I didn’t make it out to Peoria this year, thanks to the ACL, but I have made roughly 8 trips out there in the last 5 years. So it’s safe to say that I’ve seen my fair share of Spring Training action. I’ve seen it all. The backfields, the main field, the batting cages, the clubhouse, the gym and the bars restaurants.

Usually, there’s optimism among fans. The players spout the usual cliches that you hear every year. But in the past few years you could tell that they didn’t mean it. The clubhouse was dull. It was boring. You got the feeling that they were there just to collect their check and go on their way.

Read More…

You can sense it now, can’t you? How tantalizingly close we are to Opening Day; how in little more than a week games will be played that count. First pitch at Dodger Stadium on April 6 is scheduled for 1:10pm, a game that had plenty of storylines already before this weeks article describing locker room strife between the pitching rotation of San Diego and former Padre backstop Yasmani Grandal.

With the start of the season will come the end of discussing A.J. Preller’s grand experiment in the abstract. It will no longer matter what projection models say, it will only matter what actually occurs on the field. Speaking of those projections, the Padres are projected, depending on where you look, to be within a game or so of a Wild Card and finish 2nd in the NL West. Most of these projections rightfully have the Nationals and Dodgers as runaway favorites and plug in 3 NL Central teams into the playoffs. Looking at Fangraphs predictions, the Padres will miss the playoffs by 1 game to the Cubs, a team that will likely be without one of (if not the) best player on their roster for the first few weeks. It remains to be seen whether the Cubs will regret that decision though it is worth noting that the Cubs play 10 of their 22 April games against playoff teams from a year ago, plus 3 against the Padres and includes a week long road trip to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

All of this is to say that the Padres can ill afford to get off to a slow start to the season. Let me preface this by saying that it is a bit of a fallacy to put any more weight on April vs any other month. The fact of the matter is, one bad month, regardless of where it comes from, is a disaster. For example, the last time the Padres started off above .500 in the month of April was 2010 (15-8). That season they won 90 games which, with the new Wild Card rules and based on this years projections, would easily make the playoffs. They of course didn’t, thanks in part to a sub .500 September.

Nevertheless, winning consistently over 162 games begins in April. Winning can be contagious. It helps if you catch it early.

Read More…

San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner gets tangled up trying to catch a throwing ring during activity prior to batting practice warmups a baseball game in San Diego, Saturday, July 13, 2013.
(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner had some memorable performances in 2014. Just imagine what he would have done if he hadn’t spent nearly 3 months on the disabled list or had some run support.

Well, A.J. Preller appears to have solved that run support problem, at least on paper, so it’s all on Cashner for 2015.

Inspired by a new Friarwire feature by Bill Center, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Cashner. And you didn’t know them because they are totally not true. I completely made them up. If you believe that they could be even remotely factual, that’s your problem. Because as far as I know — I did no research — they are not at all.

Read More…

Jason Klein from San Diego design firm Brandiose joins Rick and Chris as they chat about all design and minor league baseball, or as Jason calls it, “story telling.”

Jason shares some crazy ideas implemented by Brandiose previously never seen in minor league baseball, as well as some plans deemed too overboard even for the minors. The guys also discuss the current direction of the San Diego Padres brand, as well as details about Brandiose’s working process with teams from beginning to end. You can follow Brandiose on Twitter.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below or e-mail us.

Read More…

UTI1783095_t837Starting pitcher Tyson Ross improved upon the success of his 2013 Padres debut with an NL All-Star appearance selection in 2014. As a key member of the Padres rotation, fans are looking for more big things from Ross in 2015.

Inspired by a new Friarwire feature by Bill Center, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Ross. And you didn’t know them because they are totally not true. I completely made them up. If you believe that they could be even remotely factual, that’s your problem. Because as far as I know — I did no research — they are not at all.

Read More…

Just last week we discussed 29-year-old Cuban infielder Hector Olivera again, noting some of the positives and negatives involved in the Padres’ pursuit of his services. Then, just yesterday, the Dodgers finally put an end to the months-long Olivera saga, signing him to a six-year, $62.5 million deal that includes a $28 million signing bonus.

The Dodgers adding Olivera shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone for the simple reason that, along with the Yankees, they have the most money. Olivera doesn’t necessarily fit LA’s list of immediate needs, a team that already has Juan Uribe, Howie Kendrick, and fellow Cuban Alex Guerrero slotted at second and third base for 2015. Then again, both Uribe and Kendrick are free agents after this season, Guerrero looks like a potential flop, and the Dodgers’ infield depth (they also have Justin Turner and another Cuban Erisbel Arruebarrena) and position on the win curve allows them to be patient with Olivera, perhaps for the betterment of his development and right arm. Further, while the Dodgers have resisted the temptation of opening the vault for international amateurs this signing period, likely readying to load up come July 2nd, they’ve been extremely active in the Cuban market in general in recent years, including an under-the-radar $8 million signing of Pablo Millan Fernandez last week.

For A.J. Preller and the Padres, missing out on Olivera caps off a fascinating offseason, one that saw the Padres both completely reshape the roster and lose out on just about every free agent they apparently courted. Besides the big-ticket signing of James Shields and a few minor deals, Preller’s roster shuffling has centered primarily around trades. Perhaps more surprisingly, noting his background in foreign territory, none of Preller’s moves have involved international players, despite heavily-rumored flirtations with Yasmany Tomas, Yoan Moncada, Hector Olivera, and Yoan Lopez. Three of those players ended up signing with NL West teams (Tomas and Lopez in Arizona and Olivera in LA) while Moncada landed east in Boston.

Read More…

mlbf_37110011_th_45

“Um, guys? I don’t think this jersey is in my size.”

Justin Upton, the new left fielder and projected cleanup hitter for the Padres, was acquired via trade by “Rockstar GM” A.J. Preller in one of many moves to improve the anemic Friars offense of last season.

Inspired by a new Friarwire feature by Bill Center, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Upton. And you didn’t know them because they are totally not true. I completely made them up. If you believe that they could be even remotely factual, that’s your problem. Because as far as I know — I did no research — they are not at all.

Read More…

Just as I was starting to build up a crisp golden tan, thanks to finally emerging from my parents basement for the first time since 2007, I completely tear my ACL and get sucked back in with all these other nerds…..and Hacksaw’s plumber. Goodbye tan.

All of those plans that I had for this season are all of a sudden on the back burner, thanks to a fluke play in indoor soccer. So here I am blogging and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible until my surgery. C’est la vie.

There’s a lot to cover since I last posted on August 28th about #BSPlaza.

First of all, the Padres signed Clint Barmes guys! I kid, I’m not going back that far.

I’d like to dip into the battles for the number 5 spot in the rotation and the starting 3rd base spot first.

Read More…

There’s been a lot written about 29-year-old Cuban infielder Hector Olivera around the internet over the past few months. Heck, there’s been a lot written about Olivera right here at Padres Public, including this article by yours truly and another (more recent) one by Nate.

Despite all of the bandwidth dedicated to the Olivera beat, not much has really changed. He still possesses an interesting track record that contains both stellar Cuban professional league and international play as well as high praise from scouts. His track record also contains a sort of mysterious blood disorder, a missed season, and a most recent season in Cuba in which the second baseman spent most of his time at designated hitter.

Olivera has had mixed performances at recent showcases in preparation for a major league deal, displaying the sort of offensives skills scouts used to drool over while also showing more fatigue than you’d like to see out of a player with past health concerns. Then, things got even more weird — Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that Olivera may have UCL damage in his right elbow. That report, naturally, was vehemently denied by Olivera’s camp. Then, Olivera’s camp changed, as he replaced his trainer-agent Rudy Santin with Greg Genske of the Legacy Agency, a move that apparently triggered interest in Olivera from a number of additional MLB clubs.

Despite a recently rumored price tag as high as $70-plus million, with the Dodgers as main players, the Padres have remained one of Olivera’s most likely landing spots through months of speculation. So, with the offseason picture essentially complete, does adding Olivera still make sense? Here are some things to consider.

Read More…

In Episode 18 of the podcast we chat with John Conniff of MadFriars about the Padres farm system. What prospects does John expect to contribute in the majors this season? What pitcher is John’s sleeper prospect? What did Nelson Cruz say to John just before taking Wade LeBlanc yard in Portland? Where are the San Antonio barbecue joints that refuse to provide sliverware? We answer all these questions and more.

Check out the MadFriars Top 20 Padres Prospects for 2015 featuring commentary on the state of the organization and tons of scouting info on players.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them down below or e-mail us.

download-podcast

Read More…