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 (56-78) scored more runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (74-60), 4-2, last night in the first of three games at Dodger Stadium.

Clayton Richard (1-3, 3.29) gave up one run on nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts in five innings. Joc Pederson‘s single in the fourth inning drove in Enrique Hernandez. Pederson then tied the game in the sixth inning with a solo home run off Brandon Morrow. Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter, and Brandon Maurer combined to shutout the Dodgers over the last three and two-thirds innings.

Julio Urias (5-2, 3.69) pitched five and a third innings, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out six. Derek Norris‘ double drove in Yangervis Solarte and Alex Dickerson in the sixth inning. In the eighth inning, Solarte hit a leadoff solo home run and Brett Wallace‘s pinch-hit RBI single drove Dickerson in.

Tonight at 6:10pm PDT, Luis Perdomo (7-7, 5.84) gets the start against Rich Hill (10-3, 2.09) in the second game.

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After covering the position players a few weeks back, we’re back today with some crazy pitcher predictions. Let’s get right to it . . . after this standard disclaimer:

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 Starters

James Shields

You can look at Shields’ 2015 season in two ways.

  1. He stunk. He allowed a league-leading 33 home runs in pitcher-friendly Petco, and he posted a below average ERA once accounting for ballparks. He also pitched “just” 202 1/3 innings, his lowest total since his rookie campaign, while also notching a career-worst 3.6 walks per 9.
  2. He was sneaky good. Shields’ 25.1 percent strikeout rate was the highest mark of his career, up nearly six percentage points from 2014—even though his velocity was down 1.5 miles per hour. His HR/FB was an unsustainably high 17.6 percent, and it’s bound to regress significantly going forward.

Huh, strange year. The glass half full outlook says Shields can keep his strikeout rate up while cutting down his walk rate and home run issues. That version of Shields would put him back on the fringes of the Cy Young race, but he’s 34 now—we won’t go quite that far.

The Prediction: 3.37 ERA, 22 percent strikeout rate, 24 home runs allowed

Tyson Ross

Ross feels like the type of pitcher ready to breakout as a true staff ace at any moment, and he’s come tantalizingly close already. He has his warts—trouble holding runners, higher than desired walk rates, injury risk due to heavy slider usage—but he also excels at just about everything you want from a pitcher. His 25.8 strikeout rate in 2015 marked a new career high, and that figure has been on the rise every year for Ross. His groundball rate has trended in the same direction, and last year it also reached a new peak at 61.5 percent. With sustained health and improved control, there’s no reason why Ross can’t take another jump forward in 2016.

The Prediction: 18 days on the DL (blister)

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Here’s some stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:

  • Every Player In Its Right Place (Baseball Prospectus) – Jeff Long presents results of BP’s collaboration with a company called Ayasdi to create “similarity maps” that attempt to put players into various buckets based on shared characteristics. Many of the technical aspects are over my head, but I like the concept and will be interested to see where they take this.
  • Ayala High’s Jonathan Buckley pitches a winner against diabetes (Los Angeles Times) – Need a reason to love Brandon Morrow? Try this: “The player turned around and whether because of fate or luck, it was Morrow. For more than 30 minutes, he graciously talked to Buckley and his family, explaining that Type 1 diabetes would not prevent anyone from pursuing their dreams.”
  • What MLB scouts see when they watch the Chihuahuas (Sports Town El Paso) – Jason Green tells us what’s happening at Triple-A. His report includes thoughts from an American League scout on Rymer Liriano, Austin Hedges, Nick Vincent, and more. Meanwhile, BP’s Brendan Gawlowski saw El Paso right-hander Aaron Northcraft (acquired in the Justin Upton trade) and came away less than impressed. Further down the chain, Curt Rallo profiles Michael Gettys at MiLB.com. Desire? As Gettys says, “I try to make every part of my game better, whether it’s hitting, hitting for power, base running, defensively. I try to be the best at every aspect. I work at everything.” Seems like a good plan. [h/t reader LynchMob for the Gettys article]
  • Introducing Deserved Run Average (DRA)—And All Its Friends (Baseball Prospectus) – Harry Pavlidis et al. have introduced a new pitching metric. This bad boy checks in at nearly 5,000 words, so cancel those afternoon meetings that you would have slept through anyway. If you’re still bored and/or awake after that, here’s an even longer (!) article on the same. Still need more pitching stuff? At Hardball Times, Saul Jackman examines Tyson Ross’ devastating slider, among other things.
  • Cardinals minor league strength coordinator breaks gender barrier in baseball (Peoria Journal Star) – This is good to see. Hopefully Rachel Balkovec isn’t categorically dismissed by closed-minded individuals the way former Padres massage therapist Kelly Calabrese once was by Keith “Just for Men” Hernandez. As Calabrese correctly noted back in 2006, “I don’t think the big issue is whether it’s a woman or a man, but just finding the person for the job.” [h/t SABR; follow the link for more goodies]

Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after an evening in the pub at a mile high of elevation. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you might have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (10-5) once again scored more runs, 7-6, than the Colorado Rockies (7-7) at Coors Field yesterday. Padres’ starter Brandon Morrow (0-0, 3.15) made it through six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Nick Hundley, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon (2), and Troy Tulowitzki all had RBI while facing Morrow. Hundley added another with a solo home run in the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel, who then retired the side for his fifth save.

Tyler Matzek (1-0, 2.40) lasted five innings while surrendering just two runs on four hits and six walks with three strikeouts. The Friars managed to run themselves out of a couple of scoring opportunities. Clint Barmes had a solo home run off of Matzek leading off the third inning. Barmes was then caught between third and home after ignoring the stop sign from the third base coach.

The Padres were down by two, 5-3, going into the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Yangervis Solarte singled to right field with two men on, scoring Will Middlebrooks. Alexi Amarista then tried a safety squeeze that didn’t work, as Yonder Alonso was out when the pitcher threw home, as Amarista reached on a Fielder’s Choice. Wil Myers then hit a single that scored Solarte to tie up the game at five. Derek Norris then hit a double that scored Amarista and Myers to put the Padres ahead for good.

Tonight at 5:40pm PDT, the third game of the series from Coors Field has James Shields (2-0, 2.84) taking the mound versus Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 7.56).

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

The Padres (6-4) once again scored more runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (4-5) last night at Petco Park, winning 3-2. Justin Upton extended his hitting streak to start the season to 10 games with a single in the second inning and then scored the Friars’ first run on a double by Yonder Alonso. He then hit another monster shot to left field in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Craig Kimbrel then came in to close out the game in the ninth inning for his third save.

Brandon Morrow (0-0, 1.20) had some trouble early, giving up a two-run home run in the first inning to Paul Goldschmidt. But he settled down and pitched well through the seventh, retiring 10 in a row before Aaron Hill singled. Morrow relieved by Joaquin Benoit in the eighth and Benoit was the pitcher of record when Upton hit his bomb.

Chase Anderson (0-0, 4.09) pitched six innings for the D-Backs. Newly called-up Yasmany Tomas made his Major League debut, pinch-hitting for Anderson in the seventh and grounding out in his only appearance of the game.

The Padres are off today, travelling to Chicago to face the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday at 11:20am PDT. James Shields (1-0, 2.08) will take the mound against the Cubs and Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50).

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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.

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Why is this happening? Is this gonna be forever?

After being snubbed by both Pablo Sandoval (BOS) and Yasmany Tomas (ARI) the Padres offseason looked to be just more of the same — overpromising and under-delivering — by the time the Winter Meetings started.

It was even reported that the new GM A.J. Preller’s laptop was broken right before the meetings started.  Out came the “Padres are too cheap to even replace a computer” jokes.

Padres’ fans started to show their frustration.  We all knew what this team needed to do, but it seemed that Preller was just like the old GM.  Refusing to drink the iced coffee instead of trying to upgrade the roster with quality players.

It was beginning to look like an almost exact repeat of the previous two offseasons, with only Brandon Morrow and Clint Barmes added as free agents for “roster depth.”

Clint Barmes

Padres sign IF Clint Barmes to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with a club option ($2 million or $200k buyout) for 2016

C’mon.  After Everth Cabrera was DFA, you didn’t really think the Padres were going to put all their faith in Alexi Amarista at shortstop, did you?  Although. Barmes is basically Amarista without the outfield experience.  He was basically signed for infield backup and as a veteran presence.

Why Clint Barmes?

Brandon Morrow

Padres sign RHP Brandon Morrow to a one-year, $2.5 million deal (with incentives)

Tim Stauffer Part Deaux, is what it boils down to.  Doesn’t cost much and if he doesn’t crack the rotation he’ll be the long reliever, most likely.

Brandon Morrow looking to make comeback with Padres

Then, the last day of the Winter Meetings happened.  And that all changed.  Big time.

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If there’s one thing that’s clear after the latest flurry of Padres moves, it’s that my dream scenario of Nori Aoki patrolling right field in 2015 isn’t going to happen. The consolation prize — a likely outfield of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton — is probably one we can live with.

We’ve already covered the Kemp and Myers trades (here and here), so, before we conclude with some thoughts on what might come next, let’s jump right in to a bevy of missed transactions.

Padres acquire OF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft from Atlanta Braves for LHP Max Fried, 2B/SS Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson, and OF Mallex Smith

Out of the three blockbuster trades pulled off by AJ Preller over the past week or so, this is the one that really screams win-now. Both Kemp and Myers will be around for five years — or at least until they’re dealt — but Upton’s contract expires after the 2015 season, where he’ll make $14.5 million. Though the Padres will have a lengthy, exclusive period to work on a potential extension with the 27-year-old outfielder, it’s likely that he’ll test the free agent market after the season. Even as a one year rental, there are reasons to like the move:

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