FriarBall: March 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

FriarBall has moved

Well it's official - FriarBall has a new home. While you will still get the same great commentary at the new site that you got here, I have added a couple of new features to go along with the new site. Want to know what they are? Then check out the new site at So update those bookmarks and those RSS feeds and head on over.

Spring recap No. 21: Padres 6, Mariners 6

Have we heard enough about the contributions of Chase Headley, Jody Gerut and Callix Crabbe this spring yet? Well if you haven't, Headley hit a game tying HR, Gerut and Crabbe both drove runs in. I can't imagine these guys not joining Tony Clark and Michael Barrett on the bench when the season starts.

Justin Germano had probably one of his roughest outings of the spring as he gave up 3 ER and 6 hits in 5 IP, but he also struck out 3.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What every Padres fan should know, Part 1

Let me get some housekeeping items out of the way before I start. First, this is not a guide to viewing games at Petco. Truth be told I have never been to Petco Park, I currently live in DC and I haven't seen the Padres in San Diego since 1994. In fact, I think the last game I went to was the first game of the double header in which Tony Gwynn collected his 2,000th hit.

Second, this is not a guide to being a fan in San Diego but is rather the opposite. I have lived among high concentrations of Colorado Rockies fans, Washington Nationals fans and Baltimore Orioles fans since 1994 and as such, your perspective about your team changes when you understand how other fans view your team. That is what I will talk about in this first part so without further delay, here is what fans need to know.
  1. The Adrian Gonzalez rule. The player may change but the general rule still applies, and it applies to most teams, most players are not as popular away from home. Take Gonzalez's case - he is the premier power hitter in the lineup, is a hometown boy and put up numbers comparable to a certain Crime Dog when he played in town. But outside of SD, Gonzalez doesn't compare to the league's other 1B's, or does he? Ducksnorts has a pretty good breakdown showing that Gonzalez has put up some top slugging numbers on the road. Which brings me to my second point:
  2. You will probably never convince opposing fans how good our players are until they see them in person. If you ask people in DC who the next big 3B will be, any Nationals fan is ready to argue that Ryan Zimmerman is a superstar in the making. Ask the same thing on the opposite coast and Kevin Kouzmanoff's name will dominate the conversation. I have seen both play last year in DC and guess what, they both have potential ... and they both have some work to do before they are even in a superstar conversation.
  3. Our pitching staff is overrated by us and underrated by almost everyone else. The knocks against our staff by others, Jake Peavy and Chris Young had career years and aren't that good, Greg Maddux hasn't been an ace in 10 years and Mark Prior and Randy Wolf couldn't stay healthy even if they pitched for a team made up of doctors. Well, Peavy is a perennial Cy Young contender, Young is becoming more consistent, Maddux isn't supposed to be a staff ace and Wolf and Prior don't have to carry the load so whatever innings they turn in are worth the (relatively) small investments we have made in them.
  4. The fan base actually travels well to some places. Maybe the lack of a team in the area for more than 30 years had something to do with it but for the past two years when I have gone to Nationals games against the Padres, there are just as many (if not more) Padres fans in attendance than Nats fans. We are no Red Sox nation but I know you didn't see any Pirates fans a week later when Pittsburgh came to town (but then again that was the Pirates). I can't speak for many other places but I do remember a decent fan base at Rockies games a few years back as well.
Hopefully I haven't rambled too much but these were the first things that came to mind. So now I turn the floor over to you, what are some other things every Padres fan should know? After I get some responses I will add Part 2, and you can bet there will be some info on helping Dodgers fans face reality.

Spring Training Game 21 Preview: Mariners vs. Padres

At Peoria Sports Complex, 7:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Miguel Batista (Sea) vs. Justin Germano (SD)

Germano and company are back from China just as roster moves are being made and Randy Wolf is getting extra time throwing in minor league games on days off. The competition for starting spots is getting fierce and this game could go a long way in deciding who will fill in for Mark Prior while he makes his way back from injury.

Spring recap No. 20: Padres 5, White Sox 0

You can tell we are getting close to the regular season as guys struggling to make the roster are putting up solid performances, making it harder to determine who actually belongs in SD.

Wil Ledezma set the tone for the Padres with 4 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3. No pitcher gave up more than 2 hits.

On offense, Paul McAnulty hit his 4th HR of the spring while going 2-for-3. He also scored 2 runs. Tony Clark also went 2-for-3, the only other Padre to pick up more than 1 hit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Training Game 20 Preview: Padres at White Sox

At Tucson Electric Park, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: John Danks (Chi) vs. Wil Ledezma (SD)

Still working short handed, SD will give Ledezma his 1st start of the spring as he battles for a coveted spot in the 12 man pen. Spring is winding down quickly and this is the point where performances start to count as they will determine who will stick with the big club.

Spring recap No. 19: Diamondbacks 8, Padres 4

Shawn Estes had another rough outing, this time giving up 5 ER and 10 hits in 4 2/3 IP while striking out 3. In contrast, Glendon Rusch tried to keep pace with Justin Germano as he pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2.

Offensively it was the Callix Crabbe show for SD as Crabbe went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Jody Gerut hit the only SD HR of the game, his 3rd of the spring. It appears the competition for the final bench spots are just as close as the ones for the rotation.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Training Game 19 Preview, take two: Padres at Diamondbacks

At Tucson Electric Park, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Edgar Gonzalez (Ari) vs. Shawn Estes (SD)

Estes still gets his turn in the rotation and Brian Giles officially returns to the lineup, just in time for the season to start. Estes will be followed by Glendon Rusch, weather permitting the games to be played at all. Those of you in Tucson, make sure you have an umbrella.

Spring recap No. 18: Padres 6, Dodgers 3

Alright, so the Padres leave China with a winning record over the Dodgers after beating them 6-3 sometime while most of us slept Saturday night/Sunday morning.

A bunch of minor league pitchers with no shot at making the major league roster held the Dodgers to 3 runs while Scott Hairston knocked in 2 runs, Kevin Kouzmanoff knocked in another and Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-4 at the plate.

Stateside, the game against the Rockies was rained out which in turn pushed back Brian Giles' 1st appearance this spring.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Training Game 19 Preview: Padres at Rockies

At Hi Corbett Field, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Jeff Francis (Col) vs. Shawn Estes (SD)

Padres are everywhere as Estes leads a split squad against the Rockies, Jake Peavy starts a minor league at the Peoria Sports Complex (also at 1:05 p.m. PT) and the China Team also took on the Dodgers sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, with Cesar Ramos starting.

Peavy, Chris Young and Greg Maddux are all scheduled to stay behind as the Padres travel through Tucson, instead relying on minor leaguers to power what remains of the team. Apparently the China Team will get back Monday night but may not see action until Thursday so they can get over the jetlag from the long trip.

Of course even that may not be enough time as my in-laws recently went to Malaysia on a business trip/vacation and they've been back a couple of weeks and are still getting over the traveling. Let's just hope this doesn't ruin our opener.

Spring recaps Nos. 16 and 17

So our bitter rivals to the North took us on in an exhibition game in China and how did it turn out? A 3-3 tie. Isn't that supposed to be like kissing your sister? Not that I would know what that's like but after this I might actually have an idea.

But enough rambling, looking at the box a couple of things stand out the biggest being that it looks like Justin Germano should get the opportunity to start while Mark Prior is still on the mend. He continued to be sharp in MLB's China debut, giving up 1 ER, 5 hits and 1 BB in 5 IP while striking out 5. Trevor Hoffman also found it easier to pitch in China, striking out 2 and giving up 1 BB, no hits and no runs in 1 IP.

Stateside, Wade LeBlanc didn't fare too terribly well in his first start, giving up 5 runs (2 earned) and 7 hits in 2 2/3 IP. LeBlanc showed some control as he struck out 5 while walking none but the A's picked up the win 9-3.

Tony Clark continues to have a hot spring as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI (his spring BA is now .429) and Chip Ambres hit his first HR of the spring.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Training Game 17 Preview: A's at Padres

Game 17: At Peoria Sports Complex, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Lenny DiNardo (A's) vs. Wade LeBlanc (Padres)

I didn't get up a preview for the game in China but I will have a recap later tonight. In Arizona, LeBlanc makes his first start of the spring for the big club while the guys not in China continue to hold things down.

Spring recap No. 15: Brewers 6, Padres 2

I will keep this one short because it took me so long to get to. Chase Headley hit his 3rd HR of the spring, Callix Crabbe also went yard and Randy Wolf gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 4 IP.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Training Game 15 Preview: Brewers at Padres

At Peoria Sports Complex, 7:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Claudio Vargas (Mil) vs. Randy Wolf (SD)

I hear we lost half of our team in China. Did anyone check the Great Wall? Ok we didn't really lose them, they just aren't here. The ones who are here however, will take on the Brew Crew under the "Friday Night Lights."

Alright, I'm getting off this thing now, too many bad puns hurt my head and I know, I brought it on myself.

Spring recap No. 14: Cubs 3, Padres 2

So far we've been able to avoid the injury bug, but Greg Maddux's start was cut short Thursday after taking a hit off his thigh. The injury isn't a big deal but it did cut the start short.

Offensively Callix Crabbe went 3-for-4, probably strengthening his case to remain with the team a little and Marshall McDougall hit his first HR of the spring.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Training Game 14 Preview: Padres at Cubs

At Mesa, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Jason Marquis (Chi) vs. Greg Maddux (SD)

The obvious storyline here is that Maddux faces his old team. And while I hate to go with the obvious, it works for the spring.

Spring recap No. 13: Padres 11, Giants 5

Apparently the offense decided to get going again today and guys like Chase Headley, Tony Clark, Paul McAnulty and Jody Gerut once again led the charge.

Headley only had 1 hit but it was a three-RBI, two-out double. Clark actually got the scoring started by singling home the first run and finished 2-for-2. McAnulty, who is fighting for one of the few bench spots, hit his 3rd HR of the spring while Gerut (who is also fighting for a bench spot) hit his 2nd.

With Bud Black's insistence on keeping 12 arms in the pen, the fight for the bench is already that much tougher. With 5 spots on the bench, we already know Michael Barrett will fill 1 as he and Josh Bard split time. So who will the final four hitters be? I think it's safe to say Clark was signed with a specific role off the bench in mind and if you are to go off of performance so far, Headley, McAnulty and Gerut would seem to be the front runners to fill those spots along with the versatile Callix Crabbe (who as a Rule V pick has to remain on the roster to stay in the organization).

So if Crabbe has done enough to earn his stay, does that mean Headley heads back to the minors for more seasoning because he is the one that can be sent back? It seems like a shame but I feel that is the way things are playing out. What do you think? Drop me a comment and let me know who is on your bench if you run the team.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Training Game 13 Preview: Padres at Giants

At Scottsdale Stadium, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Tim Lincecum (SF) vs. Chris Young (SD)

With half the team on the way to China for an exhibition against the Dodgers, we are effectively a split squad against the Giants. Does that really matter? Not against the Giants and not in the spring.

Spring recap No. 12: Angels 8, Padres 4

Who cares if it's spring, apparently you don't challenge Jake Peavy's manhood. Being touched up for 4 runs while doing what all good pitchers should do, trying new things out to see how they work, apparently Peavy had enough and pitched 2 scoreless innings after that.

Glendon Rusch produced a solid outing, giving up only 1 hit and 1 BB in 3 innings while striking out 4. With his ERA now at 1.35, I could see Rusch earning a spot at least in the Pen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Training Game 12 Preview: Angels at Padres

At Peoria Sports Complex, 1:05 p.m. PT
Starters: Jered Weaver (LAA) vs. Jake Peavy (SD)

Peavy gets the start but Glendon Rusch will also get some innings. But the real thing I want to know is, are the Angels in Los Angeles or Anaheim? I guess figuring this out is like trying to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Spring recap No. 11: Rangers 5, Padres 2

Justin Germano and Shawn Estes both pitched in Monday's late game and Germano seemed to answer the performance Randy Wolf had the night before. Germano pitched 4 innings of scoreless ball, giving up only 2 hits in the process.

Estes didn't have such a good performance though, giving up 4 runs (only 1 earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Estes also gave up 3 hits and walked 1 while striking out no one.

Here are the current spring stats for the four guys vying for the last two spots in the rotation:
  • Estes: 4 1/3 IP, 20.77 ERA, 11 hits, 4 BB, 1 K
  • Germano: 9 1/3 IP, 3.86 ERA, 9 hits, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Glendon Rusch: 3 2/3 IP, 2.45 ERA, 2 hits, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Wolf: 4 1/3 16.62 ERA, 11 hits, 3 BB 6 K
Again, these are really small samples and not entirely accurate because of the nature and purpose of spring training but even an ERA over 15 has to be a little troubling. I know Chris Young had an astronomical ERA last spring training but still, those high numbers are not pretty to look at.

Offensively, not much stood out other than Jody Gerut was the only hitter to pick up multiple hits (he went 2-for-2).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Training Game 11 Preview: Rangers at Padres

Texas vs. San Diego
at Peoria Sports Complex, 7:05 p.m. PT

Justin Germano tries to improve his shot at getting a starting spot the day after Randy Wolf posted his best outing this spring. Germano will also start the game against the Dodgers in China. Texas counters with Jamey Wright, who starts in place of Kevin Millwood. According to the Rangers website, Millwood will throw a simulated game instead.

Spring recap No. 10: Padres 12, White Sox 3

Rather than the normal game treatment, I decided to look at what Ron Shandler and his 2008 Baseball Forecaster had to say in regards to Chase Headley, who has been having a solid spring.

One of the things Shandler seems to emphasize is the theory of drafting skills when playing fantasy baseball, and not paying for stats that don't tell the whole story. Looking at stats like contact rate (ct%, AB-K/AB), walk rate (bb%, BB/AB+BB) and power index (PX), Headley definitely has a strong skill set that once he adjusts to the majors, he should be a consistent hitter with good power.

What I like most are Shandler's latest projections for Headley (released at the end of Feb.). He estimates Headley will get 323 AB while posting a .273/.371/.463 line while hitting 10 HR, 24 2B and 48 RBI. Not bad for a guy that may not quite have a home with this year's team but may be playing himself into a role.

I know, I am sounding like I am getting too excited over some spring stats but it just seems like Headley is using the spring to put it all together.

On a side note, Randy Wolf had a better outing Sunday, giving up 2 runs in 3 IP. And while he may have given up 5 hits he also struck out 5 without giving up a walk. After Justin Germano starts tomorrow, I will post an updated chart looking at the candidates for the final rotation spots.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring Training Game 10 Preview: White Sox at Padres

Chicago vs. San Diego
at Peoria Sports Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

It's Randy Wolf's turn once again to try and lock down that No. 4 starting spot as he leads the Padres against Jose Contreras and the White Sox.

While I think a lot of emphasis is being placed on the performance of our pitchers (I am using the term loosely), I think I am now more interested in how Chase Headley performs the rest of the spring. I think he could really force the Padres hand here and make it hard not to start him. I know, I am getting excited over spring stats but it looks like he is really doing a good job of hitting so far. It might be time to get him adjusted to the majors so we can start reaping the rewards.

Spring recap No. 9: Padres 9, Rangers 5

It may be spring but there is no denying that Chase Headley is putting up numbers and Saturday's game was no exception as he went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, a triple and his 2nd HR of the spring.

With Headley hitting like this, it makes me feel not quite as anxious about the possibility of him playing left while Scott Hairston mans center.

Greg Maddux also had a good game for the Pads, giving up only 1 run in the 3 IP while striking out 1.

Heath Bell, on the other hand, continues to look lost as his ERA raises to 15.00 after giving up 3 earned runs in 1 inning. How worried about his performance am I? He was the only Padre I drafted in my fantasy baseball league Saturday night.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Training Game 9 Preview: Padres at Rangers

San Diego vs. Texas
at Surprise, Ariz., 12:05 p.m. PT

(Note: I apologize for the lateness of this post, Blogger has been down most of the morning).

Greg Maddux makes his second spring start, scheduled to throw 3 innings. Does anyone else remember when Maddux had trouble getting past 60 pitches last year at the beginning of the season? Maybe if we start getting him his regular starts now, he can avoid those issues this season. The Padres will face A.J. Murray, who in 28 IP last year went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA, struck out 18 and walked 15.

Spring recap No. 8: Padres 6, Diamondbacks 3

Before we get to the game, here is a Jim Edmonds update. Apparently he will be sidelined 2-3 weeks with his strained calf. So we will see when he really returns. Don't like my outlook, well we can just go with Bud Black's comments in that he is "hoping for the best."

Ok, the game. Chris Young pitched 3 innings of no hit ball, walking 1 and striking out 3.

Offensively, Will Venable went 1-for-2 again, driving in 2 more runs and raising his BA to .417. I don't want to get excited over spring stats but it's nice to see him having this type of success. Scott Hairston also had a good day offensively, going 2-for-3 with a HR and 3 RBI.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Spring Training Game 8 Preview: Diamondbacks at Padres

Arizona vs. San Diego
at Peoria Sporst Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

Two division foes in two days. This has all the makings of a late season run with none of the drama. Chris Young (ours, not the OF for Arizona obviously) makes his 2nd start of the season opposite Doug Davis. Arizona is playing split squad today so be ready to see a ton of names in the boxscore you haven't seen before.

Spring recap No. 7: Padres 10, Rockies 3

Well, it looks like we've gotten that early fragility warning on Jim Edmonds we all feared. Apparently it is only a strained calf but his return is uncertain. Rather than speculate on a Plan B, let's just look at some of the happenings of yesterday's game.

Jake Peavy apparently is in fine form, striking out 4 in 3 innings but just to point out both sides, he also gave up 2 runs and 4 hits.

Glendon Rusch
put in a solid performance yesterday and possibly solidified himself as a possible starter candidate with a no runs, no hits and only 1 walk in 2 IP yesterday. He also notched 2 K's. Trevor Hoffman also had goose eggs in runs and hits in 1 IP yesterday.

Tony Clark is going to be invaluable off the bench. I am not basing this statement on his 2-for-3, 1 RBI performance yesterday, but that sure does put the mind at ease as far as pinch hitters go.

Will Venable seems to be putting together a decent spring as well, going 1-for-2 to raise his BA to .400 while hitting his 2nd HR of the spring and driving in 2. Apparently the future in CF may not be as far away as we think, but I still think we need Edmonds for '08.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Training Game 7 Preview: Rockies at Padres

Colorado vs. San Diego
Peoria Sports Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

Jake Peavy makes his second start of the spring. And while it would be easy to make a joke about wearing a cup here I refuse to do so (mostly because I actually can't think of one funny enough). Glendon Rusch is scheduled to relieve Peavy and if he gives up less than 3 ER's, he could be the front-runner for a rotation spot, especially after Wednesday's game.

We face the Rockies for the first team this year, with Mark Redman scheduled to take the hill. The other obvious comment I will not make here? Whether or not Matt Holliday really touched home plate.

Spring recap No. 6: A's 15, Padres 4

So it seems the OF may not be as undermanned as we thought huh? Invitee Jody Gerut is now hitting a robust .455 and it seems most of the guys spending time out there are hitting over. 300 this spring.

Randy Wolf had another rough outing, giving up 4 runs in 2 innings while Shawn Estes and Justin Germano felt the need to keep the competition for those last starting spots close by giving up 3 and 4 runs, respectively. But hey, even Heath Bell had an off day as he gave up 2 runs.

This is a little early and the sample is a little small (even for spring training) but here is the breakdown of the competition for the final starting spots:

Wolf - 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 K
Estes - 1.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 K
Germano - 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 3 K
Glendon Rusch - 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K

Until Wednesday's game, Germano had not given up a hit or a run. He still has the most innings pitched of the 4 likely candidates and could possibly command a spot in the rotation if he can avoid another game like this.

As this competition continues and more innings are pitched, I will continue to update this chart.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spring Training Game 6 Preview: Padres at A's

San Diego vs. Oakland
at Phoenix Municipal, 12:05 p.m. PT

It's a backend of the rotation bonanza as Randy Wolf gets his second start of the spring while Justin Germano and Shawn Estes are waiting in the wings to get some innings in. Larry DiNardo is scheduled to start for Oakland.

Spring recap No. 5: Padres 9, Giants 6

Apparently Greg Maddux knows how to work efficiently, facing only 6 batters in 2 innings while pitching two scoreless innings. Other "standouts" (again, using the term loosely given the situation) include Tony Clark knocking in 2 runs and Paul McAnulty hitting his 2nd HR of the season.

I don't know if there were any "big" lowlights, other than most of our starters getting off to a slow start this spring. But if that is a big deal, then spring training would really matter.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spring Training Game 5 Preview: Giants at Padres

San Francisco vs. San Diego
Peoria Sports Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

Greg Maddux makes his spring training debut as we get our first look at the post-Barry Bonds Giants. Tim Lincecum takes the hill for SF. In Lincecum's first spring start he pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings so you know what that means - overvalue him now so you can be sure to get him in your fantasy baseball league. And then watch him go 7-5 again.

Spring recap No. 4: Padres 12, Brewers 4

As has become standard, I will point out a couple of highs and lows from Monday's game.

Highs: Chris Young gave up only 2 hits and 1 run in 2 innings pitched. Chase Headley continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-3 but it was forgotten man Paul McAnulty who hit the game's only HR. McAnulty went 1-for-2 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Luis Rodriguez, fighting for a bench spot, also had a productive day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with 4 RBI.

Lows: Well, we know what won't happen this year - the Padres won't hold runners. Young allowed 2 stolen bases in 2 innings. And for those who like to blow meaningless games out of proportion, Adrian Gonzalez has yet to record a base hit this spring. Yeah, I could care less too. Let me know when he goes all of June without a hit.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring Training Game 4 preview: Milwaukee vs. San Diego

Padres vs. Brewers
Maryvale Baseball Park, 12:05 p.m. PT

It's Chris Young's turn to make his Cactus League debut as he is scheduled to throw two innings in today's game against the Brewers. Jeff Suppan gets the call for the Brewers but the more interesting note may be Eric Gagne starting a morning "B" game against the Padres. What makes that interesting, you've got me. But if this were the regular season I would find some way to overdramatize it to make it sound better.

Spring recap No. 3: Mariners 6, Padres 2

Well, we got our first scare of 2008 in this matchup but luckily we will come out on top. In case you haven't heard, Jake Peavy took a hit in the groin and he never wears a cup. Luckily he will not miss any time.

Highlights (if you want to call them that): Chase Headley went 2-for-2, continuing his bid to earn some playing time. And whil he was credited with the loss, Glendon Rusch (another candidate for that No. 5 starter spot) actually had an OK first outing, giving up 1 run and 2 hits in 1 2/3 innings. Not fantastic but better than the guys he's competing with.

On the downside, all of that talk about Trevor Hoffman being on a downward trend will flare up again after giving up 2 runs and 4 hits in 2/3 of an inning, but there is a simple explanation to all of this - it's spring training.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spring Training Game 3 Preview: Mariners at Padres

Seattle vs. San Diego
Peoria Sports Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

According to the promo for the game on, Jake Peavy has added a changeup to his repertoire. I guess when your the reigning Cy Young winner and had one of the best pitching seasons in a while, you have to find something to do with your winter right? The M's are countering with Carlos Silva.

Spring recap No. 2: Padres 11, Mariners 10

Just so we don't get overhyped about what happens during spring training, I am going to keep these recaps short. This is more just to help me get in a groove for when the regular season comes around.

Highlights from Saturday's game? Chase Headley hit a HR and drove in 4 runs, making a case for getting some serious playing time (or least staying up with the big club) this season. Also, in the race to fill the backend of the rotation, Justin Germano went 2 1/3 and didn't give up a hit or a walk and struck out 2 ...

But that leads us to the downside of yesterday. For the second straight day our "starter" only went 2/3 of an inning - this time Randy Wolf gave up 3 runs in that span. Again he and Estes are coming back from injuries and it is only the first couple games of spring training but still, trends make me nervous. Let's just hope this is one of those times I am nervous because I have nothing better to do.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Spring Training Game 2 Preview: Mariners at Padres

Seattle vs. San Diego
Peoria Sports Complex, 12:05 p.m. PT

The back end of the rotation continues its parade to kick of spring training with projected No. 4 starter Randy Wolf scheduled to pitch the first inning with No. 5 starter hopeful Justin Germano slated to throw the next two. Seattle will counter with Felix Hernandez.

It's spring and it's baseball, what more could you want?

Spring recap No. 1: Royals 13, Padres 9

Upside: Shawn Estes took the mound, threw 30 pitches and left uninjured. Matt Antonelli flexed his long ball stroke, going deep in the 5th and Will Venable also went yard in the 7th, showing there is some power in the farm system after all.

Downside: Estes gave up 6 runs in 2/3 of an inning (but how much did we really expect out of him?), we lost to the Royals, which preseason or not, is kind of low and this picture on sums up Jim Edmonds in CF for the Padres.

Let's hope this really isn't a sign of things to come. Welcome to San Diego Jim ... or at least Peoria right now I guess.