Ever since Everth Cabrera was acquired by the Padres in 2009, he’d represented little more to me than a low-risk acquisition at a position of scarcity. Where immense athletic talent coupled with stunted development was essentially given an opportunity to compete in an environment with almost zero competition. A Rule 5 pick catapulted from A-ball to the big leagues at age 23 is story enough, but the subsequent details resemble a story that more closely resembles a mythic tall tale than an accurate, biographical account:

This comes a bit late seeing as last Sunday’s game at The Diamond at Lake Elsinore is but a distant memory. That said, when my network drive stopped hijacking footage and Vimeo started cooperating (donations for a Vimeo PRO account and a tripod will be accepted via PayPal) I decided it was best to not let the tale of the Storm’s 6-3 loss to the Inland Empire 66ers fall by the wayside.

So, with a notebook full of…notes…coupled with what my wife documented keeping score (I’m the worst), I bring you a much-belated account from Padres Prospectville. Read More…

I’d like to say we woke early like kids on Christmas morning, but it takes an overzealous maid and our failure to post the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign to get us up before 7:30. We grab over-sized cups of over-roasted coffee and navigate our way through the empty streets into the emptier ballpark lot. Heat waves radiate off the distant corners of the asphalt and we slather ourselves in 100 SPF sunscreen before hiking through the beginning of morning warm-up drills to a surprisingly active diamond on Field 4.

Saturday, March 16th – Peoria backfields, slow road to Goodyear, return to the Moon:

Having missed the 10-inning pitching prospect spectacular against Indian Hills Junior College the previous Sunday, and arrived in Arizona a day late for the Max Fried and Joe Ross show, I felt a bit saddened knowing that I had missed out on in-game action for some of the system’s top arms. That said, we showed up to Field 4 at around 9:00 to a game in-progress and a large crowd congregated in and around the backstop. Read More…

The accelerator pounds to the floor, my passport beside me (you can never be too careful coming to Arizona) and the border patrol station quickly shrinks in my rearview mirror. I’m 116 miles outside Peoria and the date shake I inhale is my first true caloric input of the day. Hours earlier, I’d volleyed opinions back-and-forth over the Hertz service counter with a representative, a Dodgers fan just back from spring training: from Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw, to Matt Kemp and…Juan Uribe? After fiddling with the EQ for hours, I manage to calm the hiss from the auxiliary input down from the turbine-like roar to an incessant whisper, allowing me to catch up on the week’s baseball podcasts. Despite a sea of rolling black leather and mid-level sedan comfort, I curse the Hertz representative who had upgraded me from economy/compact, assured that his act of generosity was merely to mask this nagging inconvenience.

Thursday, March 14th – Netherlands vs. Padres:

I show up between the first and second inning and camp on a bench near the left field foul pole, nestled behind the visiting team’s bullpen. Shortly thereafter, Andruw Jones blasts a home run off Eric Stults, which comes to rest not twenty feet to my right – Stults limits the damage on the field, but it does nothing to calm my concerns about him going into the season. The same could be said about my impressions of the Padres’ outfield defense as #HONKBAL left fielder, Randolph Oduber, plays pepper with the centerfield fence, hitting two shots over a bewildered Alexi Amarista, who isn’t making his transition into mighty-mite super-sub look easy. Read More…

What originally started as an exploration into Edinson Volquez’s inability to tap his true potential, quickly devolved into dwelling about the state of the Padres’ rotation as Casey Kelly became the latest to succumb to ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery. That stark realization led to dreading about the potential No. 1 starter, which came full circle when Volquez was named the Padres’ Opening Day starter yesterday. It’s a vicious shame spiral.

Not unlike the Padres’ list of Opening Day starters, Volquez is yet another name in a long line of middling Major League talent. But it wasn’t always that way.

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With Spring Training just underway, along with countless position battles to be waged and players to be considered, an obscene amount of season forecasting remains to be sorted through. There’s hardly a consensus agreement between prognosticators as to how the 2013 will end (hence, the maxim “that’s why they play the game”), and it’s interesting to see just how much some of these season hypotheses differ writer-to-writer, analyst-to-analyst, statistician-to-statistician. As explored previously on this site, fans are oftentimes divided as optimists or cynics – left to make determinations after sifting through the evidence of others or a more abstract gut feeling. While it’s anyone’s guess how the Padres will finish the 2013 season, I did discover that there was a big difference between how sabermetricians viewed their chances (see: not good) compared to the rest of the community.

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Sometime in early December, I was fortunate enough to meet up with Padres Public’s resident Beck Hansen lookalike and all around good guy, Geoff Young. On the agenda was beer, the Pacific Northwest, and – of course – baseball. Understandably, due to the circumstances surrounding what was at the time a very recent hunting accident, the subject of Andrew Cashner came up. We argued the merits of the trade that brought Cashner to San Diego, the talent sacrificed, and whether the gamble was worth it.

Towards the end of our discussion, an interesting point was presented: suppose the Padres viewed Anthony Rizzo’s chances of developing into a capable first-division player, but not necessarily a star, at 50%. Even with an injury history that made Cashner’s chances of reaching his ceiling as a potential No. 2 starter much lower, say 10-20%, did they owe it to themselves to shoot for the moon? Was this a move designed to cash in on Cashner’s immediate contributions as a reliever and develop him in a larger role that had more value long-term?

Right or wrong in this particular instance, the philosophical approach as it pertained to roster building, as well as Cashner’s development, has consumed my thoughts ever since.

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