First off, this:
This was the week Padres Twitter’s collective Austin Hedges erections came to the fully turgid stage. Now we can go into the wait and see stage and find out if we have full splash down, things revert back to semi-flaccid, or Austin Hedges is the embodiment of the side effects on a Cialis ad. Before we get into the goings-ons in Padres Twitter this week, let’s first check in on the hottest new feature in Padres Twitter, Days Since Marver Has Actually Written Anything.
Days Since Marver Has Actually Written Something: 55 days
Of course, Marver has found plenty of time to write oodles of Tweets related to our now departed professional football squadron, so #priorities.
I took a look at the metrics behind Bethancourt’s performance on the mound to see what kind of future we could see for him. It’s not great Bob. His velocity has dropped, he doesn’t get whiffs, and his command is terrible and prone to missing high. His arsenal consists of 90% fastballs, so thrower might describe him more than pitcher. AAA is probably not the level appropriate to his skill level. But hey, he was a great marketing story during Spring Training. Assuming you could find KSON2, you got to hear Jesse Agler continually refer to him as “The Most Interesting Man In Baseball”.
Unfortunately, we were not able to record a podcast this week because Marver is literally impossible to get on the schedule. We’ll try harder this week.
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
Nick from The Kept Faith wrote a great essay on how Manuel Margot is our best hope to be a preview of what is purportedly to come. Nick makes the point in this essay, and has done so on their podcast, that this is to be his last go around on the Padres rebuilding train. I think it’s fair as a fan to say what if the rebuild doesn’t work. We always hear about the success stories: the Astros (and their one playoff appearance), the Royals, and the Cubs. But there are also a lot of rebuilding teams that never turned the corner. Personally, I’ll stick with the Padres if things don’t coalesce, I mean I’ve stuck with them this long. But I think Nick’s essay was poignant and amazingly well written.
Sac Bunt Dustin in his excellent The Hangover series took a look at why in god’s name Andy Green would ever hit Erick Aybar second in the lineup. The answer is big shruggy emoticon. In the end, hitting Aybar second is a thing Bud Black would have done. We would have heard some garbage like “his speed can really make an impact at the top of the lineup.” Green was supposed to be different. He was supposed to be bookish and analytics oriented. Instead, what we have is Aybar killing rallies so that our actually good hitter, Wil Myers, can’t get an at bat in a crucial situation.
Trevor Cahill has been one of the only bright spots on the Padres pitching. I mean, let’s not go jerking each other off quite yet, but he’s getting strikeouts and underperforming his peripheral stats (xFIP of 2.96). He’s on a one year contract so he’s not going to attract a huge haul, but he’s currently on pace to becoming the starter most likely to be traded.
I just picked a Daily Farm Report from April 26 because it talked about Cal Quantrill, but I’m really just sending a public service announcement that everyone should be reading Madfriars’ Daily Farm Reports everyday. They aren’t subscriber only, and they provide the best, most balanced coverage of how the Padres minor leaguers are performing. Sure Bill Center cherrypicks a handful of stat lines to Tweet about or include in his little read Friarwire pieces, but he doesn’t have a scrap of the level of detail and insight that Madfriars has. Let me know when Bill went out to El Paso or Fort Wayne last to watch the prospects himself (oh wait, never). Don’t settle for scouting the stat line. Just as an example, Madfriars has their writers in El Paso and San Antonio this week.
The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
The Kept Faith gang visited Petco and had a lot of comments on the gameday experience at the ballpark. I know the prevailing wisdom is that the ballpark experience is second to none, and don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of really good things. But there also a lot of really sucky things. Ingress into the ballpark on weekends is NEVER good. The team likes to pass the buck and say MLB’s requirement for metal detecting fans is the cause, but the Padres have full latitude to implement the metal detecting as they see fit. Whether it’s cheaping out on buying more metal detectors, needing to reconfigure lines, or a lack of care about you getting into the game on time, there are things that need fixing; especially if you travel around and see how much more efficient some ballparks are (Washington comes to mind). I went last Saturday (here’s a pro tip, if your kid can fit in a stroller, put them in a stroller; you can enter in the ADA/Handicapped line) and was shocked at how quickly the food and beer costs add up. There were 2 adults and a 3 year old and when 4 beers total are $54, it gets really easy to rack up $100 in costs. This might be a hot take, but my first taste of the Tri Tip Nachos this weekend wasn’t great. I’m going to go ahead and say Gaglione is your best bet for good food right now (the actual best bet is to bring in Lolitas and skip the ballpark options).
John Gennaro has the delightful Stephen Woods back on the podcast to talk baseball and Padres. Since the podcast, John and I had a dialogue on Twitter regarding John’s podcast comments on how the Padres can get Shohei Otani. Since then, at least one other podcast has tried to lay out a plan to get Otani. Here’s the thing, we aren’t getting Otani. Just to sum it up, the Padres cannot exceed a $300k bonus for the next two years on any international player, including Otani. Can they trade for more bonus pool? Sure. But that just means they can sign more $300k or less players. Meanwhile, Otani can sign with some other team for literally 2,000% more in bonus. When people point out that “Otani just wants to play ball” or think that somehow Christian Bethancourt pitching miserably here will sway him to just forget about money, I think about how these people have no idea how much 5 or 6 million dollars is.
Craig and John dig into ways the Padres can add a top tier prospect. With the Otani silliness over, we can focus on advocating vigorously and openly for the team to open the pocketbook for Luis Robert, a prospect that would immediately be in baseball’s top 25 prospects. And with Anderson Espinoza having a long bout of pains and injury, we might need to backfill him in to maintain a spot in the top 25. I’m writing something on this now but stop buying into the narrative that the $80M came out of pocket to sign all the prospects. It was $80M that came out of last year’s reduced after trades payroll and this year’s skeleton payroll. Forbes showed the team could be profitable at $140M+ payroll. Do the math, they have the money, and will get even more in 2018 with another bare bones payroll. The only excuse not to sign Robert is cheaping out. Luis Robert is my decision point whether I truly believe this ownership group is willing to come out of pocket to build a winner. Enough of Fowler’s whining about having to do a cash call, this is it, this is the chance to prove themselves.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened. In fact EVT did TWO podcasts this week. But I included this one because I enjoy former Gwynntelligence Podcast guest Dan Szymborski for his bluntness and expertise in the field of sports analytics.
Tweet of the Week:
Terrible Marver Tweet Of the Week:
SHUT UP ABOUT THE CHARGERS ALREADY