When I wrote about Dinelson Lamet‘s upcoming debut a couple of days ago, I noted that his biggest challenge would be Mets left fielder Michael Conforto. The reasons were pretty obvious: Conforto is friggin’ good at hitting, he’s been red hot, he makes his living by mashing righties, etc. And to compound things, Lamet has struggled big time against left-handed hitters throughout his career. It looked like a matchup from hell, at least for anyone rooting for the Padres rookie.
What happened last night was an eye opener for anyone throwing a little shade Lamet’s way, including myself. Let’s go at-bat by at-bat.
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 (18-31) scored more runs than the New York Mets (19-26) at Citi Field last night, 4-3.
Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 1.80) made his Major League debut, giving up one run on three hits and two walks in five innings while striking out eight. Lucas Duda hit a solo home run in the second inning. In the eighth inning, Duda drove in Neil Walker with a single. Jose Reyes ground into a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning to score Michael Conforto.
Rafael Montero (0-4, 8.24) started in place of Jacob deGrom, who was held back because of the weather. Montero pitched just three innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts. In the first inning, a bases loaded single by Cory Spangenberg drove in Yangervis Solarte and Matt Szczur drew a bases loaded walk scoring Wil Myers. Szczur hit an RBI single to score Hunter Renfroe in the third inning. Spangenberg drove in Allen Cordoba with a double in the ninth inning.
The Padres head to Washington D.C. and Nationals Park to start a three-game series with the Nationals (28-18) tomorrow at 4:05pm PDT. Luis Perdomo (0-1, 5.79) starts the first game with Max Scherzer (4-3, 3.02) going for the Nationals.
Jhoulys Chacin‘s struggles continue
The most often cited Chacin split is the home-road one, where he’s somehow posted a 0.67 home ERA this season and a 8.77 one on the road, and that doesn’t include last night’s clunker in New York. That Chacin split is explainable to a degree (Petco’s pitcher friendly, players perform better at home, etc.), but with that large a gap it’s mostly just a good helping of statistically noise. The more meaningful Chacin split is probably the lefty-right one (not that it’s bereft of noise), as he’s allowed .894 OPS against lefties this season, with six homers allowed, 10 walks, and 10 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances—and, again, that doesn’t include last night’s game.
If you watched Chacin’s 10-pitch battle with Michael Conforto (more on him in a second) to lead off yesterday’s game, it never felt like it was going to end well for Chacin. Conforto ultimately fouled off five straight pitches before taking a slider out to right field. Chacin will have to figure out how to not turn every lefty hitter into Bryce Harper (or Conforto) if he’s to turn things around this season.
Four years ago, I started a project out of, quite frankly, spite and disappointment.
I now feel a responsibility to maintain this thing I started.
Because the Padres Twittersphere is an ever-evolving entity. Players and people leave, sometimes even of their own accord. Some who have stayed have changed their Twitter usage to not be all that interesting of a follow anymore. Still others just seem to have given up the medium altogether.
Some do a bit of all of that, sailing off into the distance in silence, like a sailboat in the night.
So, here we are. The fourth iteration of my “Padres Must-Follow” Twitter list.
After starting our What’s Brewing On The Farm series, we thought we would put it all together by publishing our own top Padres prospects list. It’s important to note that while we’ve seen a few of these players in person, we aren’t scouts or experts. We follow the Padres farm and collect as much info as we can from a variety of real experts.
What follows is a list based on mixing those opinions, and our own preferences of the importance of a player’s qualities. It’s also a mixture of each contributor’s thoughts into one final result. So throw on your AJ Preller approved bucket hat, it’s about to get real prospecty in here.
Click here for the series intro and last week’s reports.
Chris Baker, SS, Low-A Tri-City
Taken out of the University of Washington in the 17th round of this year’s draft, Chris Baker is currently plying his trade in the Northwest League with the Tri-City Dust Devils. Having played all over the infield at Washington (competently, according to multiple reports), he’s played shortstop exclusively during his month and a half as a professional. Currently at the All-Star break, Baker’s slash line is .300/.397/.393 in 179 PA, with a 129 wRC+. That’s good enough for him to be selected for the Northwest League All-Star team.
Baker’s an interesting player, as I found out when I had the opportunity to watch the Dust Devils play a series in person a couple of weeks back. Offensively, he already looks comfortable at this level. The ball looks solid off of his bat, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit more power develop before he’s through. Defensively, I thought he looked average/above-average, with a pretty strong arm. In each game of the series, there were some mental lapses on the bases and in the field. John Conniff at MadFriars saw Tri-City’s subsequent series and made no notes of such issues. Given this and reports I’ve read out of college, I’d venture to guess this isn’t a long-term issue worth being too concerned about.
While the draft position and rankings justifiably aren’t particularly sexy, this is a solid player who could end up being an interesting, “under-the-radar” type guy in the system. (Vocal Minority David)