After a couple week layoff from writing This Week In Padres Twitter, I was sitting in my hotel room crushing beers alone in Laie, HI and decided it was about time to get back to it. We here at Gwynntelligence have missed so much the past few weeks: the excitement of what the Padres could get for Brad Hand, the disappointment of what the team ended up getting for Brad Hand, and then the thrill of watching Andy Green attempt to destroy Brad Hand’s value and/or arm health by throwing him into a game in the middle of an at-bat after only giving him 2 minutes to warm up. FUN! Let’s get right down to business with the hot new feature that’s sweeping the Internet:
Days Since Marver Actually Wrote Something: 54 days
Marver’s big analysis of Keith Law’s value as a prospect evaluator is going to come out someday, and by someday, I mean in like 19 years.
Uh… well… nope…
Padres Blogosphere Posts:
This isn’t really an article but you can barely call yourself a Padres fan if you don’t have a subscription to Madfriars. They provide excellent coverage of the Padres minor leagues and it’s not that expensive. Well it’s even less expensive right now: free for three months. No more excuses. Just sign up.
MLB’s Players’ Weekend promotion was always going to be an attempt at a cash grab selling jerseys, same as MLB’s Fathers Day, Mothers Day, 4th of July, and Memorial Day uniforms. It was also supposed to be a fun thing for fans with nicknames on the jerseys. In the end, Padres fans were left disappointed by the league’s least imaginative, most lazy marketing department. I can even almost forgive the blue and yellow UC Irvine hued uniforms that are a desperate attempt to look like Navy’s colors (even when yellow is not an official Padres color nor in their official color palette). Obviously brown would have been optimal, and it’s at least in the actual official team palette, but at this point, I’m so numb to the front office’s ham handed attempts to keep brown away from the fanbase at all costs. I’m way more disappointed at the number of players that chose not to participate in the nicknames or went with their last names with a -y at the end. I can’t tell if it speaks to a clubhouse that just isn’t fun, or a front office that doesn’t have the balls to tell it’s “face of the franchise” Wil Myers to just have fun with it. In a rebuilding year, let’s hope that part of the rebuilding involves a regime change in team marketing. It’s long past due.
In the mandatory Sac Bunt Dustin featured post in TWIPT, Dustin took a look at the beginning of the Carter Capps era in San Diego. SPOILER ALERT: It’s been not great Bob. Capps supposedly has worked the kinks out of his delivery, but there’s no looking past that his velocity is down 5-7 mph from his time in Florida. As Dustin points out in this post, Capps just isn’t getting whiffs, and his control was all over the place with frequent misses to the arm side adding to the idea that his mechanics aren’t totally there yet. Capps is still a guy that has brand appeal to other teams if he can put together a good stretch like he did in AAA. In a lot of ways, rebuilding Capps’ value could be as important to the next competitive Padres team as trying to make sure Hand doesn’t lose value.
Patrick Brewer wrote a great look at Jose Pirela and his unexpected success this season. Pirela is basically a dumpster diving find that seems to have put things together at age 27. While this doesn’t mean much because the Padres totally suck this season, he is one of the team leaders in WAR despite being in AAA for much of the season. It begs the question, what if he’s for real. I don’t think there’s much doubt that he is good enough to play on the tank Padres, but the real question is if he has a place on the next playoff contending team in 2020 (???). I don’t see a starter, at least not on an actually good team. I’m not sure I buy him even as a utility player over a guy like Asuaje. But I’m also starting to buy into him being a .750 OPS kind of guy that can play a lot of positions. Patrick did the old “well if you extrapolate this small sample size WAR” exercise which I don’t think is a great way to look at his value, I do think he can be an OK bridge to the next good Padres team, and Patrick’s analysis does a great job showing how he is finding his newfound success. There’s nothing to lose by continuing to just throw him to the wolves until the magic ends. And it gives terrible Rich Herrera a chance to continue referring to his as Jose Peee-ruh-luh.
Dinelson Lamet has been really up and down so far, but his ups have been really really good, and his downs have been really really bad. There is no doubt that Lamet has a great slider, and he knows it. He throws it all the time. Unfortunately, the whiff percentage on that slider has decreased the longer he’s been in the Majors. Lamet has also run into third time through the order issues which are a dead giveaway that he needs a third pitch. Pads Prospectus did a great analysis of why Lamet needs to work on his repertoire, otherwise he may be headed to reliever town, population him.
Golden Age of Padres Podcasts:
Craig and John were first to market with takes on Andy Green putting Brad Hand into the game during the middle of an at-bat. They weren’t only first, they also had the best analysis I’ve heard on the subject. Craig does a good job of laying out the arguments for why Cotton Andy’s scheme was risky to Brad Hand’s health, sent the message to Kirby Yates that the manager doesn’t believe in him, and showed off Green’s eternal ability to try and send the message that he’s smarter than you. I went back and timed how long Votto’s at bat was up until Green walked out and signaled for Hand: two minutes and six seconds. That’s how long he gave Hand to warm up. Have you tried warming up a cold arm before? It takes longer than 2 goddamned minutes. Green said to the press it was an unconventional strategic decision. I went and looked for other similar mid at-bat non-injury pitching changes that Green could have pulled historical data from and found one example. Joe Girardi pulled a reliever on a 2-0 count and put Betances in. Betances ended up walking the batter while throwing a wild pitch that advanced the runners. Great history of this strategy succeeding! My favorite part of The Hand Affair was watching Cassavell desperately defend the decision, and then mlb.com assistant Nathan Ruiz pull a “not Green’s fault, players have to execute!” garbage defense; as if you couldn’t say that for any awful decision. Oh, Green is pinch hitting for Wil Myers with the bases loaded with Lamet who’s hitting .035. Not Green’s fault the strategy failed, Lamet’s gotta execute! This episode is a must listen for all Padres fans. As I’ve said before, I think the veil has been pierced on Green and he will continue to face honest criticism for some of his decisions.
In this week’s episode of the always excellent 5.5 Hole podcast, Devilish Danny Ortiz and Eric dig into the really important question of whether Brazzers is better than Reality Kings. I was a little disappointed in their lack of respect for the storied Reality Kings umbrella of sites that have given us such classics as the MILF Hunter and Farthammer. On the Padres side of things, I think Dan and Eric gave the best explanation for why Joe Padresfan is ready to give up on the tank already and why they don’t have the patience to see it through.
The East Village Times podcast content train just keeps on trucking along with a two episode week this week. Of particular note is James and Patrick’s outstanding interview with Baseball Prospectus’ Minor Leagues editor Craig Goldstein who gives updates on what he thinks about some of the Padres’ prospects. As James points out in this episode, it’s good to get outside opinions on some of the Padres prospects because fans tend to build up guys to an unrealistic level and Goldstein provides some grounding. Of particular note, Goldstein goes through some of BP’s “realistic projections” for Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Cal Quantrill. Respectively, he noted their realistic projections to be setup man, #3 starter, and #4 starter. Not exactly the trio of aces that Padres Twitter has made them out to be. Could they exceed these realistic expectations? Of course. Goldstein notes that Baez is some secondary pitches away from maybe being something more. What this really tells us is that there’s a realistic chance that the Padres don’t have everything they need already to be a World Series champion like some fans think.
Complacency is dangerous in anything. The Padres need to always be adding anyway they can because we all know Uncle Ron isn’t going to sign a Jon Lester AND Ben Zobrist AND John Lackey AND extend Anthony Rizzo AND sign Jason Heyward to fill the holes.
Chad had a triumphant return to this week’s episode of the Padres Prospectus podcast. The Pads Prospectus gang did a great job of breaking down the continuing need for the tank, and then do their typically great job of breaking down developments in the minors. Of particular note, we learn that Chad knows next to nothing about Padres history and he should feel bad about it.
I always enjoy listening to David Jay’s dry wit because it makes me think about all the times he’s totally roasted Marver on Twitter. The TKF gang talks Padres prospects with David Jay, but also get into some riveting #dietchat in their hot new weekly feature Dallas Talks About Grapes. Following that, you can hear Johnny Bolt Pride desperately cling to his Chargers related identity. SAD!
Tweet Of The Week:
And the Jaggy goes to…
This tweet combined my love of ball punches and smooth handy jays.
Terrible Marver Tweet Of The Week:
Not only is this a straight up brag, it also fails to mention that Marver was playing in a game full of 7 year olds and their dads and he repeatedly swatted 4′ 11″ kids to pad his own ego. Here’s a reenactment:
Nick Canepa Is An Out Of Touch Irrelevant Old Timer Or Maybe Doing A Bit Tweet Of The Week:
God does Canepa suck.