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.

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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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After an MRI on Tyson Ross’ shoulder, the team announced that he wouldn’t need surgery and that they would re-evaluate him after a couple of weeks. But that was a couple of weeks ago and the team has announced that there is no timetable for their ace’s return.

Losing a player like Ross would be a blow for any team but the Padres aren’t just losing an ace – Ross’ trade value is at the center of Preller’s #StealthLuhnow. But just because Ross is at the center of the rebuild doesn’t mean that it revolves around him. Even without his +4 WAR team ace, Preller still has a lot to work with. Before August 1st, Preller has three opportunities to add to the team: through the draft, through international free agency and through other trades.

Of course, the Padres claim that they’re not rebuilding but they actively shopped Kimbrel and Upton and Ross at last year’s deadline and we know that they wanted high end prospects in return. It was important for Preller to make a big trade after cleaning out the farm and he did just that when he traded Kimbrel over the winter. Only three top 25 prospects have been acquired during recent rebuilds and Margot could be the fourth if the Padres ever announce their own.

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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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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy while recording a podcast during a game. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (0-1) scored fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers (1-0) in the 2016 home and season opener at Petco Park, 15-0.

Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00). That pretty much sums up that.

Well, the Padres had just two baserunners against Kershaw (9 K’s) in his seven innings — thanks to a second inning walk for Yangervis Solarte and a single by Jon Jay in the third inning — and only four hits total in the game. So at least they didn’t get no-hit.

Tyson Ross (0-1, 11.81) gave up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts in five and one-third innings. Just click on the box score to see who DIDN’T score runs for the Dodgers, because I don’t feel like typing up all that garbage.

Game 2 of the season is tonight at 7:10pm with James Shields getting the start at Petco Park against former Tampa Bay Rays teammate Scott Kazmir. The Padres debut the new brown uniforms tonight, so at least we’ll have that to look forward to, if nothing else.

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The natives have become quite restless.

As the 2015 off-season enters the 2nd half of it’s 2nd month, while it has seemed like nearly every major transaction of this winter hot stove season has involved one of the other teams in the NL West, the Padres have basically the same holes with which they entered the off-season. They’ve made some moves, yes, but because those have been moves meant to add depth, clear payroll, and rebuild the team’s depleted farm system, there has been little done to add to the major league roster for 2016. After last off-season, everyone is waiting for the sequel to start.

The phrase of the year appears to be “contend and rebuild.” The Padres, wary of losing revenue in the short-term for what could be a better chance at success in the long-term, are unwilling as an ownership group to commit to a complete tear down and rebuild, such as what we’ve seen recently from the Astros and the Cubs. The club’s majority/minority owner Peter Seidler, by way of the Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin this past summer, and brought back to the forefront by Chris from Padres Public’s own The Sacrifice Bunt just last week, is talking about “competing year after year after year.” Whether you fear or hope for a complete rebuild, this is not ownership’s vision for the franchise.

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

The Padres (73-84) scored fewer runs than the Milwaukee Brewers (67-90), 4-3, last night in the first game of the final home series of the 2015 season.

Tyson Ross (10-12, 3.26) allowed four runs in six innings on six hits and three walks, while striking out seven. Scooter Gennett led off the game with a single and later scored on a single by Adam Lind. A Jean Segura then scored Lind two batter later in the first inning. Segura hit a towering two-run home run into the second deck of the Western Metal Building in the sixth inning.

Jorge Lopez (1-0, 5.40), making his first Major League start, pitched five innings and gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. In the third inning, an RBI single from Matt Kemp to score Yangervis Solarte put the Padres on the board. The RBI was Kemp’s 100th of 2015. Kemp would later come out of the game because of a sore right hand. Cory Spangenberg led off the fourth inning with a triple and later scored on Ross’ single. Wil Myers added the last run in that same inning, knocking in Austin Hedges.

Tonight at 7:10pm PDT, Andrew Cashner (6-15, 4.21) takes the mound against Zach Davies (2-2, 4.67) in the Padres penultimate home game of 2015.

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

The Padres (70-81) scored fewer runs than the San Francisco Giants (79-71) last night, 4-2, in a game that featured a combined 27 strikeouts by both teams, 16 by the Giants’ batters and 11 by the Padres.

Tyson Ross (10-11, 3.17) struck out eleven in six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Trevor Brown‘s RBI double in fifth inning put San Francisco on the board. Brandon Crawford singled in the sixth inning to score Alejandro De Aza. In the seventh inning, Angel Pagan hit a two-run home run.

Chris Heston (11-10, 3.51) shutout the Padres over four and a third innings, striking out seven with two hits and five walks. Heston loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning and was pulled. But George Kontos got Matt Kemp to pop out to first base in foul territory and Justin Upton to fly out to center field. Cory Spangenberg hit a solo home run in the sixth inning and Brett Wallace added a pinch-hit solo home run in the seventh inning.

Andrew Cashner (6-15, 4.25) gets the start tonight against Jake Peavy (7-6, 4.08) at 7:10pm PDT.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending the evening at the movies, watching an advanced screening of Everest, then hanging out at Islands during their late night Happy Hour. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (68-78) scored fewer runs than the Arizona Diamondbacks (69-76), 6-4, last night at Chase Field.

Tyson Ross (10-10, 3.18) pitched six innings, throwing 106 pitches and allowing a run on four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. The only run charged to Ross came in the sixth inning. After walking Paul Goldschmidt and giving up a single to David Peralta, Welington Castillo hit an RBI single to score Goldschmidt. The Padres’ bullpen literally lost this game, giving up five runs in the seventh inning. With Bud Norris starting the inning, Chris Owings led off with a walk and scored on Nick Ahmed‘s triple. Aaron Hill then walked and was pinch-ran for by Socrates Brito. Norris was relieved by Kevin Quackenbush and A.J. Pollock then hit a three-run home run. Ender Inciarte singled then stole second base and Goldschmidt walked. Marc Rzepczynski came in to pitch and Peralta struck out for the first out of the inning. Nick Vincent came into the game and got Castillo to fly out for the second out, then Brandon Drury singled to score Inciarte.

Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 2.95) pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Justin Upton hit his 26th home run to lead off the second inning. Yangervis Solarte ground into a double-play with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning, allowing Ross to score from third base. In the seventh inning, an RBI single from Travis Jankowski scored Austin Hedges from second base. And in the eighth inning, a wild pitch to pinch-hitter Brett Wallace let Upton come home from third base.

Tonight at 6:40pm PDT, Andrew Cashner (5-15, 4.27) will start against the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray (4-11, 3.54) in the final game of the season at Chase Field.

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Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after spending an afternoon at the pub, melting into a pile of viscous goo. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were drinking.

The Padres (67-74) scored fewer runs than the Colorado Rockies (58-82), 4-3, yesterday afternoon in the Rockies final game at Petco Park for 2015. The temperature at first pitch registered as 93°, the hottest game-time temperature since Petco Park opened.

Tyson Ross (10-10, 3.24) gave up three runs in seven innings of work on four hits — including three solo home runs — and no walks with six strikeouts. Nolan Arenado hit a home run in the first inning, Corey Dickerson hit another in the sixth inning, and Carlos Gonzalez connected for one in the seventh inning. Daniel Descalso then led off the eighth inning with a solo home run off Joaquin Benoit for the go-ahead run.

Jorge De La Rosa (9-6, 4.28) pitched five innings, surrendering three runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Matt Kemp led off with a solo home run. De La Rosa then loaded the bases on singles by Derek Norris and Yangervis Solarte and a walk to Melvin Upton Jr. After Clint Barmes struck out, Ross hit a sacrifice fly to score Norris. De La Rosa loaded the bases again in the fifth inning with singles by Wil Myers and Jedd Gyorko and a walk of Kemp. Myers then scored on a sacrifice fly from Norris.

The Padres begin a nine-game road trip tonight in San Francisco at 7:15pm PDT as Andrew Cashner (5-14, 4.11) takes on Jake Peavy (5-6, 4.41) and the San Francisco Giants (72-68).

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