This was a momentous week for Padres Twitter as our pun emeritus delivered on the All Star Game national stage a smooth Hand job that was quick, effective, and ultimately successful. As we head into the Brad Hand farewell tour before he gets traded, let’s not forget the puns. For a long time, they were all we had, and there will be definite hole in the heart of Padres Twitter once we realize we have to watch terrible Padres games without the glimmer of hope, that come the eighth inning, we could all make some good jack off jokes. In advance of this event, moment of silence please…
- Thanks for your attention. Let’s get down to business.
Days Since Marver Actually Wrote Something: 26 Days
When I first came up with This Week In Padres Twitter during a post JO refractory period, I’d envisioned it as something Marver and I would switch off doing every week. Meanwhile, here we are with Marver producing a single blog post in the last 135 days and me slaving over this hot new feature. Did I mention that Marver flew across the country twice in that period, prime writing time, and STILL didn’t produce anything? Did I mention that I tried to set up TWO different live podcast sessions this week only to be cruelly rebuffed with silence? What I’m trying to say here is please kick Marver in the nuts if you ever run into him.
This is pretty much it this week, although I’m starting to write something about the Blue Menace 100 miles north and how their talent level throughout their system is terrifying because they are doing pretty much everything AJ is doing and has done, except with more money, more quantity, more quality. The goal for the Padres needs to not be being better than the Padres of old, that’s easy. The goal is to win a championship which means the Padres need to get better than the Dodgers (among other teams but especially the Dodgers). It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy either. The Padres need to seize any opportunity to gain an advantage (like, um, trying to get the 1st overall draft pick instead of saying the 3rd overall pick is fine)(or like signing a top 50 prospect in baseball like Luis Robert when given the opportunity).
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
Sac Bunt Dustin (more on him later) did a great job, which is something we take for granted now, writing up the successes in the Padres bullpen. There are a few reasons the Padres first half has gone slightly better than expected. One of the main reasons of late is how well the bullpen is pitching. Last year we realized that the best “stealth tank” method was to have a terrible bullpen. Well now we are seeing the corollary of that. Buchter, Hand, Maurer and Yates have all been a revelation. Luckily, with the trade deadline approaching, hopefully AJ can ship them all off and we can get THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN BASEBALL up here again and see Bethancourt pour gasoline on some particularly hopeful situations. It’s time to hike up our britches and get back to tanking.
Fangraphs went into detail on Phil Maton’s high spin fastball, as well as his early success. Maton has been really impressive, but he’s starting to get hit a little harder. Sac Bunt Dustin wrote something on this also with GIFs showing good hitters swinging right through fastballs over the heart of the plate. This is what you’d expect as, unlike what Jesse Agler has said numerous times on the broadcast, high spin doesn’t create the illusion of more velocity, it makes the ball drop less on it’s way to the plate due to more backspin. This means the ball will be higher as it crosses the plate than an average spin fastball, which is why the GIFs used by Dustin all show the batter swinging under the fastball. This is indeed useful, but isn’t in and of itself enough to be unhittable at the Major League level, especially with fairly average velocity. Maton has looked fantastic, but I worry that the book will get out on him (or has gotten out on him) and he will get hit a little harder. He also had a couple outings where he came in with runners on base, got hit, gave up runs, but didn’t let any of his runners score, meaning he came out of it with no earned runs but did not have a productive relief outing. Anyways, I like Maton, and think he will be productive. I just think there’s a lack of understanding sometimes about what high spin really means.
It was nice as a fan of the Padres to see Naylor and Quantrill advance to AA, but really horrible as a ticket plan holder for Lake Elsinore. Anyways, Quantrill was probably ready to face the challenge of AA but definitely has work to do related to his breaking pitches. His change up is nails though. He hasn’t necessarily been overpowering at Elsinore, but it’s also a hitters league. Which is also why Naylor’s lack of power is alarming. I’ve seen him hit a lot of times at Elsinore and come away seeing more Yonder Alonso (not 2017 Yonder Alonso, I mean Padres Yonder Alonso) and more doubles than home runs. And that’s in a hitter’s environment. You always hear comparisons to Prince Fielder when you talk Naylor, I guess because they’re both a little portly, but Fielder destroyed lower level pitching. With Myers showing his true colors as a good, not great, first baseman, it would be nice to see Naylor start crushing to put some pressure on Myers to play hard and play well, since apparently he needs that push to put forth full effort.
Gaslamp Ball ran an interesting poll on how Padres fans are feeling about the direction of the rebuild – I MEAN BUILDING. The poll results are as you’d expect with the majority feeling confident to relatively confident in the rebuild. The really interesting part is in the comments as I thought there was a lot of varied and good insight there. I put up a comment that said: “I like Wil Myers and think he’s a good but not great player that will be saddled with the face of the franchise pressure, but is there any other Padre that has gotten as much of a pass from the fanbase for losing concentration, admittedly not trying for the entire second half of a season, falling off significantly after signing a huge contract, and not playing up to his abilities because the team isn’t good?” He’s Teflon Wil. I don’t feel bad about writing it, I like Wil Myers, but I think it’s worth asking. AJ gambled heavily on Wil producing, so we really have no choice but to hope he figures it out.
EVT had a nice look at Carlos Asuaje’s early work with the Padres. I still think Asuaje is a potentially useful utility guy but he’s not the answer if we’re talking about a starter on a playoff or World Series contending team. We’ve seen some mixed results out of the El Paso “Core Four” with even Margot appearing to be a little pedestrian. As the first wave of talent, we need them to start looking a little more like hurricane swells and a little less like San Felipe.
Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
I’ve long crowed about how great the writing by Sac Bunt Dustin has been this season. The volume and quality is unmatched, especially considering just how uninspiring the Major League product has been. Anyways, Padres and Pints does a podcast about as often as Marver actually writes something and LOOK! They popped their head out! Sac Bunt Chris and Sac Bunt Dustin cut out RJ’s Fro and united in sexual podcast congress. They did into a lot of good analysis of the team, and despite lacking ska in the intro or outro, is still required listening.
Dashing Danny Ortiz and Eric’s podcast is quickly becoming one of my favorites. They are brutally honest and funny. If you’re not listening yet, it’s critical that you add this as they fill the void left by the infrequent episodes from my beloved Pads Pod.
Craig and John do a dependably good job discussing Brad Hand’s value at the trade deadline. John got branded as a grump for hating the All Star Game and Home Run Derby, but I stand with John. The Home Run Derby is better than it used to be, but it used to be as entertaining as taking a post-Chipotle lunch dump, so that’s not saying much. People always defend it as “I just like seeing dingers” which I guess is fine, but if you want to see them hit it 600 feet, let’s just let them use aluminum bats with maximal trampoline effect hitting rock hard Top Flite balls. I like 500 foot dongs as much as the next red blooded dude, but maybe we should just let them get juiced on andro and creatine again.
I haven’t listened yet. I’m sure it’s good. The discussion points were under appreciated sports movies and I can only hope they discussed The Legend of Bagger Vance. Just kidding, Legend of Bagger Vance is godforsaken awful.
New radio celebrity John Conniff from Madfriars appeared on The Darren Smith show to talk about Tatis Jr. mania going on in Padres Twitter. I’m hoping John doesn’t get to be too big of a star to have lunch with me at Nando’s Peri-Peri in DC in August.
Matt Antonelli is one of the long line of Padres first round draft picks that didn’t pan out. He’s now out of baseball and doing coaching. He also makes Youtube videos coaching but also answering questions. He put out this video discussing how his advancement through the Padres system went, what went wrong, and when he knew it was time to hang them up. In his case, it wasn’t necessarily that the development side let him down, instead his body repeatedly let him down. Antonelli is a case where you realize that even if you did things right in the minor league development, there’s always factors that can really muck up the works.
Tweet Of The Week:
And the Jaggy goes to…
Terrible Marver Tweet Of the Week:
Nick Canepa Is An Out Of Touch Irrelevant Old Timer Or Maybe Doing A Bit Tweet Of The Week: