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

The Padres (68-94) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93), 3-2, in yesterday afternoon season finale at Chase Field.

Paul Clemens (4-5, 4.04) pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Brandon Drury scored on a second inning Chris Owings groundout. Drury hit a solo home run in the eighth inning. In the ninth inning, Philip Gosselin‘s single drove in Socrates Brito to win the game for the Diamondbacks.

Matt Koch (1-1, 2.00) gave up one run in six innings on five hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Hunter Renfroe hit an RBI double to score Wil Myers in the fourth inning. Back-to-back doubles by Austin Hedges and Luis Sardinas in the seventh inning resulted in the Padres’ last run scored.

The Padres are off for the next 182 days as they travel to Los Angeles for four games against the Dodgers (0-0) at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2017.

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

The Padres (67-90) scored more runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (90-67), 7-1, in the first of three games at Petco Park.

Paul Clemens (4-5, 4.27) allowed the one run on three hits and no walks in five innings with two strikeouts. The lone run came when Chase Utley hit a solo home run in the third inning.

Kenta Maeda (16-10, 3.28) started the game in place of Jose De Leon in order to help setup the Dodgers playoff rotation and gave up three runs in four innings on three hits and a walk while striking out five. All seven runs were driven in by Hunter Renfroe on a three-run home run in the first inning and a grand slam home run in the eighth inning.

Tonight’s second game at Petco Park has Luis Perdomo (8-10, 5.59) taking the hill against De Leon (2-0, 5.52) beginning at 7:10pm PDT.

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

The Padres (66-90) scored more runs than the San Francisco Giants (82-74) in their season series finale at Petco Park, 4-3.

Clayton Richard (3-3, 2.98) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walk in six inning with one strikeout. All three Giants’ runs came in the third inning: Kelby Tomlinson ground out with the bases loaded to drive in Trevor Brown and Buster Posey‘s two-run single scored Ty Blach and Eduardo Nunez.

Blach (0-0, 2.00) gave up two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three in four innings. The Giants used six relievers, three of those in the last two innings. Manuel Margot hit a single to drive in Austin Hedges in the second inning. In the third inning, Adam Rosales hit a solo home run. A Yangervis Solarte single in the fifth inning scored Wil Myers. And Myers hit an RBI single in the seventh inning to drive in Margot with the go ahead run.

The Padres are off today. The Los Angeles Dodgers (90-66) come to Petco Park for the final time in 2016 for three games starting tomorrow at 7:10pm PDT. Paul Clemens (3-5, 4.48) gets the start in the first game against Jose De Leon (2-0, 5.52).

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

The Padres (65-89) scored more runs than the San Francisco Giants (81-73) in the second of four games at Petco Park, 7-2.

Edwin Jackson (5-6, 5.77) allowed two runs on four hits and five walks in six innings while striking out five. Buster Posey‘s two-RBI double in the fifth scored Denard Span and Angel Pagan.

Albert Suarez (3-5, 4.29) pitched four innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout. Wil Myers hit a three run home run with no outs in the first inning. The other four runs came off reliever Matt Reynolds, who gave up four hits and three walks while not recording an out in the fifth inning. Ryan Schimpf drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Jon Jay, a two-RBI single by Alex Dickerson drove in Carlos Asuaje and Myers, and an Austin Hedges sacrifice fly scored Schimpf.

Tonight starting at 5:40pm PDT, Jarred Cosart (0-4, 5.63) gets the start against Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.57) in the third game of the series.

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Series intro and week no. 1
Week no. 2

Logan Allen, LHP, Single-A Fort Wayne

The state of Indiana is known for Hoosiers, its anti-noodling law, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps’ starting rotation, which consists of Austin Smith, Jacob Nix (more on him later), Anderson EspinozaJean Cosme, now-injured Chris Paddack, and Logan Allen. Allen is a 6’3,’’ 200-pound lefty, originally drafted in the eighth round last year out of high school by the Red Sox, and acquired by the Padres as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade.

Last season, in the Red Sox organization, he pitched only 24 1/3 innings, mostly in the Gulf Coast League (rookie ball), but he struck out 26 while allowing just a lone walk and no home runs. That performance, combined with his age, stuff, and handedness, pushed him onto Baseball America’s top 10 Padres prospects list once it came out last December (he just missed BP’s top 10).

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padrestwitterIt’s that time of year again. Two years ago, I published what I considered to be the most comprehensive list of Padres-related Twitter accounts that I thought every Padres fan should be following. I updated it as needed as players were traded or people changed jobs, but that just got time-consuming and monotonous.

I redid the entire thing exactly one year later, with new accounts added and others removed, mostly due to repetitiveness or just no longer existing.

I revisited it this month, and what follows are the results.

Some are informative follows. Some are humorous. Some are both. But all of them, I guarantee*, will improve your Padres Twitter experience.

*Guarantee void in Tennessee. And everywhere else, for that matter. I guarantee nothing except eventual death.
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Here’s the thing: Making predictions about baseball is really hard. If you make a bunch of them, however, you have a better chance to be right a few times, and you can put that kind of stuff on the back of your baseball (writer) card. Here are a bunch of predictions for Padres position players in the 2016 season.

Disclaimer: These guys certainly all won’t make the Opening Day 25-man roster, but they all stand a good chance to at least find themselves in the majors at some point. Also, predictions are for the player’s full season, regardless of whether or not they are traded, but only count major-league performance (unless otherwise noted).

The Catchers

Derek Norris
I had a love-hate relationship with the Padres starting catcher last season; early in the year I wrote about how his poor framing numbers were hurting the Padres, and later in the year I wrote about how impressive his turnaround was in that department. Norris is suddenly a good framer and, don’t forget, he threw out like 472 runners last season—dude’s a solid defensive backstop.

The Prediction: +9.7 Framing Runs (Baseball Prospectus)

Christian Bethancourt
Bethancourt’s a player Braves fans probably drooled about for years. Then he appeared under the spotlight in Atlanta, and the locals quickly got restless. That’s it? A defense-first catcher who can’t defend? This stinks.

Bethancourt’s throwing arm is of the sort where you wonder if it’s made of all-natural stuff like skin and bones and ligaments or if it’s some kind of alien experiment gone completely right. So he’s got that going for him.

The Prediction: 44* percent CS rate, 1.87 average pop time

*If he catches Tyson Ross in more than 20 percent of his games, I hereby reduce this number to 36 percent.

Austin Hedges
Newsflash No. 1: Hedges may never hit.

Newsflash No. 2: Nobody would look at you funny if you proclaimed Hedges the best defensive catcher on the planet.

Hedges has (don’t go there, don’t go there) Yasmani Grandal’s framing ability with Bethancourt’s arm (or, at least, a not-so-cheap alien-style knockoff) with Yadier Molina’s expert handling of a pitching staff with . . . well, you get the point. He’s a great defensive catcher with no notable weaknesses behind the dish.

There’s probably a decent chance he spends a good chunk of time in Triple-A, since Bethancourt is out of options and Hedges could use daily reps, but it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if he reappeared in San Diego at some point.

The Prediction: +31 Framing Runs, including minor leagues (Baseball Prospectus)

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So … we’re back. Still mostly confused.

Last year when A.J. Preller took over as GM, he inherited a roster with a slight logjam at catcher. There was Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal at the major-league level, and Austin Hedges waiting on the farm. Then, like 17 trades later, the Padres had a more manageable logjam: Derek Norris as the main guy with Tim Federowicz as the (soon-to-be-injured) backup, and Hedges still on the farm. Rocky Gale‘s always around.

You wanna talk about logjams? Check out the current catcher situation. After a solid season, Norris is still the main guy. Hedges, who was called up last year, is also there and so is new guy Josmil Pinto. That’s a lot of catchers; certainly don’t need anymore, no no.

Oh, okay. Another catcher. That’s interesting.

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In May of the this past season, I wrote a couple of articles that were critical of Derek Norris‘ pitch framing. By the time I wrote the second one — May 26th — Norris had cost the Padres nearly 29 strikes, second-worst in the majors behind only Carlos Ruiz, per Baseball Prospectus. I even went so far as to place a good bit of blame for the pitching staff’s struggles (and all of humankind’s) on Norris’ poor framework.

Here’s what the end-of-season pitch framing tally looks like, from BP:

Screenshot 2015-10-15 at 2.14.48 AM

Shit.

There’s Norris, with the season’s dust settled, ranking as the 10th-best pitch framer in the league. There’s Ruiz, still last, having cost his team 56.9 strikes — or almost 9 runs. Norris, instead of continuing in a chase with Ruiz for framing futility, suddenly turned into one of baseball’s best receivers right around the time I published that second article. What happened?

  1. Norris read my articles, enjoyed ’em, smiled, then immersed himself in the world of pitch framing, studying the mechanics of the Molinas and Francisco Cervelli and Yasmani Grandal, reading books on the subject, spending sleepless nights watching Tom Emanski’s framing videos, consulting with Ben Lindbergh, etc. Likelihood this is the answer: 8 percent.
  2. Someone else, most likely a Padres staffer (or Andrew Cashner), hinted to Norris that maybe his framing numbers weren’t so hot, and that it was an area he could work on. Dennis Lin wrote about Norris’ in-season framing improvements in September, where Norris seems to admit that his development behind the dish was a work-in-progress. Specifically, he discusses some areas that we were focused on early in the season: In particular, Norris said, his improvement has come through “trying to stay relaxed and be as soft as I can. And when the ball hits my mitt, not trying to let it drag, trying to catch it exactly where it is, just be nice and soft.” Likelihood this is the answer: 68 percent. 
  3. Regression — Pitch framing stats, both because they’re based on such granular measurements and because so many pitches are thrown each game, aren’t subject to heavy regression like, say, BABiP or ERA. Still, there’s obviously some present. With Oakland, Norris’ pitch framing was right around league average, so it was always odd that he transformed into one of the worst framers in the game upon joining the Padres. Likelihood this is the answer: 44 percent. 
  4. Baseball is baseball, and we don’t know nothin’. Likelihood this is the answer: 100 percent. 

Whatever happened, Norris deserves credit. If he was -28.9 strikes through May 25th and ended the season +69.8 strikes, that means he was something like +98.7 strikes in the four months in between. In other words, from June on, Norris was one of the best framers in the league, clearly behind only Grandal and, perhaps, some small sample success stories, like San Diego’s own Austin Hedges. This is good news.

While Norris’ offensive production suffered as the season grew longer, he ended the year with a respectable-for-catcher .250/.305/.404 slash line. He also bettered his throwing, as we discussed mid-season, gunning down 34 percent of would-be base stealers. With improved all-around work behind the dish, Norris is suddenly a well-rounded backstop who doesn’t turn 27 until February 14th. This, too, is good news.

In part two, we’ll try to identify some examples of how Norris improved his pitch framing so dramatically.

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

The Padres (74-87) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-70) last night at Dodger Stadium, 2-1. The loss guaranteed a top-10 protected pick in next year’s draft. So, they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.

Robbie Erlin (1-2, 4.76) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Justin Turner hit a solo home run with two outs in the first inning. In the fourth inning, back-to-back singles by Howie Kendrick and Turner led to Kendrick scoring on a double play groundout by Adrian Gonzalez.

Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66) struck out eight in eight innings, allowing the one run on an Austin Hedges solo home run in the fifth inning. The Padres managed just four hits and a walk off Greinke.

In the season finale this afternoon, Frank Garces (0-0, 5.00) will start the game against Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.16) in what is being called “Bullpen Day.” In that the Padres’ bullpen will have to combine to throw a full nine inning game, at the very least. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10pm PDT.

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