If you were handicapping whether Marver would actually write something this week or if the Padres would actually be good, I hope you bet on the negative. Let’s take a look at the hot, new feature that’s sweeping the tubes.
Days Since Marver Has Actually Written Something: 67 days
Not quite nice yet.
Gwynntelligence had an actually kind of productive week of producing Padres content, and there’s more in the drafts folders.
We dig into how the Padres have performed so far, what this means for the future, and I share my spot on prediction for how a hot week by Hunter Renfroe will go on Padres Twitter and in the media.
Sac Bunt Dustin (see below) and Madfriars did a great job of covering The Mexican Loophole this week in regards to international signings. Taking advantage of the Mexican Loophole is exactly the type of innovative, rule stretching we should hope for from the Padres (and really, expect from the Padres if we want them to truly be championship caliber). Their great work motivated me to take a look at some of the Mexican prospects that could fall under The Mexican Loophole. There are a couple of top 30 international prospects, but really, the one that intrigued me the most was the one that didn’t fit the profile of teenage phenom: Ramon Urias. Urias is a shortstop with power and a great hit tool (kind of like his brother Luis but with power). At 22 and with 5 years of pro experience, he’s my out of the blue shortstop prospect the Padres should be targeting.
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
The Padres made the exciting acquisition of Matt Szczur, noted canonization candidate and speedy slap hitter. Szczur was a former top 100 prospect that just never really got a great shot in Chicago. He also didn’t show the performance to really merit that much attention there. Luckily for him, here in San Diego we have plenty of opportunities for fair to middling players to get lots of playing time. Vikram Muduvadi wrote a great summary of the Szczur acquisition over at Gaslamp Ball.
Sac Bunt Dustin, who pretty much is Padres Public at this point, wrote a measured response to Ron Fowler being a total dick on the radio (AGAIN) to his own players. I always like the casual fans that are like “IT’S SO GREAT TO HAVE AN OWNER THAT CARES!!!!!!!” usually in all-caps. As if other owners that show professional decorum to the professionals that they employ don’t care about winning. In the end. the Padres are a corporation like any other. Imagine at your workplace having a CEO that signs off on a pinheaded strategy or initiative, and then when it goes south, blames the everyday workers implementing the terrible new sales strategy for it failing instead of himself or other upper level managers that created said strategy. That’s what we have here. You will NEVER hear Fowler say that AJ signed the wrong guy, it’s going to always be “the player sucks”. It’s not a corporate culture that I would ever seek out personally, so why should we expect Major League players with bigger egos and less need for a paycheck than me to seek it out as free agents. After Shields and now Weaver, it’s now at “fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you” territory.
John Horvath at East Village Times wrote a Cory Luebke retrospective now that he’s announced his retirement. Do you guys remember the level of excitement we all had after Cory’s breakout season? I was convinced we had a Cy Young contender in Luebke. But in classic Padres fashion, a series of arm problems ended his career. It’s too bad because Cory seemed like a really nice guy and he’s certainly easy on the eyes. He would have formed The Devilishly Handsome battery with Hedges.
This is Sac Bunt Dustin’s great post on The Mexican Loophole that I mentioned above. It goes into great detail how the loophole works and how the Padres can exploit it.
The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
Of course, Gwynntelligence actually took part in the Golden Age this week! Huzzah!
The Kept Faith gang digs into greatest baseball video games on this week’s episode. Most of their opinions are totally wrong as only Travis declared the greatness of SNK’s Baseball Stars for NES. Baseball Stars is the first game to allow you to edit rosters. make custom teams, earn money, and upgrade attributes of your players, which led to so many iterations of the Padres in 8-bit form for me. The game play is also way ahead of other NES baseball games. God I beat up on the Lovely Ladies so much on that game to earn some money (not in the Brian Giles way). Things also get serious when Matt Bush comes up.
Eric Longenhagen is arguably the best of the prospect writers and James and Patrick from EVT landed him on their podcast. A great discussion of Padres prospects ensues. There’s great insider info on Morejon, Espinoza, and a bunch of other prospects.
John Gennaro discusses the data behind his theory that the Padres are trying to identify pitchers with a useful breaking pitch that isn’t being utilized enough, citing Brad Hand. He frames it as the Padres’ new “Moneyball” type exploitation of an undervalued resource. I thought it was an interesting discussion, especially paired with the theory that it was specifically undertaken to counter lofty launch angles. It’s a concept worth looking into, but I’m not ready to declare it a Padres-specific advantage because for all we know, other teams are doing the exact thing. Still, a very interesting discussion.
EVT put out TWO podcasts this week! I listened to this one on Monday and enjoyed Patrick’s reviews of performance by Padres players, with a little extra attention paid to Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges. I do think that it’s a little inaccurate to say Hedges’ defense has been just fine based only on framing. While blame is shared with the pitchers, you can’t just say Hedges is off the hook for giving up the 2nd most number of stolen bases or his low thrown out percentage. If you watch him a lot, he gives up a lot of steals because of off target throws to 2nd. Teams are even taunting him by stealing third off him. In a couple games, it’s almost felt like the Derek Norris days when teams would run shamelessly on him to figuratively take a dump on his stupid head.
Tweet of the Week:
And this week’s Jaggy goes to…
Terrible Marver Tweet Of The Week:
Shut up about Facebook already. Only grandmas and out of touch middle agers use it.