My first impression of the Eric Hosmer deal was meh. I’m admittedly not a fan of him as a player. He has been an inconsistent contributor to the Royals over the last seven years. 9.9 fWAR over 7 full seasons is just okay. However, putting up 4.1 fWAR  in one season (2017) is really good. So who is Hosmer? Is he the zero fWAR player of 2014, or 3.5 fWAR player of the World Champion 2015 team? The weird thing is he isn’t the average of the two. His entire career has been boom or bust, Replacement Player or Good Player. And he alternates seasons too. Next year if he plays above replacement player it will be the first even year of his entire career to do so. And with his defense being a bit sub-par, he is really going to have to hit next year at Petco and the NL West to break the streak.

So why am I just meh instead of against it? Well first,  the Padres paid a decent price for him. 5 years at $105MM is a pretty fair contract for a 28 year old hitting free agency. And then 3 years $39MM is great. I’m not too thrilled about the Padres front office touting his leadership skills as it looks like they bought what Hosmer’s agent Scott Boras was selling. Prestige Value (PV) is a difficult metric to quantify. That’s because it’s made up. There is no such thing as PV. Clubhouses have leaders, sure. But if you go 0-4 with 3 weak ground-outs to 2B and a K, no one wants to hear your shit anyway. Besides, most leaders of a young group tend to be a home grown guy. Someone who has risen up the ranks and earned it. Someone who knew everyone back when they were lava. Knew them when they were just a twinkle in the volcano’s eye. Sure, Eric can lead the guys like Wil Myers. Or maybe just Wil Myers. Wait, did the Padres just spend $144MM just so Wil Myers is happy?

Another reason I’m fine with this is because the Padres added another player with the ability to put up good numbers. And they need this. Every World Series champion over the last forever has had guys put up good seasons, combined with guys who put up great seasons. That Kansas City team of 2015 had Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Wade Davis, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Hosmer have solid seasons. And they also had Lorenzo Cain have a fantastic season. The 2016 Cubs had extremely productive years from Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler and Anthony Rizzo, supported by solid years from Ben Zobrist, Addison Russel, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and even Wilson Contreras. And recently the ’17 Astros supported the huge seasons from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa with a big season from  George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez, Alex Bregman, Brad Peacock, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers. Then they added Justin Verlander to all that talent.

So what I mean is it takes a ton of talent to win the whole thing. The Padres added talent. Hopefully this guy stops with the Jekyll and Hyde seasons and is just rock solid. In turn Wil Myers can move to the outfield and progress from last year and also be a big contributor. The huge seasons will have to come from the young guys. Whether they are playing up the middle or pitching, someone or two has got to step up big and throw up a 6+ WAR season. It probably won’t be Eric Hosmer. And that is just fine.


Follow me on Twitter – @Lybargerbrewery

My thoughts about some recent goings-on I’ve seen concerning our Padres:

  • When Manuel Margot returns, Matt Szczur makes the most sense to be out righted. Franchy Cordero needs to work on some things, sure. His K rate is high, but is there really going to be a big difference in the stuff he sees in AAA vs MLB? He can man left field, and can be spelled by Jose Pirela versus tough lefties. I don’t think Cordero suffers development if he stays with the big club, and he is looking like the Padres 2nd best outfielder. Pirela is a solid bench bat and versatile utility glove that gives Manger Andy Green plenty of flexibility. Both players have been contributing with their bats in a very small sample size – (Franchy a 132 wRC+ in 74 PAs, Jose a 163 in 50). Matt Szczur has walked at a pretty good clip (17.4%) but not much else sporting an 85 wRC+ in 69 nice PAs.

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what's brewing on the padres farm system

Spring training is less than two weeks away. Man it feels good just to say that. Pitchers and catchers will report in a few days and it is exciting times for Padres fans as the first wave of young talent is hitting the shores of San Diego in the form of Hunter Renfore, Manny Margot, Carlos Asuaje and Austin Hedges. The next wave to follow most likely is the young pitchers that will start the season in Lake Elsinore. Anderson Espinoza, Cal Quantrill, Jacob Nix and Eric Lauer all should pass through the Storm’s rotation at some point next year. And one promising pitcher that has an outside chance of joining them is a seventeen year old left hander from Cuba, Adrian Morejon. Morejon, a 6’1” 195 pound youngster that would be in his senior year of high school if he pitched in the States, signed last summer for a Padres International bonus record of $11,000,000.

* Gentle reminder to all baseball dads to force your son to pitch southpaw.

Now, I am not advocating the Padres rush Morejon to high A ball. I am merely postulating that if things fall the way some scouts believe they could, you may see an 18 year old backfill one of the college draftees of the ’16 crop as at least one maybe two move up to AA ball during the season.

When the Padres first signed Morejon he was relatively unknown to most of the publications that closely follow prospects. He was the Fernando Tatis Junior of left handed pitchers, if you will. Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say about him after the Padres sent him to their Dominican facility:

Since arriving in the Dominican Republic, Morejon has seen his fastball increase to sit in the low-90s and touch 95 mph, showing good feel for both his curveball and changeup, with a chance for both offspeed pitches to develop into above-average offerings. He technically throws two different types of changeups, one of which is a knuckle-change with late diving action, while the other is a more traditional changeup with sink and run. It’s a repertoire to profile as a starter with a smooth delivery and clean arm action.

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When looking back at the disaster that was the 2015 season for the San Diego Padres, there will be some goodness to be found as well. Why a disaster?  Maybe hearing Craig Elsten and John Gennaro’s podcast reviewing the season could influence the posit, however when winning winter seemed to be quite an accomplishment in AJ Preller’s young tenure, winning only 74 games and losing two managers in the process does require an evaluation. The quick and dirty eval would be bad. Probably very bad. And you should feel bad too.

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First post in the books, so how did I do? Well, Bryant wanted to fire me, as he can in no way condone the mass consumption of Budweiser American Ale. Actually he doesn’t condone pretty much any consumption of an AB-InBev product. And as I was sipping on a Not Your Father’s Root Beer I thought I probably shouldn’t support non-craft beer either. I fetched my wife her go to Stella Artois, made sure we had chilled down the Zeigenbock, and plotted a path to be more craft supportive. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll keep you posted.

I also thought I was a little to mean spirited in my post. I was trying to be funny, but may have come across with too much hate in my snark. I also want to apologize to Taylor Lindsey. I’ve never met his mom, nor seen her, but I am sure she is a lovely lady and her looks had no bearing on him remaining in the Padres Top 30 Prospects list. I read this week that he cleared waivers and was designated to the Padres AA team, the San Antonio Missions. He is no longer on the 40 man roster and has struggled the entire season. It reminds me how difficult this game is to master, even for those highly touted from the start of their career. It’s too easy to be a critic, and I really didn’t need to pile on.

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Hello Padres Public.

I’m Billy, and I recently contacted Bryant about joining up with him on Woe Doctor. Bryant and I have spent many hours discussing all things Padres over the years, and I think we could make good teammates for the Woe Doctor site. He responded favorably to me joining and thus my blogging career hopefully will just take off. I feel I’ll fit nicely into the Woe Doctor Blogosphere as I do keep an eye on minor league happenings and typically catch a few Mission games each summer. I’m also an avid beer enthusiast, as both a home brewer for the past 14 years, and a somewhat legendary consumer. Let me put it this way, I single handedly kept Bud Ale afloat for 6 months. Wait, what?

I also did a guest appearance last spring with the Vocal Minority, and that should give you an indication that I don’t take myself too seriously, and plan to be the same here. Sure, I love FanGraphs, but I’m no Davey Downer. I follow more along the lines that thinks there is a tremendous amount of information out there about this great game of baseball, and coming up with new ways to interpret the data can be beneficial to the fan as well as to baseball’s management. But I also like the eyeball test, as sometimes you just have to see what all the data is trying to tell you. I’m not a professionally trained scout, but my biceps are HUGE!

I see the Padres called up their best pitching prospect they have in Colin Rea. It was fun to watch his debut and to see him get a win, a hit and score his first run all in his debut if front of about 70 friends and family. That’s the good stuff in baseball stories right there. I think it’s time they call up Travis Jankowski too. He should be the everyday center fielder next season, so they might as well let him work the rest of this season there to get a head start. As to the rest of the minors, well Hunter Renfroe is finally above league average, so yay. The minors are pretty barren of talent, except maybe Ruddy Giron. That guy is going to be a star.  *checks FanGraphs* Well, maybe. Whatever.

As for observations for what is going on with our beloved Padres, well everybody needs to get on board with Operation Stand Pat. Because protected picks are valuable and the sole intention of keeping the band together was for the picks, man. It’s genius in its simplicity, and allows guys like DJ Wayne to continue to promote this awesome assembly of names to a name hungry fan base. Actually, I am going to enjoy having Justin Upton around to the fall, because I have a feeling that power stoke is going to warm up during the latter half of the season, and this could be fun to watch. It’s not often you get to watch a ball player make Petco seem small.

The apparent truth to this season is it is only a stepping stone to next season. AJ Preller could only rock so hard this last off season. He’s got some serious rocking to do this winter. It would be nice to see him creatively come up with an offer to keep JUpton around, though back loading contracts are difficult and often an albatross in their last few years. For example, take James Shields. No, really, somebody take him. Oh sure, his K% is up, but look at his BB%. And look at his xFIP. He is a walking regression machine. I mean I kind of dig having an Eric Show throwback ace, but I think even old Birch Boy could have kept the ball in the park at Petco a little bit. James might need regular adjustments on his neck from all the violent head snaps he makes following the trajectory off the cookies he’s serving.

Okay, I might have been a bit hyperbolic there, and James peripheral numbers look good enough that he could be a solid middle of the rotation guy, even if he is being paid to be closer to the top. Hopefully Tyson Ross, Shields, Andrew Cashner and maybe Rea with a bit of this year under his belt mean Preller can turn his attention to the infield.

What to do with that infield, though. I’m fairly certain Wil Myers will return to be the everyday first baseman. I suspect Yonder Alonso and his 88 mph “line drives” will be traded away for anything resembling a middle infielder of promise. Not major league ready, but maybe better than top 30 prospect Taylor Lindsey. I’m fairly sure Taylor’s mom is hot. It’s the only way I can figure he stays ranked. My biggest wish is Preller finally ends the nightmare that is Alexi Amarista at shortstop.

I’ve hated on Lil’ Lexi so hard for so long that I think I am out of hate. How this team can give him 400 PA per year for going on three seasons now is completely unfathomable. And yet, here we are. Yeah well here sucks, and I can only keep the faith that Preller will end my long nightmare and cast off a player that most likely will not make the roster of any other team once he is released. Okay, maybe I still have a little hate pent up. I’m working through it.

As creative as Preller was in assembling an outfield last year, I want to see him be even more creative with 3rd, short, and even 2nd if he feels the need this year. Full disclosure, I do admit to being a fan of Jedd Gyorko. And no, his contract is not expensive next season. He’ll barely cost half a win (open market) and has the power stroke not often found for the position. I’d like to see the Padres ride it out with him, but if he can be flipped into other valuable pieces, so be it. I think the more valuable trade piece is Cory Spangenberg. Someone will like his speed, but I think the Padres are a bit full at the super utility position.

That is my opener. I plan to be writing fairly regularly for the rest of this season and may help Dustin with the heavy lifting in the off-season. What a gift to Padres public he has been. Really, all the guys here are great, and I hope I am worthy of the adding to their excellence. I should have plenty of time to write as I have decided to become a football monk. I’ll spend my time I could have been watching football making beer. And I vow to never jump in bed with any other team.

You can find me on twitter @LybargerBrewery, or maybe at an Astros game, if any of you make it out to my home away from home of Houston.

Go Pads!

If you’ve been trawling the Internet for the past several days, you’ll find no shortage of blame for why the Padres are in this mess – the worst offense in baseball, 11 games under .500, 12.5 games back in the division, and currently sitting on the 5th overall pick in the 2015 draft. And if Padres fans have learned anything over the past several years, it’s that front office personnel come and go – but dysfunction remains the same. With that in mind, it’s easy to conclude that Sunday’s firing of Josh Byrnes was both inevitable and far from the root of their issues.

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Chase Headley with an RBI double. (Photo: Lake Elsinore Storm)

Chase Headley with an RBI double. (Photo: Lake Elsinore Storm)

Lost in the promotional shuffle of TNT Tuesdays (tallboys and tacos), Wackie Weenie & Wine Down Wednesdays (self-explanatory), and Thirsty Thursday ($1 beers), the Lake Elsinore Storm also happen to field a pretty good ball club. After defeating the Lancaster JetHawks on Monday, the Storm (20-12) now lead the California League’s South Division by two games and have won 10 of their last 11.

While the offense-crippling home park does no favors for the offense, the pitching staff have cozied up to their home digs quite nicely. What’s more, with the Padres shuffling the rehabbing Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin, and Casey Kelly through town for the next several games, Lake Elsinore is the temporary destination spot for fans who want a more intimate ballpark experience with noted Major Leaguers. Read More…


Call it a contest of dramatic contrasts. Book-ended between a defensive miscue to open the scoring and Diego Goris‘s 11th inning walk-off home run, the main story behind the Storm’s series finale against the Lancaster JetHawks this past Sunday was one of great starting pitching and highlight reel defense.  Read More…