Last summer, as the All-Star break came to a close, an unenviable task presented itself: I had to explain to my young daughter that Everth Cabrera wouldn’t be able to play any more. This news confounded her. She asked, “Why?”

When it comes to explaining the issue of drugs to a child,  I really don’t know how. But I knew in that space and time that getting bogged down in details was unnecessary so I took the easy road and said, “There’s this type of medicine that he took but he wasn’t allowed to take it. Now he’s in trouble so he can’t play until next year.”

I felt I handled the issue with delicate aplomb and then she asked, “Where did he get the medicine? Did he go out into the woods and get it from a witch? I don’t like witches. Mean witches”

“No, no,” I said. “He went to a . . . clinic. A doctor’s office.”

Doc McStuffins has a clinic. Like that clinic?”

“Uh . . . kinda.”

It was all so confusing. We had watched Everth Cabrera closely last season and my enthusiasm for him as a ball player had clearly rubbed off on her. She sensed my excitement as I talked about his new-found steadiness on defense and his ability to draw a walk. He was seeing a lot of pitches, getting on base, and doing lead-off-hitter-type-things. It was great. And then it all ended.

Who is Everth Cabrera? Is he the steady player who emerged last season or something else entirely?  The season is young so the conclusions we can draw are, well, inconclusive. But let’s look at his first 21 games* of 2014 and try to do some figuring.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Especially when an American football schedule with which we were already vaguely familiar is released into the wild and becomes a distraction. So here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

Your San Diego Padres (10-12) were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers (16-6) by a score of 5-2. Kyle Lohse was the winner for Milwaukee, moving to 4-1. He pitched 7 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, while striking out 5 and walking zero. Tyson Ross (2-3) was the loser, surrendering 5 runs (all earned) on 9 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3 over 6 IP.

Everth Cabrera started things with a leadoff double, moved to third on a Chris Denorfia ground out, and scored on a Seth Smith single. While a promising start, the Padres wouldn’t score again until the 7th inning. There, Nick Hundley singled home Jedd Gyorko, who reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on an error. Padres Baseball. That would be it for the Friars on this eve.

On the other hand, Tyson Ross struggled with location and the Brewers took advantage. A 3-run home run to Jean Segura in the 3rd inning, preceded by a 1st inning Ryan Braun RBI double, was more than enough. However, they were followed by a Khris Davis solo home run in the 4th.

Tomorrow, the Padres travel to Washington DC to take on Matt Williams and his 12-10 Nationals. Eric Stults matches up against Jordan Zimmerman. First pitch happens on or around 4:10 PDT. Be there!

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Games! Data! La Forge! To celebrate the fact that the season is now 13 percent complete, here are 13 items of potential interest (stats are through April 22):

  • The difference between the top of the order and the heart has been staggering. Guys in the first two slots have hit .297/.333/.436 (these numbers were even better when I started writing this), while 3 through 6 are at .194/.257/.291 (lowest OPS in baseball, nearly 70 points worse than the Houston Astros). That isn’t the best way to score runs.
  • In an April 17 game at Petco Park, Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki drew three walks, or one more than Everth Cabrera and Will Venable have drawn combined in 158 plate appearances.
  • In 44 plate appearances, Alexi Amarista has drawn more than three times as many walks as Cabrera and Venable. As others have noted, it’s hard to throw strikes to the 5’6” Amarista, although that hasn’t kept him from not drawing walks in the past.

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Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Private Hotel Suite on Road Trips”

Yesterday, Dustin of The Sacrifice Bunt gave you a little insight into the perceived value of Gyorko’s extension. He looked at recent contracts given to players with similar service time, Starling Marte and Andrelton Simmons. Of the three players, Jedd Gyorko fell in the middle of both projected production and dollar values. Sounds good so far, doesn’t it?

But what about the perceived value of the contract compared to other contract extensions the Padres have handed out in recent years? How does that look for the Padres?

I was curious about that as well. So, I started to do a little research on all of the recent extensions given to Gyorko, Carlos Quentin, Huston Street, Cameron Maybin, and Cory Luebke.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub.  After all, this game went on so long with nothing happening that it seemed to blend into the next day.  So here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (10-11) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (15-6) in 12 innings by a score of 2-1.  Ian Kennedy pitched 6 innings of 1 run baseball, giving up 4 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts.  The Brewers’ starter, Yovani Gallardo, pitched 7 innings, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts.

Kennedy drove in the first Padres run with a squeeze bunt in the 5th inning that Gallardo misplayed, allowing Yonder Alonso to score and Kennedy to get to first base.  Scooter Gennett‘s 5th inning home run off of Kennedy tied up the game at 1.  And there it stayed for the next 7 innings.

Chase Headley hit a 447 foot home run in the top of the 12th inning for the Padres second run, which ended up being the winning run.  Huston Street retired the side in order in the bottom of the 12th for his seventh save after Donn Roach allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings for his first career win.

The Friars will send out Tyson Ross to face Kyle Lohse at 5:10 pm PDT for the series finale tonight at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

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You know what grinds my gears?

peter griffin GMG

Well I’m about to tell you.

Two weeks ago, @SDAztecsFan asked an innocuous question about Padres merchandise:

Several reputable Padres fans chimed in, leaving the overall impression this clothing was not carried at the main Padres store but available elsewhere in the ballpark. I decided to investigate for myself.

On 14 April I managed to escape work early. Despite having better things to do I headed down to the ballpark, arriving just after the gates opened.  In an attempt to ascertain what happened to the military logo gear, three different kiosks were questioned – one on the Toyota Terrace level, one right behind home plate, one down the RF line. The goal was to see what they knew about this merchandise.  Ultimately I would end up in the Padres Team Store.

Basically I asked ‘Are you selling the military logo apparel?’ and waited to see where the conversation went.

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Often as fans of a team, we end up (consciously or not) viewing the financial side of baseball from the owners’ perspective. We worry about how much our favorite team – the Padres of San Diego in this case – spends on its players, not because it’s our money on the line or because we’re worried about our team’s owners’ upcoming yacht payments, but because we want our team to spend its available dollars as efficiently as possible. In the end, after all things even out, efficient spending should correlate to more wins. And we as fans are generally in it for the wins.

So when the Padres signed* Jedd Gyorko to one of those team-friendly, long-term contract extensions that are all the rage these days, we rejoiced. Outside of small-scale deals for Cory Luebke, Cameron Maybin, and Nick Hundley, the Padres have generally avoided this kind of deal in recent years, sitting idly as other major league teams have locked down their young talent. Just since March of this year, Matt Carpenter, Jose Quintana, Starling Marte, Mike Trout, Yan Gomes, Chris Archer, and Jason Kipnis have signed long-term deals with their respective teams.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub. Especially when you filled up on brats and watched Field of Dreams on repeat all day in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary. So here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (9-11) dropped the first game of their 10-game road trip to the Milwaukee Brewers (15-5) by a score of 4-3 last night. Andrew Cashner got hit early but more or less settled down after the 3rd inning, going 6 innings with 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. But the offense continued to sputter, going just 1 for 10 with RISP against Wily Peralta, who pitched 6 1/3 innings with 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.

Yonder Alonso had the one hit with RISP, getting an RBI single in the 4th to score Seth Smith. Chris Denorfia hit a home run in the 7th inning to get the Friars within 1 run, but that was all they could manage.

One positive to take away from this game was that the Padres finally threw out a baserunner attempting a steal, when Ryan Braun was caught by Rene Rivera. So that’s something.

This evening at 5:10 pm PDT, Ian Kennedy tries to win his second game of the season while facing the Brew Crew and the undefeated Yovani Gallardo. And, yes, I’m trying to preemptively jinx Gallardo.

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There’s no denying it anymore. I’ve tried for so long, living in denial. I’ve tried convincing myself that Chase Headley was a very good player. I was lost in the fantasy of wanting him to become someone he never had the talent of being. Alas, the first 19 games of the season have finally convinced me that the Headley naysayers are right.

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It’s the day after Easter, and our cup runneth over. For me, that means loads and loads of Easter candy. I may be in my 30′s, but I never lost my sweet tooth. Jelly beans happen to be my favorite, and for a jelly bean fanatic, there’s no better holiday. The Padres’ cup, on the other hand, runneth over with catchers, and luckily, at least so far,  none of them have been runneth over by baserunners.

The Padres have now been carrying three catchers on their active roster for three weeks, and each one of them is showing his value to the team. Yasmani Grandal, getting about half the Padres’ catching playing time, has been one of the team’s top offensive performers so far, already worth half a win above replacement. Rene Rivera has been handed the role of catching both of the team’s stud starters, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, to great success so far. Nick Hundley, with his home run Sunday, just boosted his wRC+ to 149.

Then, of course, there’s Austin Hedges, the team’s top prospect. Hedges has struggled at the plate to start his season in AA San Antonio, but after a four hit day Sunday, including his first home run of the season, he’s now hitting .271 with a much more respectable .696 OPS. These are not numbers of an offensive juggernaut, but there had been concerns about his slow start, and one big day can make a big difference in April.

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