If I told you that Austin Hedges has allowed just two passed balls this year, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. Hedges has long been touted as a defensive prodigy at backstop, with good athleticism, good footwork, good hands, good just about anything you’d associate with defense at catcher; passed balls, on the other hand, are for slow, stone-handed handed catchers, save for the occasional cross-up or knuckleball. You probably also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Hedges has allowed the second-fewest amount of passed balls in baseball among regular catchers this season, just one ahead of Buster Posey and nine behind the league leaders, Yasmani Grandal and Gary Sanchez.

At this point, you might think, okay, big deal.

Sciambi’s tweet got me thinking, though: what if more passed balls is actually a good thing?

The idea here is that good framing catchers are worried more about presenting the pitch correctly over securing the ball 100 percent of the time. And that the actions associated with good framing—staying quiet, sneakily moving the glove back toward the strike zone on the catch, occasionally catching the ball outside the pocket of the catcher’s mitt, etc.—are the kind of skills that might also lead to more passed balls. A passed ball, in isolation, is never a good thing. But if five extra passed balls a year lead to five extra runs in pitch framing, you’ll take it in a heartbeat.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (48-58) scored more runs than the Minnesota Twins (50-54) last night, 3-0, in the first of two games at Petco Park.

Jhoulys Chacin (11-7, 3.99) shutout the Twins over seven innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out three.

Jose Berrios (9-5, 3.57) gave up one run in seven innings — not allowing a hit for the first five innings — on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. In the sixth inning, Hunter Renfroe led off with an infield single, took third base on Austin Hedges double, and scored on Manuel Margot‘s sacrifice fly (which became a double play after Hedges was tagged out trying to get to third base). Hedges hit a two-run home run in the eight inning.

This afternoon’s series finale pits Luis Perdomo (5-5, 4.76) against Ervin Santana (11-7, 3.37) beginning at 12:40pm PDT.
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In an trade deadline puzzler, the Padres held onto Brad Hand. Back in June, I was so sure that Hand was going to be dealt by July 31 that I traded him to every other team in the league, an article that now reads like a graveyard of what could have been. When I updated Hand’s most likely landing spots a few weeks back, I didn’t even consider the Padres as a top five contender.

What happened? In the simplest terms, it appears that the Padres set a high asking price—a fair initial stance for a pitcher of Hand’s quality—and the rest of the league failed to meet it, or even get close enough to make A.J. Preller & Co. budge. The complicated answer is, well, more complicated, and also unknown. Maybe it involves bits and pieces of some distrust of Preller, some distrust of Hand. Maybe it involves the Padres not budging enough from that initial asking price. More so, probably, it appears that the league as a whole decided to back off on dealing marquee prospects for last-ditch deadline improvements.

Justin Wilson, Hand’s most similar deadline comp, was traded to the Cubs, with Alex Avila, for Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes, neither of whom cracked Baseball America’s midseason top 100. That’s a modest package, considering Avila, a one-year rental, is still a catcher OPSing .869. Addison Reed, another rental, was dealt from the Mets to the Red Sox for a trio of unexciting pitching prospects. Sonny Gray, mentioned in the tweet above, is a superb starter with 2.5 years left on his contract, and even he didn’t pry away one of the Yankees top prospects.

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Yesterday, on twitter, I did what I do best on there. I hijacked an otherwise innocent thread and turned it into a lengthy debate on nuance (it turned into a good discussion, by the way).

First off, I’m down with the tank. I’ve been on board since day one, and although maybe I haven’t been loading and firing artillery, or driving that thing, I’ve been present in the back, filing paperwork on code regulations and such.

The tank makes perfect sense. If you’re not going to be good, be bad; be really bad. Don’t strive for the middle. That’s about all it is, really. Being bad in baseball gives you certain perks. For your toils, you get a higher first round draft pick, more draft bonus pool money, (formerly) more international money, and the ability to orchestrate a plan that focuses just about all resources on the future. It’s a strategy that allows you to draft MacKenzie Gore, to trade for players like Fernando Tatis Jr., and to audition Rule 5’ers like Luis Perdomo or Allen Cordoba.

The Padres have done a pretty good job with it. Their 68-94 record last year netted them the third overall pick, and they’ve been able to locate and polish up a number of diamond-in-the-rough types, either to use in trades (Trevor Cahill, possibly Brad Hand, etc.) or to maybe hold on to (Perdomo, etc.). They’ve also spent and scouted diligently in the international amateur market, and done a solid job with the stateside draft. As a result, the farm system is loaded with both upside and depth, and it currently ranks like fourth-best in all of baseball, give or take a few slots depending on your source.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after a Sunday afternoon at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (47-58) scored fewer runs than the Pittsburgh Pirates (51-54), 7-1, yesterday in the finale of three games at Petco Park.

Clayton Richard (5-12, 5.40) gave up four runs in six innings on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Andrew McCutchen hit the first of his three solo home runs in the first inning. In the sixth inning, Jose Osuna tripled to drive in McCutchen and David Freese. McCutchen’s second home run came in the eighth inning off Jose Torres. In the ninth inning, Josh Bell led off with a home run and McCutchen added his third.

Gerrit Cole (9-7, 3.97) allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out eight in seven innings. Dusty Coleman hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.

The Padres are off today with the Minnesota Twins (50-53) heading to Petco Park for two games beginning tomorrow at 7:10pm PDT. Jhoulys Chacin (10-7, 4.22) gets the start tomorrow versus Jose Berrios (9-4, 3.76).
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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (47-57) scored more runs than the Pittsburgh Pirates (50-54) last night at Petco Park, 4-2.

Dinelson Lamet (5-4, 5.62) allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in six-plus innings while striking out seven. Andrew McCutchen scored on a single by David Freese and Josh Bell scored on a double-play groundout by Francisco Cervelli in the seventh inning.

Ivan Nova (10-8, 3.75) gave up four runs in five innings on eight hits and no walks with six strikeouts. In the first inning, Jose Pirela tripled to drive in Manuel Margot and then scored on Hector Sanchez‘ double. Hunter Renfroe‘s double in the fourth inning drove in Cory Spangenberg. Margot led off the fifth inning with a home run.

This afternoon’s series finale has Clayton Richard (5-11, 5.37) starting versus Gerrit Cole (8-7, 4.12) beginning at 1:40pm PDT.
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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (46-57) scored more runs than the Pittsburgh Pirates (50-53), 3-2, in the first of three games at Petco Park last night.

Travis Wood (2-3, 6.42) pitched six innings in his Padres debut, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run in the third inning.

Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.84) gave up two runs on four hits and five walks with four strikeouts in five and a third innings. Wood singled to drive in Cory Spangenberg in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning, Spangenberg tripled and drove in Jose Pirela and Daniel Hudson threw a wild pitch on a walk to Allen Cordoba to let Spangenberg to cross the plate.

Dinelson Lamet (4-4, 5.92) gets the start in tonight’s second game against Ivan Nova (10-7, 3.62). First pitch is scheduled for 5:40pm PDT.
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The Padres announced earlier tonight that pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza will undergo Tommy John surgery. Espinoza was acquired last summer from the Boston Red Sox for Drew Pomeranz. He made seven starts down the stretch at Fort Wayne last season, but hasn’t pitched at all this year, held back for precautionary reasons. Espinoza will have the surgery next week in Dallas, Texas.

Here are some thoughts on the matter.

1. Get well, Anderson Espinoza

We often think about how an injury like this affects the Padres. That’s only natural, of course, but it’s important to think about Espinoza here. The Padres will be fine. On the other hand, Espinoza’s a 19-year-old who hasn’t pitched a minor-league game in 11 months, and who now has to deal with a significant surgery and a long, grueling recovery, one that certainly doesn’t guarantee a return to previous form.

Espinoza signed for $1.8 million back in 2014, so he’s doing okay. Once you factor in buscones, taxes, and living on a paltry minor-league salary for a few years, though, he hasn’t really earned the big bucks yet. He still has a bright future, we hope, but it’s hard not to feel for someone who’s right arm, gifted as it is, has failed him. The most important thing here is that Anderson Espinoza gets healthy for Anderson Espinoza. If that happens, the Padres will be beneficiaries, and so will we.

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Hey, another twitter mailbag. Thank you twitter.

In this type of scenario, I’m inclined to just say, hey, Wil Myers is what the overall numbers say he is. So far, in his career, Myers has a 110 wRC+. This year it’s 108. In 2015 and 2016 it was 115. So, he’s like a 110-115 wRC+ guy going forward, which is fine but not great for a first baseman.

However, with Myers, I still hold out some hope for more. And let’s be honest, we all want to be optimists at heart, drinking our water from glasses that are always half full.

Optimist point No. 1: Myers is just 26 years old. A solid player suddenly reaching new heights in his late 20s is far from unheard of; just of the top of my head, there are guys like Jose Bautista and Eric Thames that jump off the page. Bautista, for example, went from a below average hitter to one of the best hitters in the America League for a few years, right at age 29. It’d be silly to count on that from Myers, or anybody, but there’s always a chance things just suddenly click.

Optimist point No. 2: I still think it’d be worth looking into revamping his swing in the offseason. If it was working, fine, go with it. But there’s no good reason his swing has to look like that, especially when he’s hitting at a level below what both he and the Padres probably expect. It might be somewhat risky, but it’s possible that even just a swing tweak could set Myers on the right path.

Short answer: He’s probably something like what we’ve seen, but breakout potential exists. I’ll say he’s able to jump his wRC+ into the 120s or 130s, at least, for a few years here.

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Sometimes things can get a little fuzzy after an evening at the pub. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (45-57) scored more runs than the New York Mets (47-53) in the finale of four games last night at Petco Park, 7-5.

Luis Perdomo (5-5, 4.76) allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings. Manuel Margot hit a leadoff solo home run in the first inning. In the second inning, the Padres loaded the bases and Margot hit a double to drive in Jabari Blash, Dusty Coleman, and Luis Torrens. Coleman hit his first Major League home run, a three-run opposite field shot, in the fifth inning.

Chris Flexen (0-1, 9.00) gave up four runs (three earned) in three innings on five hits and four walks while striking out two in his Major League debut. Michael Conforto scored in the first inning on a Jay Bruce fielder’s choice. In the seventh inning, Conforto scored on Yoenis Cespedes‘ double, Jose Torres was called for a balk to bring Asdrubal Cabrera home, and Bruce hit a two-run home run.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (50-52) come to Petco Park for three game starting tonight at 7:10pm PDT. Travis Wood (1-3, 6.91) gets his first start as a Padre against Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.92).
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