Archive for July, 2009

Peavy links

My analysis will come sometime between tonight and tomorrow night, but I figured for now I’d round up some links:

Padres’ sites
Inside the Padres: Tom Krasovic gives us Barry Axelrod’s take on the Peavy deal.

Gaslamp Ball: The guys at GLB discuss the trade.

WebSoulSurfer: Web’s analysis of the Peavy trade.

U-T Padres Blog: Jay Posner has some details on the players the Padres received.

Who’s Your Padre: Corey Brock.

SDPads1: A bunch of good links.

edit
More from Kras: Krasovic touches on what the savings from Peavy’s departure may allow the Padres to do (extend Gonzalez, sign the draft picks, be more agressive in Latin America). Good points.

Avenging Jack Murphy: Scouting reports from Baseball America.

Paul DePodesta: DePo on the trade.

Union Tribune: Tim Sullivan.

The Sacrifice Bunt: Links to scouting reports on the four pitching prospects.

Friar Forecast: Daniel tweaks some of my initial analysis, but comes to a similar conclusion: good deal for San Diego.

619 Sports: Chris Ello is Peaved.

General sites
Fangraphs: R.J. Anderson likes the players the Pads got from Chicago.

Baseball Think Factory: Lots of discussion there.

edit
Hardball Times: Nick Steiner likes the deal for the Padres.

White Sox sites
South Side Sox: Analysis from the White Sox SBN blog.

 

That’s it for now; post any in the comments if you find ‘em.

Peavy dealt to White Sox

Jake Peavy has apparently been traded to the Chicago White Sox. The Padres pick up righties Adam Russell and Dexter Carter, and lefthanders Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard.

Obviously a big move and one that probably caught people off guard, as Peavy trade talks appeared to have settled down. Discuss in the comments if you’d like. My analysis coming at some point in the future.

The face of the Padres

It is almost undoubtedly Adrian Gonzalez. He’s an offensive force, a solid defender, a cerebral player. He’s cheap and in the prime of his career.

He’s the face of the Padres, the franchise player.

That’s a little bit like being the face of the Bad News Bears (before they got good), though. It is tough to, as a Padres’ fan, make a case for trading Gonzalez. He’s one of the few guys that you’d pay a ticket to see. He’s one of the better hitters in the game, arguably. However, everybody wants to win. While Gonzalez is fun to watch, this team isn’t, even with him on it.

Dealing Gonzalez would almost certainly make the Padres even less fun to watch this season, and likely next season as well. But it would possibly improve their chances of winning down the line – think maybe 2011 and beyond. By dealing Gonzalez, the Padres could add some players that will be under team-control (and cheap) for six years. While Gonzalez is also signed cheaply, he’s only signed through 2011. By then, the Padres may  field a competitive team again, but Gonzalez will be two years older and ready to command some big dollars (and most of his trade value will be evaporated).

The Padres could hold onto him for the next two years+ and treat fans to his excellent play, regardless of the overall performance of the team. Or they could trade him now, with his value sky high, and bring in a few potential franchise-changing players. If that seems like an easy decision, it isn’t.

Say Gonzalez is traded and turns in a Hall-of-Fame-like career in, say, Boston. And the prospects that come to San Diego flame out. Ouch. You’ve traded your best player and have nothing to show for it. There’s also of course a chance that Gonzalez comes back to earth, slowly begins to decline, and the Padres pick up a cost-controlled cornerstone player or two in the trade. There are also another hundred or so scenarios in between those two extremes that may play out.

Trading Gonzalez is likely still a long shot – he’s the face of the franchise – but there’s no reason not to consider it. If the Padres think they can compete next year or even put together a real contender by 2011, it makes some sense to hold onto Adrian. But if this is going to be a lengthy rebuilding process, there’s reason to consider trading the best player on the team (and other guys of value like Heath Bell and Kevin Kouzmanoff).

Gonzalez’s value, on a terrible team, is not being maximized. On a playoff contender, he’s much more valuable, as he adds considerably to the team’s chances of making the playoffs (and how well they perform once they get there). And the Padres, rather than essentially “wasting” some of Gonzalez’s best years, can take a few years to develop the prospects they receive for Adrian, and have them ready for a prolonged run when 2011 or 2012 come around.

Over the next few days, the Padres have some big decisions to make. I’m glad I just get to blog about them.

Mat Latos strong in second start

Mat Latos was solid again in his second major league start, as he went 5.7 innings while allowing five hits and two runs. He struck out five and walked two, and allowed two solo homers. Latos threw 94 pitches, 58 of them for strikes. Let’s again check out the PITCHf/x data and see what it tells us about Latos’ outing. Here’s a look at his pitch selection, along with average velocity:

Fastball: 61 pitches (94.2 mph)
Slider: 25 (81.5)
Changeup: 8 (81.3)

Here’s his pitch movement graph:

latos start 2 movement

And here’s velocity:

latos start 2 velocity

Latos mixed in the off-speed stuff a little more often in start two, as he threw 65% fastballs (his first start was around 80%). When looking at any of this data, I wouldn’t get too caught up in any slight differences start to start. For instance, according to the data, his average fastball velocity dropped about one mph from start one to start two. While that could be the case, it’s also very possible that there are park effects influencing things or a pitch or two got misidentified.

Anyway, the main points remain: Mat Latos has great velocity, and appears to have decent secondary offerings. There isn’t much more we could expect from his first two starts. Latos is quickly becoming one of the few bright spots in this dismal 2009 season, and he’s one reason to keep following these Pads in an otherwise lost year.

Alvaro Aristy suspended

With a tip of the cap to Ben Badler’s Twitter, Padres shortstop prospect Alvaro Aristy has apparently been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. He tested positive for Nandrolone.

Aristy was one of the prospects signed last July 2nd, when he was ranked as the second best position player prospect out of the Dominican Republic. He was ranked 6th on the Padres shortstop depth chart by Baseball America in this year’s publication, though he has just turned 17 years old.

He’s struggled so far in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .183/.326/.279 in his first 130 professional plate appearances (with 13 errors in 30 games). This suspension could certainly be just a minor blip in this young player’s career, but  news like this is never good, especially with all of the turmoil in the Padres’ organization right now. Hopefully, Aristy will take this time off to reflect on things, and come back strong from his suspension.

A’s trade Holliday to Cards

Today, Oakland traded outfielder Matt Holliday to St. Louis for prospects Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, and Shane Peterson. Erik at BtBS analyses the deal, and likes it from the A’s perspective. Holliday is a very good player, but he’s only under club-control through the end of this season.

Adrian Gonzalez analysis at Friar Forecast

Took a look at Adrian’s trade value over at Friar Forecast.

Short version: He’s valuable.

Welcome back Tom Krasovic

The best news in Padres Blog Land during my vacation? Former Union-Tribune writer Tom Krasovic started a Padres blog, Inside the Padres. This is great news. He is also apparently writing for Voice of San Diego.

I truly look forward to reading Tom’s work once again. He was missed during his short absence.

Quick glance at Latos through PITCHf/x

Top Padres prospect Mat Latos made his Major League debut Sunday, striking out four and walking just one in four innings of work. I didn’t see a pitch, so I figured I’d take a quick look at his PITCHf/x data (though others have already done an excellent job at that). Here’s his movement graph:

latos

You can see the fastballs clustered up top (with a change up or two), and the sliders and curves toward the middle of the graph. If anything, this graph shows just how much Latos relied on that fastball (about 80% of his pitched recorded by PITCHf/x).

Here’s a peek at his velocity, pitch-by-pitch:

latos2

Latos was relentless with the fastball early, throwing it almost exclusively (though the camera missed a few early pitches). The most impressive thing here is the velocity – he averaged about 95 with the fastball, and almost hit 98 a few times. You can see that his fastball velocity gradually decreased as the game went on, as expected, but his last two pitches still reached 95.

We can talk about movement and pitch selection and mechanics all day long – and I’m sure we will – but when a guy can throw 95+ as a starter, and has a decent idea of what he’s doing, well, there’s reason to believe the hype. One start certainly means very little, but it does show us that this guy can really bring it. That is a good thing.

Meredith dealt for Salazar

Yesterday the Padres traded reliever Cla Meredith to the Orioles for 31 year old utility guy Oscar Salazar.

I’ve been trying to come up with an angle for this one for a while … yeah, I don’t have one. The Padres traded a reliever who likely would not be a major piece on their next contending team for, well, a player who likely won’t be a major player on their next contending team. Some trades just aren’t meant for in-depth analysis.

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