Friday, February 22, 2008

Denis Savage of Mad Friars

Denis Savage, who writes for, stopped by to talk about some of the players the Padre fans could look forward to seeing down the road.

Padres Blog: The name that I keep hearing about is Jody Gerut. Tell me a little about him and does he have a legit shot at making the Padres roster out of spring training?

Denis Savage: I actually got to see Gerut play all the way back in 2002 in Akron of the Eastern League - and remember nothing. What I do remember of Gerut during his time in Cleveland was a patient kid with some good pop. He wasn't a great fielder but had a pretty good arm. I think he is the odds on favorite to land a job. He has power, actually runs the bases pretty well, and will be a doubles machine with playing time in San Diego. You can't ask for more than that out of a fourth/fifth outfielder who can log some time in center. That insurance alone might be enough to get him the job.

Padres Blog: Tom Krasovic had a great article a few days ago on Paul McAnulty. I know there are some fans, myself included, who would love to see PMac get a legit shot at making the roster, but with all the outfield options the Padres have, is McAnutly just too far> on the outside?

Denis Savage: McAnulty is one of my all-time favorite people in the sport. I have had a chance to watch him grow up in the San Diego system for five years. There are few people as confident as him and fewer who have such a sweet swing. He falls out of bed and can hit the ball.
Last year, I truly believe, was an aberration. He battled injuries and got stuck in a mental funk he could not get out of. While he can hit, his defense is sub par. Not Jack Cust terrible but not averageat the major league level either. I think he gets picked up by an AL club and does some hitting to stick around for a while. It just won't happen in San Diego.

Padres Blog: Rule 5 draftee Carlos Guevara has been limited in spring> training due to a hamstring injury. Is he a guy the Padres need to> take a chance on regardless of his injury?

Denis Savage: You rarely see a kid with a screwball - so, yeah, I would love to see that since hitters just can't get a beat on the pitch. I saw him pitch in the Southern League in 2006 and this is a game I remember because I kept wondering who this kid was. He fanned five of the eight batters he faced and no one had a chance. Losing two weeks hurts, though, when you are auditioning for a bullpen spot. I just don't know if he can make up that time, and I fear he will try to do too much when he returns, resulting in Guevara overthrowing to make things happen.

Padres Blog: Let's shift to the minor leagues. Will Inman, Manny Ayala, Wade LeBlanc and Josh Geer. How quickly will we see any of the 4 names in a big league uniform?

Denis Savage: All of them have a great chance to contribute. LeBlanc gets the nod as the kid who will stick first but Geer may be the kid they initially call up with a shuttle back-and-forth to Portland punched early and often. When LeBlanc comes up, I do not expect him to go back down. Therefore, it might be late in the year. Ayala and Inman will both be in Double-A. Ayala had an injury late in the year andneeds more experience. He has a terrific changeup - better than Geer and a notch below LeBlanc. Inman had some mechanical problems and his velocity was way down last season. This season, I expect him to be the same pitcher the Brewers saw when he was in their farm.

Padres Blog: There had been a lot of talk about Matt Antonelli being able to play CF because of his speed. Are the Padres expecting him to see time in the outfield during spring training or is he strictly a 2nd baseman?

Denis Savage: Antonelli will be solely a second baseman during spring. He just got settled in the position last year, and the Padres want him to be comfortable there first. Don't, however, be surprised to see him get repetitions in center at Triple-A Portland. The fact is the 2009 centerfield free agency crop stinks, and there are no centerfield options in the farm system that are close to being ready. I expect Antonelli to eventually end up in center and have a long career. It will also open the door for one or two kids the Padres have in the farm that could be great second basemen.

1 comment:

cj said...

Liked your blog. But Jody Gerut is an above average outfielder. In Cleveland he made exciting, spectacular plays, diving all over the field. He plays the corners very well and has a plus glove hand. He can lose a ball in the sun or a wind and snatch-catch -- very impressive. He throws well, but, more, he seems to have an instinct of where and when to throw. He would contest as gold-glove candidate.