Jarred Cosart turns 27 today, which seems like as good a time as any to try something different.

Players are doing just that all across baseball, both having birthdays and seemingly willing themselves into better players simply by changing their style. Many pitchers are throwing more breaking balls, like Rich Hill, Trevor Cahill (here), or Brad Hand (here), going from also-rans to effective big-league hurlers in the snap of a curveball. Eric Thames went to South Korea and learned the strike zone, returning a slugging star. Daniel Murphy decided to start lifting the ball, and he racked up 77 extra-base hits last season. Middling first baseman and former Padres enigma Yonder Alonso tried something novel—hitting the ball hard—and suddenly he’s a guy who hits the ball hard.

Simple as it is, it’s still a weird concept to grasp, and it doesn’t necessarily jibe with what we know about baseball. Players aren’t supposed to be able to change so easily, and find success so quickly. Of course, it doesn’t always work. Still, there are enough positive cases that for any player just hanging on to a major-league career, or perhaps stalling after a promising debut, or both (*cough*Cosart*cough*), it makes sense to give it a shot—whether “it” is more curves or an uppercut swing.

Cosart had a typical Cosart start last night, hobbling his way through 2 2/3 innings, with four runs allowed, four hits, four walks, and one strikeout. That is the Cosart start, right there. Since joining the Padres last season, eight (eight!) of Cosart’s 13 starts have resulted in at least as many walks as strikeouts. What was sort of working early in his career—a bad K:BB ratio but a lot of ground balls and not many homers—just isn’t working anymore, as evidenced by pretty much any advanced pitching metric you want to look at (and even all the old school ones).

Read More…

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 (15-30) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (26-18) last night at Petco Park, 9-1.

Luis Perdomo (0-1, 5.79) finally got his first decision of 2017, but he did it the hard way. Perdomo lasted just three innings, giving up eight runs on eleven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Chris Owings and David Peralta scored on a Paul Goldschmidt single, Goldschmidt scored on a Jake Lamb double, and Chris Herrmann hit a two-run home run, all in the first inning. In the second inning, Yasmany Tomas‘ bases loaded single drove in Peralta and Goldschmidt. Peralta scored again in the fourth inning on Lamb’s single. In  the ninth inning, Brandon Maurer threw a wild pitch to Rey Fuentes, allowing Lamb to score.

Robbie Ray (3-3, 3.91) shutout the Padres over seven and two-thirds innings on just two hits and three walks while striking out six. Luis Sardinas hit an infield single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to drive in Hunter Renfroe.

This afternoon’s series finale, starting at 1:40pm PDT, will have Clayton Richard (2-5, 4.86) taking the mound against Zack Godley (1-0, 1.93).

Read More…

Brandon Maurer has been a decent pitcher in San Diego. That’s not the highest praise for a guy who assumed a closer role this year. But his 3.15 DRA in 2015 was great, and his 4.33 DRA last year was average, so decent is the word I’m going with.

As closer, Brandon Maurer has been frustrating of late. He blew a save dramatically against the Rangers last Thursday, wasn’t particularly effective against the White Sox on Sunday, then he blew another save last night against the Brewers.

So you start asking questions. The first answer to those questions is a reminder that we’re talking about 16 innings here. It’s been well established that baseball is weird, and baseball gets extra weird in 16 innings. His season so far is like, two or three starts from a pitcher. Nobody, except maybe Ron Fowler puts much stock into so short a time period.

But also, if you’re like me, you might pull up his Fangraphs page and have a little look see.

IP ERA FIP xFIP
16 6.75 2.53 1.96

As a refresher, FIP considers only a pitcher’s walks, strikeouts, and home runs, and xFIP pretends the number of home runs a pitcher gives up is what we would expect based on his fly ball rate.

Turns out Anibal Sanchez is the only pitcher with an ERA that far above his xFIP, and Maurer leads the majors in the same stat with regular FIP, among pitchers with 15+ innings.  There are a handful of guys mixed in here with 10-14 innings, but I left them out because the point about how extreme Maurer has been still stands, and #RelieverChat this early in the season is really more a fun novelty than a meaningful discussion.

How has this happened? Interestingly, Maurer is giving up a ton of dingers while still managing to strike guys out and avoid walks. His 3.24 DRA and 86 cFIP remain impressive as well. The plan to flip Maurer at the deadline to any team that might still believe in the benefits of a proven closer should still be in good shape.

 

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 (15-27) scored fewer runs than the Milwaukee Brewers (23-18) last night, 3-1, at Petco Park.

Jhoulys Chacin (4-3, 4.61) pitched seven innings, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while striking out eight. The Brewers scored one run in the first inning on Travis Shaw‘s single that drove in Eric Sogard. But Chacin retired the next nineteen batters before walking Jett Bandy in the seventh inning. Brandon Maurer gave up two runs on four straight hits and an RBI groundout in the ninth inning to take the loss.

Matt Garza (2-0, 2.43) gave up one run on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts over six innings. Yangervis Solarte‘s double in the sixth inning scored Wil Myers.

The series finale this afternoon at 12:40pm PDT has Jarred Cosart (0-1, 3.24) getting the start against Zach Davies (4-2, 5.80).

Read More…

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 (14-25) scored fewer runs than the Chicago White Sox (17-17), 9-3, yesterday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Jered Weaver (0-4, 6.05) allowed one run on five hits and two walk in six innings with three strikeouts. Leury Garcia scored in the first inning when Avisail Garcia hit into a double play with the bases loaded. Weaver shut out the White Sox in the last five innings he pitched. And then came the eighth inning…

201705148th

The White Sox scored eight runs off Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and Craig Stammen in the eighth inning. Fourteen batters came to the plate in that inning. It was a sight to behold.

Jose Quintana (2-5, 4.38) pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five. Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run home run off Quintana in the seventh inning.

The Padres come back home to San Diego and Petco Park for four games against the Milwaukee Brewers (21-17). Luis Perdomo (0-0, 4.13) gets the start tonight against Chase Anderson (2-0, 2.97) at 7:10pm PDT.

Read More…

I don’t know about you, but I’m always amazed how often hitters miss good, hittable pitches, either fouling them off or swinging right through them. Of course, there are good reasons why this happens. Hitting is hard, for one. The hitter is always having to guess and/or react to a spinning baseball arriving in an unreasonable amount of time, and the pitcher is always in the driver’s seat, calling the shots.

Say, for example, it’s a 2–2 count and, in the back of his mind, the hitter is thinking slider. Instead he gets a fastball, at 93, right down the middle, but he fouls it back to the screen, just late. It looks like something to crush, but given the context of the situation, the pitcher’s tendencies and the hitter’s expectations, it turns out to be a tough pitch to handle. Consider, further, the first pitch hanging curve ball. It looks squarely like a meatball the whole way, but the hitter’s likely sitting fastball, and the speed and trajectory of the pitch throw him off enough to result in an awkward cut and whiff, or no swing at all.

There are other pitches, though, pitches that are too fat; pitches that define the very nature of the meatball. In a 3–1 count to Mike Napoli, tied 2–2 in the ninth, Brandon Maurer delivered one of those pitches last night:

Read More…

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 (13-23) scored fewer runs than the Texas Rangers (13-20), 5-2, on a walk-off three-run home run by Mike Napoli last night at Globe Life Park.

Clayton Richard (2-4, 4.34) pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Richard started the eighth inning and gave up a solo home run to Napoli and a single from Carlos Gomez before being relieved by Brad Hand. In the ninth inning, Brandon Maurer surrendered three straight one out singles that brought Elvis Andrus around to score before giving up a three-run walk-off home run to Napoli.

Martin Perez (1-5, 3.89) allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six and a third innings pitched. Ryan Schimpf‘s RBI single in the first inning drove in Matt Szczur. In the seventh inning, a Manuel Margot sacrifice fly scored Austin Hedges.

The Padres head to Guaranteed Rate Field for three games against the Chicago White Sox (15-16). Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 5.26) gets the start tonight against Miguel Gonzalez (3-2, 3.18) starting at 5:10pm PDT.

Read More…

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 (6-10) scored more runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (10-6) last night at Petco Park, 1-0.

Jhoulys Chacin (2-2, 4.70) pitched eight shutout innings, with three hits and a walk while striking out five. Brandon Maurer gave up a leadoff single in the ninth inning to A.J. Pollock, but retired the next three batters for the save.

Zack Greinke (1-2, 3.28) matched Chacin for seven and a third innings, giving up a solo home run with one out in the eighth inning to Erick Aybar for the only run. Greinke finished five hits and a walk with six strikeouts over eight innings pitched.

Tonight, starting at 6:10pm PDT, Clayton Richard (1-2, 3.60) gets the start against Patrick Corbin (1-2, 2.81) in the series finale at Petco Park.

Read More…

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 (5-9) scored fewer runs than the Atlanta Braves (6-6), getting swept in four games with a walkoff loss yesterday at SunTrust Park.

Jered Weaver (0-1, 4.24) pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Brandon Phillips scored on Kurt Suzuki‘s ground out in the second inning, after singling, taking second base on Luis Sardiñas error, and moving to third base on a sacrifice fly. Freddie Freeman two home runs: a two-run shot in the third inning and a solo in the eighth inning. The Braves won when Brandon Maurer loaded the bases in the ninth inning and Dansby Swanson hit a single to left field that Allen Cordoba couldn’t catch.

Jaime Garcia (0-1, 4.67) surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four in six and a third innings. Manuel Margot, Wil Myers, and Yangervis Solarte began the game with three straight singles, driving in Margot for the first run. Cordoba hit a pinch-hit solo home run to lead off the seventh inning before playing left field. And Austin Hedges hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

The Friars head home to Petco Park to begin three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks (9-5) tonight at 7:10pm PDT. Jarred Cosart (0-0, 3.86) gets the first start of the series against Shelby Miller (1-1, 5.06).

Read More…

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

The Padres (5-5) scored more runs than the Colorado Rockies (6-4) yesterday, 6-0, at Coors Field.

Zach Lee (1-0, 0.00) started in place of Luis Perdomo (0-0, 8.44), who was placed on the disabled list with shoulder issues. Lee shutout the Rockies over five and one-third innings on two hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Jose Torres, Ryan Buchter, Jake Esch, and Brandon Maurer combined over the final three and two-thirds innings to finish the shutout on one hit (Buchter) and two walks (Esch) with four more strikeouts.

Kyle Freeland (1-1, 5.91) gave up all six runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out two. Wil Myers drove in Manuel Margot with a double in the first inning, then scored on Yangervis Solarte‘s single, and Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run home run. In the fifth inning, Hunter Renfroe singled to score Myers and Schimpf drove in Solarte with a sacrifice fly.

The Padres travel to Atlanta for the opening of SunTrust Park to take on the Atlanta Braves (1-6) for four games starting tomorrow at 4:35pm PDT. Jhoulys Chacin (1-1, 8.10) takes the mound tomorrow with Julio Teheran (0-0, 0.00) starting for the Braves.

Read More…