So … we’re back. Still mostly confused.

Last year when A.J. Preller took over as GM, he inherited a roster with a slight logjam at catcher. There was Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal at the major-league level, and Austin Hedges waiting on the farm. Then, like 17 trades later, the Padres had a more manageable logjam: Derek Norris as the main guy with Tim Federowicz as the (soon-to-be-injured) backup, and Hedges still on the farm. Rocky Gale‘s always around.

You wanna talk about logjams? Check out the current catcher situation. After a solid season, Norris is still the main guy. Hedges, who was called up last year, is also there and so is new guy Josmil Pinto. That’s a lot of catchers; certainly don’t need anymore, no no.

Oh, okay. Another catcher. That’s interesting.

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

The Padres (11-12) scored a lot fewer runs than the Houston Astros (14-7), who completed the three-game sweep with a final score of 7-2 yesterday. The Padres wore the ’85-90 brown pinstripe uniforms for the first of five Way Back Wednesday afternoon games. They played a lot like a few of those teams.

Andrew Cashner (1-3, 2.61) opened the game by striking out the first six Astros he faced. Cashner also set a Major League record with 21 consecutive home starts with two or fewer earned runs allowed. He ended his day with a total of ten K’s in seven innings with three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk. The game was over as soon as Colby Rasmus finished rounding the bases after his two-run home run in the fourth inning to make the score 3-1.

The Astros ninth was rather ugly, as Craig Kimbrel and Brandon Maurer allowed four runs between them, thanks in no small part to an error and a passed ball by catcher Wil Nieves.

Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.73) showed why he is one of the best left-handed starters in the American League so far this season, pitching eight innings with four strikeouts, three hits, and no walks while only allowing one run. Matt Kemp drove in Wil Myers from first base in the first inning with a double to center field that Jake Marisnick bobbled allowing Kemp to take third. Kemp also drove in the Padres second run in the ninth inning with a groundout to third base that scored Myers.

The Friars have a day off today. Friday has the Colorado Rockies coming to Petco Park for three games. Ian Kennedy (0-1, 10.80) will face Eddie Butler (2-1, 3.27) at 7:10pm PDT.

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

  • 2015 Lake Elsinore Pre-Season Preview (MadFriars) – I missed this last week on account of being lame, but you’ll want to read John Conniff’s look at the Padres’ High-A affiliate, as well as his previews of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), and El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A). Then get out there and watch some games if you can, because Minor League Baseball is the best. You can see some of the brightest prospects before they become stars, and if you’re real lucky, you can see a manager completely lose it.
  • Examining Potential MLB Expansion Cities, Part 1 (Hardball Times) – Chris Mitchell wonders where MLB might expand next should it choose to do so. Part 1 sets up the framework for his discussion, while Part 2 has names of actual cities. Many of the usual suspects appear (including Portland, one of my favorite non-San Diego places in the world), although some curiosities also make the list (Riverside?). Good food for thought here.
  • A Story About Baseball and a Father and Son I’ve Never Met (Baseball Prospectus) – As someone who recently lost his estranged father, I was touched by Sam Miller’s anecdote. The book inscription mentioned contains perhaps the most accurate description of baseball I have ever seen: “It is something which enraptures even as it saddens. It is something which uplifts even as it frustrates.”
  • Trevor Hoffman makes dramatic speech addressed to fans to start Padres season (Gaslamp Ball) – Having a Padres legend pump up a home crowd that has been revivified thanks to A.J. Preller’s build from outside the organization approach is a savvy marketing move. Sure, it’s cheesy as hell, but who cares? Also from GLB comes news that Dick Enberg has joined Twitter. Not everyone is a fan of Enberg or of Twitter, but when he posts things like photos of his scorebook, maybe it’s time to rethink that stance.
  • Nieves’ heroics key Padres’ victory (San Diego Union-Tribune) – This might end up being one 2015’s coolest stories. At age 37, some 13 years after first reaching the big leagues, Padres backup catcher Wil Nieves launched a grand slam against Jake Peavy at Petco Park. It was the first grand slam of Nieves’ career, and it came off the guy he caught in his debut just down the road at Qualcomm Stadium (Peavy notched the win in that one, with Hoffman getting the save). Not bad for a former 47th-round pick taken 1,284 slots after the more heralded Ben Davis in a miserable 1995 draft.

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

The Padres (4-3) defeated the San Francisco Giants (3-4) yesterday afternoon by a score of 6-4, taking the Opening Series with their third win in a row.

Backup catcher Wil Nieves took advantage of his start with his first career Grand Slam home run in the fourth inning. Tyson Ross (1-0, 3.75) gave up three runs in six innings on five hits and four walks with eight strikeouts. Will Venable crushed a solo home run to right field against Yusmeiro Petit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Craig Kimbrel pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save as a Padre.

Alexi Amarista and Matt Kemp each added a triple to the Padres hit total and Justin Upton hit his second double of the season.

Giants’ starter Jake Peavy (0-1, 9.00) made his first ever start in Petco Park as a visitor and only lasted four innings surrendering four runs on four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. Buster Posey hit a solo home run off of Dale Thayer in the top of the seventh inning.

Andrew Cashner (0-1, 9.00) is scheduled to start tonight at 7:10pm PDT when the Friars start a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will start Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 10.13).

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