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Series intro and week no. 1week no. 2week no. 3, week no. 4

Eric Lauer, LHP, Low-A Tri-City

Eric Lauer was drafted 25th overall in the first round of this year’s draft. Our buddy Grant Jones covered Lauer in late May at Baseball Prospectus, where he noted the left hander’s fastball wasn’t a true out pitch but it sat at 93 and touched 94. Reports from John Sickels and Chris Crawford provide additional perspectives: the rest of his arsenal of a slider, 11-7 curve, and change up are at least average with the potential for more, and unmistakably major-league starting pitcher material.

John provides video of Lauer courtesy of Jheremy Brown. To my eye, I notice a quirk in Lauer’s delivery where he rotates his body to face first base immediately before getting into the windup. Former Padre Casey Kelly has a similar quirk.

So far this season Lauer’s made two quick starts in the Arizona Rookie League and 6 in short season Tri-City. As one (at least one Padre fan) would hope, he’s dominated as a polished first round pick for the Dust Devils, striking out 10.7 per 9 innings with a 2.17 FIP.

Thanks in part to Lauer’s command and repertoire, he’s seen as a “safe” pick to move quick and has middle-to-back-end rotation potential. While not exactly sexy (prospect-wise; he’s a dashing young man), pitchers today are valuable as they are fragile. In a world where Ian Kennedy is worth $70 million over five years, middle-to-back-end starters might be the new Moneyball. (That joke never gets old. Not to me anyway.) (Sac Bunt Chris)

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Fangraphs is releasing Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections one team at a time, and recently it was the new look Padres’ turn on the mic.

I’ve developed quite an affinity for projections lately. I like projections because they take the emotion that naturally occurs in things that are awesome like baseball and removes it. Normally emotion is a good thing. It’s what makes baseball fun. But emotion also make it easier to be wrong, which is less fun.

Looking at the amount of available information about a player is overwhelming. There’s a lot there. What’s important? What isn’t? If a player hit well two years ago, but poorly last year, what can we expect this year? What if he got on base well but slugged poorly two years ago, but those were reversed last year. What can we expect then?

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

The Padres (41-55) started off the proverbial “second half of the season” in much the same way they ended the first half, losing to the New York Mets (46-50) by a score of 5-4.  Joaquin Benoit gave up a run to the Mets in the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie.  The Padres were then shutout in their half of the inning to end the game.

Ian Kennedy gave up four runs quickly in the first inning, then settled down to pitch five innings with six hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.  Mets’ starter Bartolo Colon also pitched five innings on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Before the game the Padres called up Chris Nelson from AAA El Paso to replace Irving Falu, who was reclaimed off of waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.  Nelson went 2-for-4 with a RBI and had a couple of nice plays at second base.

After the game the Padres announced Huston Street and minor league pitcher Trevor Gott were traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for four minor leaguers:  Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Jose Rondon, and Elliot Morris.

Tonight at 5:40 pm PDT the Friars will have Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85) taking the mound following his non-appearance in the All-Star Game on Tuesday against the Mets and Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56).  It’s Andrew Cashner Camo Replica Jersey Night for all in attendance.

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