? He's been opening a lot of eyes, especially those of Padres' manager Bud Black. Is it too much for him to be thrust into the #5 spot in the Padres rotation this soon or do you think he can handle it?

Denis Savage: I think he can handle it. He has a mature approach, is very cerebral and will not be awed by the competition level.

Todd Kaufmann: The Padres released their contingent for the China trip, are you surprised at any of the names on that list and who, out of the young prospects, will get the most out of this trip in your opinion?

Denis Savage: I think this is a mistake. Players only get a certain amount of time to prepare for the year and while the pitchers may stay on track, the hitters will suffer. I am not sure I would send some of those guys and it will bear watching if they have a slow start to the year. As for who goes or stays, I am not surprised by any and I still believe they may get the trip of a lifetime but at what cost to their season?

Todd Kaufmann: Brian Myrow won the PCL Batting Title in 2007 with a .354 average. Is he a player the Padres should consider as a bench player or will they start him in AAA Portland to make sure he keeps a starting role so he stays fresh? I can't imagine they can ignore a guy like Myrow for long, especially not at a .354 clip.

Denis Savage: He has too many hills to climb to secure a bench spot. If injury occurs, however, Myrow is a fit. You can’t doubt the success he has had.

Todd Kaufmann: Kyle Blanks is a prospect that the organization is very high on, but he's blocked at first base my Adrian Gonzalez. Is he going to be another Chase Headley, where they want to see if they can make a position change with him?

Denis Savage: No way. How many 280-pound players have you seen in the outfield? It won’t happen. I expect they will eventually look to trade him.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Padres' roster released for Beijing trip

The San Diego Padres have released the names that will fly to China for a week for exhibition games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will consist of both veterans as well as young prospects.


Paul Abraham
Heath Bell
Ernesto Frieri
Josh Geer
Justin Germano
Trevor Hoffman
Wilton Lopez
Edwin Moreno
Cesar Ramos
Jared Wells
Mauro Zarate

Position Players:

Nick Hundley
Jose Lobaton
Matt Antonelli
Brett Dowdy
Kyle Blanks
Adrian Gonzalez
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Brian Myrow
Oscar Robles
Luis Rodriguez
Craig Stansberry
Mike Baxter
Scott Hairston
Drew Macias
Will Venable


Bud Black
Darrel Akerfelds
Randy Ready
Rick Renteria
Justin Hatcher

8-run outburst helps Padres over White Sox

The Padres finally got the kind of outing they've been waiting for out of left-hander Randy Wolf on Sunday. Wolf hadn't been able to get out of the first inning his first 2 outings, but this time finished all 3 of his scheduled innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits.

It was the offense that provided the biggest burst for San Diego. Kevin Kouzmanoff finally got his first HR of the spring, a 2-run shot off starter Jose Contreras in the 1st inning. Adrian Gonzalez, who had 2 hits today, along with Josh Bard and Paul McAnulty all had consecutive RBI singles in the 5 inning.

Wade LeBlanc looked impressive once again, giving up just 1 run in 3 innings of work, furthering the thought that he could be a dark horse for the #5 spot in the Padres rotation.

On Monday, San Diego will be in Peoria to face the Texas Rangers. Right-hander Justin Germano will get one last start before heading to China. Game time will be 7:05pm.

Maddux sharp again, Headley continues hot spring

Greg Maddux impressed yet again, though this time he did give up 1 run through 3 innings of work...yeah, another ho-hum afternoon for the soon to be 42-year-old right-hander.

Offensively for the Padres, young prospect Chase Headley continued his hot spring. He went 2-for-3 with a HR and a triple, driving in 3. Tony Clark hit his first HR of the spring, a 2-run shot in the 1st inning, as did Craig Stansberry in the 8th inning.

An injury note for San Diego, outfielder Vincent Sinisi, one of the Padres best outfield prospects, fractured his wrist diving for a fly ball. There's no time table on his return.

Up next for San Diego, the will be in Peoria to face the Chicago White Sox. Left-hander Randy Wolf will try to shake off 2 straight bad outings when he gets the start, the White Sox will counter with Jose Contreras.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Even with little sleep, CY still sharp

Even with a new baby at home, Catherine Elizabeth Young, and little sleep coming to Chris and Liz Young, CY looked as sharp as ever on Friday afternoon.

The big 6'10" right-hander threw 3 hitless innings, walking 1 and striking out 3, in a 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Offensively, Scott Hairston sent the first pitch he saw from DBacks left-hander Doug Davis and launched it over the 385 sign in left center, his first HR of the spring. Chase Headley broke a 3-3 tie in the 7th inning with a sac fly, Will Venable followed with a 2-run single to finish the scoring.

Next up for San Diego, they will be in Surprise, AZ to take on the Texas Rangers. Greg Maddux is scheduled to go 3 innings as is Wil Ledezma.

Edmonds out 2-3 weeks, may miss Opening Day

Edmonds pulled up lame on his way to first base on Thursday afternoon and the team originally thought it was a calf strain and scheduled the center fielder for an MRI earlier this afternoon.

According to doctors, the injury is worse than the team had first thought and could sideline Edmonds for the next 2-3 weeks or longer.

When asked if the Padres were going to look to make a trade to bring in another center fielder, Padres' GM Kevin Towers replied "We're not going to rush into it. We'll wait a week to 10 days to see how Jimmy is doing. It will give us a chance to look at these other guys to see how they handle center field."

Those other guys could include Jody Gerut, Callix Crabbe, Scott Hairston and Jeff DaVanon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wolf struggles again, Gerut continues to look strong

For the 2nd straight outing, left-hander Randy Wolf failed to get out of the first inning, giving up 4 runs on 3 hits and walking 2 in 2/3 of an inning of work in a 15-4 loss to the Oakland A's.

You have to wonder if Wolf is working on spotting different pitches or if the Padres have a legitimate reason to be concerned about their off-season acquisition.

Offensively, young outfielder Jody Gerut continues his hot spring, going 2-for-3 and a run scored, raising his batting average to .455. Edgar Gonzalez, older brother to Padres' 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, hit his first HR of the spring in the 7th inning.

The Padres will be home again tomorrow at the Peoria Sports Complex to face the defending National League Champion Colorado Rockies. Jake Peavy is scheduled to pitch 3 innings and should be followed by right-hander Glendon Rusch who is scheduled for 2 innings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Maddux effortless in Padres' 9-6 win

At 41 years of age, Greg Maddux shouldn't be making it look this easy and absolutely effortless, but that's exactly what he did this afternoon in Peoria.

Maddux threw 2 scoreless innings in his first start of the spring, needing only 18 pitches to get through both innings as the Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants 9-6.

Offensively, the team was led by newcomer Tony Clark who had a 2-run double as well as Paul McAnulty who hit his 2nd HR in as many days. New addition Tadahito Iguchi also had 2 hits for the Padres today.

Next up for San Diego will be the Oakland A's at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium tomorrow afternoon. Randy Wolf will get the start for San Diego, he should be followed by Shawn Estes and Justin Germano. First pitch scheduled for 12:05pm.

CY to become first time Dad

3.4.08 10:10pm PST

Update on CY. At 10:25am this morning, the Youngs welcomed in their new addition Catherine Elizabeth Young. She weighed in at 8 lbs and 7 oz.

3.4.08 12:57pm PST
Chris Young, who pitched yesterday afternoon against Milwaukee, has an important date on Tuesday.

He and his wife Liz are expecting their first child, Catherine Elizabeth. Young says that he and his wife had sat down with the doctors to go over his pitching schedule and since CY is scheduled to pitch on Friday, the doctors decided to accomodate and induce labor a few days early.

As for what sports she might play: “You would expect her to be a pretty good athlete, but we're not going to put any pressure on her," says Young. "I just hope she takes after her mom and she's smart, and that's it.”

Former teammate and current Brewer Mike Cameron just couldn't help but put his cents in. “They're going to have like a 7-footer that can swim. He won't get any more sleep the rest of the spring.”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hoffman struggles, Padres lose 6-2

In his spring training debut, Trevor Hoffman didn't look like the Trevor of old, giving up 4 hits and 2 earned runs in 1 inning of work.

Jake Peavy, who made the start for San Diego, pitched 2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 earned as well.

Chase Headley continued his hot start to the spring, going 2-for-2 with a couple of singles in 2 at bats. Khalil Greene, Chip Ambres and Scott Hairston all had doubles to lead the San Diego offense.

Tomorrow, the Padres will travel to take on the Brewers, Chris Young is expected to start for the Padres.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Headley leads offensive charge in 11-10 win

Another Padre pitcher couldn't get out of the first inning for the 2nd straight day. Left-hander Randy Wolf lasted just 2/3 of an inning, giving up 3 runs on 2 hits, eventually being pulled for right-hander Justin Germano who threw 2 1/3 scoreless.

The highlight for the Padres however, besides their 11-10 win over the Seattle Mariners, was top prospect Chase Headley. Headley had a 2-run HR and a 2-run double, showing the Padres' front office that he's going to try and win the LF job outright. Another bright spot was Rule 5 draftee Callix Crabbe who had the game winning double with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th.

Right-hander Cla Meredith pitched for the first time and had a scoreless inning, striking out the side. Another Padres prospect that impressed was left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who also had a scoreless inning today.

The Mariners and Padres will play again tomorrow at the Peoria Sports Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05pm.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Estes roughed up, Padres rally not enough against KC

Left-hander Shawn Estes was looking forward to facing live hitters for the first time since 2006 and to be doing it in a Padres uniform.

Estes might have been a little too excited. The Padres' left-hander lasted only 2/3 of an inning, giving up 6 earned runs on 4 hits to go with 2 walks, though the defense behind him botching 2 potential double plays didn't help matters as the Padres lost the first game of spring training 13-9 against the Kansas City Royals of the AL Central.

Offensively, there were some bright spots. Jim Edmonds just missed a HR in the first inning and had an RBI double in the 3rd. Young prospects Will Venable and Matt Antonelli both connected on HR's for the Padres. Rule 5 pick Callix Crabbe also had himself a double and reached base twice. Edgar Gonzalez, older brother to Padres's 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez, had himself a good day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk and 2 RBI's

On Saturday, the Padres will face the Seattle Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex. The start will go to left-hander Randy Wolf, who will be followed by right-hander Justin Germano who is scheduled for 2 innings.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

McAnulty deserves a chance

I know, I know, a lot of you are going to see the title and say "what is this guy thinking," but you're going to read it anyways aren't you?

I watched a lot of highlights and spoke to a lot of people who attended spring training last year and I kept hearing them say "I'm impressed with Paul McAnulty." I'd see a highlight of him running down a ball in the outfield, making an over the shoulder catch and really hitting the ball well. My first thought was, "he's going to force the Padres hand on this one." Well, he did, but not the way I had hoped.

PMac started the year in San Diego, but never got any regular playing time and only a few pinch hit appearances, a role he struggled to get used to. He was sent to Portland not long after, and that's where he remained for most of the season. Am I a big PMac fan? Absolutely. Does this make me biased? Maybe. I just think he earned a shot to show the Padres that he can be an every day guy.

A good friend of mine, and fellow Padre fan, Todd and I had a discussion about PMac earlier today, and I know he's going to shake his head at this article, but he disagreed with me that Mac was an every day player. He says Sledge outplayed Mac, and we all know how that experiment turned out. Not only did Sledge do absolutely NOTHING, but after having a hot first month, Jose Cruz Jr. didn't help matters much either. So, why not being Mac back up and give him the shot he earned during spring training?

I've come to the realization that Mac is probably more suited to the American League, especially with the DH, but I'll still be one of those fans that thinks he picked the short straw and, subsequently, got the short end of the deal. I'm hoping Mac will do the exact same thing that Jack Cust did after he was traded to Oakland, hit the cover off the ball. Cust was another one of those guys I wanted to see get a shot with the Padres, but I kept hearing that he was an inept outfielder. So, the Padres traded him to Oakland and Cust starting hitting HR's left and right, to the tune of 26 in 350+ at bats...not to shabby if you ask me.

So, if this is the last few days that we see Mac in a Padres uniform, I wish him nothing but the best to whatever team he moves on to. But, I hope, and I know I'm grasping at straws here, but if he hits the cover off the ball and plays great defense, I hope the Padres give him one more shot to prove himself.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton of Xtra Sports 1360 AM

Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, a guy a lot of Southern California sports fans have come to know, some of them love him others do not, but he was nice enough to stop by and answer a few questions on the Padres.

Padres Blog: How much credit do you give Greg Maddux to the success of Jake Peavy in 2007?

Hacksaw: Peavy is passionate about his approach to pitching. I think pitching coach Darren Balsley has had a bigger impact on him in terms of mental approach to pitching.

Padres Blog: Kevin Kouzmanoff showed why he was so highly thought of in Cleveland. How good will his sophomore season with the Padres be?

Hacksaw: The Padres patience paid off. They worked with Kouzmanoff on going the other way with pitches. After dropping as low as .111, he hit over 300 the last three months of the season and grew into a patient hitter. The bigger surprise was his mobility at defense was better than anyone thought.

Padres Blog: Assuming Mark Prior will be 100% when he makes his Padres debut. How much stronger does he make the Padres rotation?

Hacksaw: Prior could be the wildcard for Padres if he can get back by June. They will be paitient in building up his arm strength. The Padres are saying he'll have five minor league rehab starts if there are no setbacks but it takes time. Look for Shawn Estes to be back before Prior. Prior is (42-29) in his career and he's still young enough to get healthy and contribute.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spring Training Notes: Tony Clark

Tony Clark, an addition that could turn out to be one of the most underrated moves this offseason, talked about being able to play for the Padres and on the NL West.

On playing for the Padres: "I'm looking forward to it. I grew up at Jack Murphy Stadium and had an opportunity to watch the Dave Winfield's, the Tony Gwynn's and Gene Richards of the world. Although I wasn't close to the field, I always wondered what it would be like to be on the same field with them. Now, having an opportunity to wear my hometown uniform and being able to be on the field at Petco Park, it's something me and my family are excited about."

On the NL West: "I know every year when I was in Arizona, we started the season expecting the season to come down to the last few weeks because all the teams were fairly well lined up. I don't expect this year to be any different, the team that can play the most consistant baseball, down the stretch especially, is going to seperate themselves and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't have an opportunity to be the last team standing when it's all said and done."

On his pinch hitting role with the team: "There's a lot of behind the scenes work that goes in to my job, whether it be in the video room, whether it be additional work in the cages or on the field. All in preperation for that one at bat, that one pitch late in the ball game, in hopes of taking the one swing that makes the difference. Each day is a little bit different, preperation is usually the same especially with respect to a team in a 3 or 4-game series when you have a history off some of those guys coming out of the bullpen. A lot of work, I find the less at bats you get, the more work you have to put in to try and be prepared for that one opportunity to make a contribution."

On how he handles a pinch hit in a big role: "You control the controllables. I can't control where the ball is going to go or if it's going to fall in. What I can control, what I just talked about, is my preperation prior to the at bat. So that when I get in the box, I have a game plan, and it's simply a matter of trying to execute that game plan to the best of my ability in hopes that he doesn't execute his as well as I execute mine. You can't control the outcome, but the preperation prior to the at bat is going to give you the opportunity to be successful in those situations."