The 2008 Padres Prediction Post

February 29, 2008 at 10:17 am (Sports thoughts, Uncategorized)

While the 2007 Padres Prediction Post was remarkably accurate in it’s final result (predicted number of wins 90, actual number of wins 89) I have decided to attempt a different strategy in calculating the Padres regular season record for 2008.

Last year my strategy was to compare the 2007 Padres to the 2006 Padres are see where the improvements and regressions might be. This year, rather than comparing the Padres of now to the Padres of then I am going to be comparing the Padres of now to the other teams in the division on a position by position basis.

Now the area where this position by position comparison will come under the most scrutiny is that it is not weighted for lineup or position importance or even value in proportion to game outcome. For example…

The best offensive left fielder in the division is Matt Holiday, the best offensive Catcher in the division is Russel Martin. Yet defensively the Catcher position is more important than the left field position. So who should rank above whom? Neither, they are both ranked Number 1 at their position. And yet are either of them more important than the starting pitchers?

I suppose if I had to weigh the importance of each position/aspect of the game it would go something like this…

1. Starting pitching

2. Catcher

3. Center field

4. Relief pitching

5. Short stop

6. First base

7. Second base

8. Bench

9. Third base

10. Right field

11. Left field

But that is all so debatable and the value fluctuations so marginal and there is truly an exception to every rule in this case. I.e. while I think Catcher is the second must important position I think the best Left Fielder in the division is far more valuable than the best catcher in the division.

Therefore I decided not to weigh things based on positional importance but instead to give a flat out 1-5 ranking  (best and worst within the division) of the most likely starters for each team as well as the pitching and bench.

This gives us 11 categories ranked 1-5 meaning the best possible score a team could rank is 11 and the worst is 55.

It should also be noted that I rank the pitchers and bench as a collective group as opposed to individual players. This also might be an unfair assessment but it’s the way I’m doing it so deal with it.

Position by Position the National League West Comparison:

A) Starting pitching (with 2007 ERA)

1. San Diego- Jake Peavy (2.54), Chris Young (3.12), Greg Maddux (4.14), Randy Wolf (4.73), Justin Germano (4.46)

This rotation has the best pitcher in the league in Peavy. A guy who, before his injury, was virtually un-hittable in Young. A guy who may now go down as the best pitcher in his era in Maddux. A solid lefthanded veteran in Wolf and then the 5th spot. Today I listed Germano due to his considerable contributions to the 5th spot last year. But it’s doubtful that he will get even 15 starts this year with group behind him which includes, Shawn Estes (99 and 90 in his career), Mark Prior (42-29 career record) and a young up and comer named Wade LeBlanc who has a change up that’s making scouts take notice.  This rotation has just the right mix of youth, experience, speed, and soft. It’s better then last years starting 5 which helped contribute to near record setting low numbers in runs allowed.

2. Arizona- Brandon Webb (3.01), Dan Haren (3.07), Doug Davis (4.25), Randy Johnson (3.81), Micah Owings (4.30)

The only reason this rotation isn’t rated higher than San Diego’s is because they don’t have the depth with 6, 7, and 8 that San Diego has. And with Randy Johnson’s history this could prove to be very costly.

3. Los Angeles- Brad Penny (3.03), Derek Lowe (3.88),Hiroki Kuroda, Chad Billingsly (3.31), Jason Schmidt (6.31)

Same situation as the D-Backs. Very talented rotation but so much depends on Schmidt’s health and Kuroda’s ability to transition. They actually have more depth behind them in Loaiza, Park and Kuo and they are going to need it with Schmidt’s history and BALCO shut down.

4. San Francisco- Barry Zito (4.53), Matt Cain (3.65), Tim Lincecum (4.00), Noah Lowry (3.92), Kevin Correia (3.45).

In any other division in baseball this rotation is top-two. But not here, in fact they aren’t that far above Colorado (nor are they far below LA, AZ and SD).  Once again this is a rotation that lacks depth but I wouldn’t be surprised if this rotation led them to a lot of 3-2 type victories.

5. Colorado Jeff Francis (4.22), Aaron Cook (4.12), Ubaldo Jimenez (4.28), Franklin Morales (3.43), Jason Hirsch (4.81)

This is and always will be the weakness of the Rockies. It’s not entirely on the pitchers but you still would think that at team coming off a World Series appearance would do a little more to strengthen their most glaring weakness. Oh yeah I should mention they did add Kip Wells  and Ramon Ortiz (yikes).

B) Relief Pitching

1. San Diego-  Joe Thatcher, Kevin Cameron, Justin Hampson, Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Trevor Hoffman

2. Los Angeles-  Eric Stults, Mike Myers, Joe Beimel, Scott Proctor, Johnathan Broxton , Takashi Saito

3. San Fransisco- Jose Capellan, Tyler Walker, Randy Messenger, Steve Kline, Brad Hennesey, Brian Wilson

4. Colorado- Jose Capellan, Ryan Spier, Matt Herges, Luis Vizcaino, Brian Fuentes, Manuel Corpas

5. Arizona- Brandon Medders,  Douglas Slaten, Chad Qualls, Juan Cruz, Tony Pena, Brandon Lyon

We can argue bullpen strength all day but even putting up the numbers is sort of deceptive because very few relievers post consistent number from season to season. This is probably due mostly to to the transient nature of the position and having to adjust to different management styles constantly. Any way if you want to argue the bull pen rankings lets do it but it’s an argument I am sure to win every time.

C) Catcher

1. Russel Martin, LA (.293, 19, 87)

2. Bengie Molina, SF (.276, 19, 81)

3. Josh Bard, SD- (.285, 5, 51)

4. Chris Snyder, AZ (.252, 13, 47)

5. Yorvit Torrealba, COL (.255, 8, 47)

I guess we could shuffle the bottom 3 a bit if we wanted to but I think Bard (with Barrett as his back up) is going to win out.

D) First Base

1. Adrian Gonzalez, SD- (.282, 30, 100)

2. Todd Helton, COL (.320, 17, 91)

3. Conner Jackson, AZ (.284, 15, 60)

4. James Loney, LA (.331, 15, 67)

5. Daniel Ortmeier, SF (.287, 6, 16)

I may be off by having Jackson above Loney but it’s a simple matter of playing time Jackson has played in 270 games the past 2 seasons, Loney, just 144. I’ll give the advantage to Jackson in that case.

E) Second Base

1. Orlando Hudson, AZ (.294, 10, 63)

2. Jeff Kent, LA (.302, 20, 79)

3. Tadahito Iguchi, SD (.267, 9, 43)

4. Ray Durham, SF (.218, 11, 71)

5. Colorado ???

Again I may be underrating  Jeff Kent but I think age is going to catch up with him. Hudson is 9 years younger than Kent.  Honestly, which guy would you prefer on your team?

F) Third Base

1. Garret Atkins, COL (.301, 25, 111)

2. Kevin Kouzmanoff, SD (.275, 18, 74)

3. Mark Reynolds, AZ (.279, 17, 62)

4. Nomar Garciappara, LA (.283, 7, 59)

5. Kevin Fransden, SF (.269, 5, 31)

Nomar probably will be replaced by LaRoche at some point which would make 5 very young 3rd basemen in the divsion. This is an exciting battle for which one will rise above the others. Atkins of course benefits from hitting in Colorado. Kouz and Reynolds are not at all far behind.

G) Short Stop

1. Khalil Greene, SD (.254, 27, 97)

2. Troy Tulowitski, COL (.291, 24, 99)

3. Rafael Furcal, LA (.270, 6, 47)

4. Stephen Drew, AZ (.238, 12, 60)

5. Omar Vizquel, SF (.246, 4, 51)

The marginal difference in power numbers and the major difference in home field advantage highlights the fact that Greene has elevated himself to the best SS in the division.

H) Left Field

1. Matt Holiday, COL (.340, 36, 137)

2. Eric Byrnes, AZ (.286, 21, 83)

3. Juan Pierre, LA (.293, 96 R, 64 SB)

4. Dave Roberts, SF (.260, 61 R, 31 SB)

5. Scott Hariston, SD (.243, 36, 11)

This is the trickiest of the positions  because 2 f the 5 bat in a lead-off type of role and 2 others play in a heart of the order role and the 5th is unlikely to even start half the season. Pierre will probably, eventually be replaced by Eithier and then things will be even more confusing.  Holiday is far and away the best position player in the division.

I) Center Field

1. Andrew Jones, LA (.222, 26, 94)

2. Aaron Rowand, SF (.309, 27, 89)

3. Chris Young, AZ (.237, 32, 68)

4. Jim Edmonds, SD (.253, 12, 53)

5. Willy Taverez (.320, 64 R, 33 SB)

The best numbers belong to Rowand, but moving from the band-box of Philly to the caverns of SF are going to knock those down considerably. Jones gets the benefit of the doubt that he will produce at the highest level in the division. Young’s  average of a little over 2 RBI for each Home Run is terrible. He clearly has a mental issue that is limiting his ability to drive guys in. I think Edmonds will finish the season above Young and or Rowand in overall performance but I’m trying to be as objective as possible.

J) Right Field

1. Brad Hawpe, COL (.291, 29, 116)

2. Matt Kemp, LA (.342, 10, 42)

3. Brian Giles, SD (.271, 13, 51)

4. Randy Winn, SF (.300, 14, 65)

5. Justin Upton, AZ (.221, 2, 11)

What can be argued here? Winn over Giles? maybe, but remember Giles played with a hurt knee all season and switched to being a lead off hitter. He’s allegedly much healthier this year. We shall see. I predict Upton will stink this year.

K) Bench/Last season

This is the most difficult to judge so I left it in the same order as last seasons finish. Does Colorado really have a better bench than LA? Not likely but their surge last season needs to be factored into the breakdown some way.

1. AZ

2. COL

3. SD

4. LA

5. SF

Total score break down (in order of 2007 finish)….

AZ- A2, B5, C4, D3, E1, F3, G4, H2, I3, J5, K1, = 33

COL- A5, B4, C5, D2, E5, F1, G2, H1, I5, J1, K2 = 33

SD- A1, B1, C3, D1, E3, F2, G1, H5, I4, J3, K3 = 27

LA- A3, B2, C1, D4, E2, F4, G3, H3, I1, J2, K4 = 27

SF- A4, B3, C2, D5, E4, F5, G5, H4, I2, J4, K5 = 41

Projected NL West Records for the 2008 season-

SD- 92-70

LA- 92-70

AZ- 86-76

COL- 86-76

SF- 72-90

If you disagree with any of my positional rankings I’d love to hear your argument as to why. The way I see it I’ve been extremely unbiased in my rankings and the proof is in the fact that the Dodgers, if not for their finish last season, have the best score of every team, and I hate the Dodgers more than I hate Osama Bin Laden. If you think maybe I am ranking certain Padres higher than I ought go ahead and make your case. I’m guessing there may be some debate about Khalil Greene being ranked the best SS in the division, and maybe some debate about the pitching rankings but the Padres pitching is not only improved from last year it also has history on it’s side.

While my numbers project out to the unbiased listings above this is what my gut tells me…

Arizona won with smoke and mirrors last season. The “baby backs” grew up. I think they think higher of themselves than they ought and their inexperience and tightrope walking catches up to them this year. Pitching keeps them in it but they finish at .500. (81-81)

Rockies fluked into an insane streak last year. They really do not have the pitching to compete in this division. Everyone loves their offense, but Atkins and Hawpe were just torrid late last season and I don’t think that will happen again. Lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice they fall way below .500. (76-86)

Padres get lucky with the Jody Gerut pick up. It pays off and the outfield is solidified. The young infield continues to improve and the pitching remains solid.  This is the best Padres team since the 1998 World Series team and proves it by getting back there. (95-67)

The Joe Torre move looks brilliant as he leads the Dodgers back to the playoffs with a wild card birth. His ability to mix in the young guys with the old guys is impressive but he can’t keep it together in the playoffs and they fall in the first round. (89-73)

The Giants shock the world by finishing above the Rockies. They do it with great pitching and a clubhouse that is relieved to be out of the Bonds shadow. They don’t make the playoffs but the future looks bright. (79-83)



  1. Aaron said,

    Nice work . . . I’m more concerned with the D’Backs than the Dodgers because of that potential three-ace rotation, but I agree with your overall assessment. Two quickies:

    1. what about Chase Headley? I would imagine that he’s the Padres solution in left and that Hairston is not not capable of being of full-time player, not even until the trade deadline. Why not try the young guy out? What are you hearing out in San Diego? What does Black have to say about LF?

    2. Mark Reynolds is a much better prospect than Kouzie, even though I quite like Kouzmanoff; compare the numbers:

    Rey-366AB, .349OBP, .495SLG, .951Fielding
    Kouz-484AB, .329OBP, .457SLG, .932Fielding

    That’s not even really close, especially when you compare the home run numbers and the fact that Reynolds have more than 100 less at bats (one month of the season.) I would imagine Kouzie can’t start nearly as bad as he did last year, but also needs to improve his defense a lot.

    I changed my mind, so here’s a third thought:

    3. Edmonds. Edmonds???? What the crap was this signing? I really don’t like the move. He’s guaranteed to be hurt for a significant amount of the season and our back-up for that position is . . . . Hairston? Giles? A real hole in center just as I was crossing my fingers hoping that Headley would finally solve the Padres perpetual problem in left.

  2. Anthony said,


  3. danielbalc said,


    1. It is possibly that Headley will be the Left Fielder at some point. BUt I’m working on the assumption that it’s Hariston right now. But my gut says that Gerut will get the most at bats in Left this year. Either way I have whoever it is, Hairston, Headly, Gerut, DaVanaon, MaCanulty, as the worst left fielder in the division.

    It’s that simple.

    2. Two overlooked factors in the Reynolds/Kouzmanoff comparison. 1) Kouz’s terrible slump. Reynolds played in the minors while Kouz slumped for the first 2 months. Was it necessary for Kouz to suck to get good? maybe? But could have have played in AAA during that time like Reynolds? also a maybe. 2) Home Field. Offensive numbers in Arizona are always going to be higher than in San Diego. When you look at the home/away splits for kouz most things are quite similar… OBP. 331 to .327, BA .276 to 2.73. But then you see the slugging pct… Home- 4.12 (5 HR) Away- .496 (13HR).
    That’s classic PETCO stuff. Reynolds is the opposite. He slugged .515 at home and .477 on the road and his average and OBP were lower on the road as well.

    3) Edmonds isn’t as bad as move as I thought at first. The injury factor does scare me a bit, but it would be silly to think that Cameron is going to have more playing time than Edmonds. Remember Cameron must sit out the first 25 games of the season. And the Brewers are paying him a Million dollars more than we are paying Edmonds. Across the board the only place where Cameron has higher numbers than Edmonds is in Strikeouts. Edmonds is 3 years older than Cameron. At 38 he’s older than a lot of guys, but 38 isn’t ancient. Look at Kenny Lofton ( a guy I think the Padres should invest in as a 4th outfielder) he’s 41 and can still play.

    As for Anthony’s comment.

    I don’t understand what you’re laughing at, can you please explain?

    Is it my “gut feeling” section where I predict 95 wins?

    Or is it my unbiased evaluation of all 5 teams?

  4. Matt said,

    I don’t see any way this team wins 95 games, but I also don’t think they will have to win that many. I think 90 wins is realistic and should be enough (just like last year) to win the division.

    I am looking forward to having Giles in the leadoff role all year. Our offense was much better later in the year with him constantly getting on base. I think this will help run production.

    I love our pitching and agree that it is the single most important aspect and determining factor for success with any club. We will never be out of a game with this staff and as long as the offense provides timely hitting we will be in great shape.

    Obviously injuries play a role with any team and you have to get lucky to avoid major ones if you want to compete. I hope we can do this and have another successful year.

  5. Aaron said,

    Good call on the home/road splits on the Kouzmanoff/Reynolds debate.

    I definitely am more worried than you about Edmonds, I guess. I would have liked some sort of permanent solution in center OR left going into the year, and I am disappointed that we really have all three spots in the outfield up in the air. (Giles is solid, but he’s way over-paid at $10 million) Hopefully next off-season we can make a splash in the free agency market . . . can you say Ken Griffey Jr. at the trade deadline?

    Free agent outfielders after this year (x-denotes an option): V.Guerrero (x), C.Crawford (x), M.Ramirez (x), B.Abreu, A.Dunn, K.Griffey (x), M.Alou, G.Anderson (x), P.Burrell, M.Cameron (x), M.Bradley, R.Ibanez

    Ibanez obviously stands out to me as a guy to go after . . . anybody you people like?

  6. danielbalc said,

    I don’t see any of those guys being Padres. Guerrero and Anderson are two aging stars in a crowded outfield so I can certainly imagine one of them moving at the deadline. Alot of folks around here like Dunn but I’m not a fan. Who wouldn’t want a Carl Crawford? most of those guys are just way too old. Honestly I think next year’s Padres outfield stars Headley in left and possibly Antonelli in center.

    The good thing about our left field problem this year is that it leaves you with an area you can make a move to improve in. Last year we were able to bring in Milton Bradley, who’s to say we can’t make a similar move this year?

  7. danielbalc said,

    This is a brief article on Padres Owner John Moores satisfaction with the ball club.

    In it he is asked if his goal this year is to win the World Series. His response is not surprising…

    “The goal is to play meaningful games in September”

    I think this stated objective is the dividing line between Padre fans like me and the Padre fans I seem to get into the most fights with.

    I am totally OK with this statement. Meaningful games in September is what we’ve done the past 4 years at PETCO park and it’s been awesome.

    Winning the World Series is a lofty objective but simply not one that can be maintained year in and year out by any team. Meanwhile if you look at teams like the A’s or the Braves or even the Twins you’d see teams that consistently year in and year out were playing meaningful games in September. they are the kind of teams that you can get behind because you know there actually is a chance.

    The Padres I grew up with were no such team. They had 14 years between good seasons. I like these Padres much better.

  8. Anthony said,

    I like your evaluation of the NL west. It’s the 95 wins thing that makes me laugh. How is the rest of the NL looking? Why would the WS team have fewer wins than the Giants?

  9. Anthony said,


    You don’t tell your team that they can’t make the WS or that you don’t expect them to. Each team should be playing for the WS. That includes the owner. It’s okay to play games in September. That is awesome. But that shouldn’t be the goal at the outset of the season. The goal is the WS. Moores is a crook!

  10. Anthony said,

    I wonder what Moore’s goal for his downtown development is? To build just one meaningful hotel in September, or build 50 one on each block he owns? I think his interest is in his development of downtown. The Padres were just a vehicle. I hope you enjoy those September games.

  11. out of thin air (aka former ffl champ) said,

    Moores is an idiot. Would you be ok if Dean Spanos said all he wants is to play meaningful game in December. I agree with AS. If you don’t set your goals high enough you’re never reach them.

  12. Matt said,

    In it he is asked if his goal this year is to win the World Series. His response is not surprising…

    “The goal is to play meaningful games in September”

    Wrong answer.

    The correct answer is “yes”.

    This makes no sense and only furthers the notion that he is not interested in winning, which in my opinion, is not the case.

    He obviously wants to win and has a vested interest in the team doing well. All his work toward dowtown re-development will be for not if no one comes dowtown for games because the team stinks.

    I am trying to figure out what reason he has to say anything other than “yes” to this question someone please help me.

  13. danielbalc said,

    i accept you laughing at my Giants over the Rockies prediction. I think it’s pretty funny myself. i guess what I am getting at is that I really don’t beleive in the Rockies and I think the Giants have the ability to surprise.

    Thin air,
    Spanos hasn’t gone on record as saying he wants to play meaningful games in December but AJ Smith has made it very clear that his goal every year is to “make it to the tournament.”

    i think what Moores is saying is that he wants a team that is a consistent winner and one that will always have a chance to be in the playoffs. If you make the playoffs you have a 1 in 8 chance of winning the WS.

    Outside of Boston, New York and chicago no team can afford to be a contender via free-agency. San Diego must build smart to meet the goal of “playing meaningful games in September.” It’s a guarded comment. He isn’t saying “No I don’t want to win the WS” or “no I don’t think we have a chance at the WS” he’s saying that he wants this team to always be a winner.

    Consider would you be happy if the Padres won the WS and then went the same was as the Florida Marlins and completely dismantled the team afterward? That’s kind of how it felt after the Padres 98 season. I prefer the way this team is built now. It’s built to be competitive year in and year out.

    Does Moores think we can win the WS this year? I’m sure he does, but it isn’t his goal to win the WS every year. His goal is to have a winng team every year.

    I wonder if the same question was asked to the Giants owner how he would respond.

    Anyway I’m very happy with John Moores because he’s done incredible things for the city of San Diego and for the Padres. His investments saved the Padres, saved San diego baseball. He’s made the Padres a force to be reckoned with. Since he took over ownership of the Padres no other NL West team has won as the divsion more than the Padres.

    he’s no idiot

  14. Out of thin air said,

    But why would he make a stupid statement like that. I’ve always contended that Moores is only interesting in putting a “just competitive enough” team on the field in order to keep people in the seats so he can make money. He has no interest in winning a championship. I’m just gullible enough to fall for it and I happen to love baseball so I still go. I do not like John Moores. Ok, he’s no idiot. He knows how to make money. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they are competitive every year. It’s ok if he has a different philosophy for building a team. But not having “winning a championship” as your goal every year is IDIOTIC!!! He doesn’t care if he makes the playoffs.

  15. Matt said,

    I know Moores wants to win a championship, I know we have to compete differently than the big markets and I am very happy with the product we have on the field year in and year out.

    I also think it is enough to win a championship if all things fall your way in a given year. Just look at the Rockies from last year. No one would have predicted they had any chance to make it to the Series, but they got hot, caught some breaks and there they were.

    I just don’t understand why he could not just say, “yes every year we want to win a championship and just because we don’t does not mean we are not trying”.

    What harm is in a statement like that?

    All he has done now is added more fuel to the fire for those dillusional fans who seem to think he is more interested in making money than winning.

  16. Show me the Money said,

    Could it have anything to do with expectations? If he sits here and says we want to win the World Series every year but then doesn’t go out and sign the free agents or make the blockbuster trades everyone is going to jump down his back even more.

    I think he says what he says because he knows his team is two to four years away from having a real chance at winning the Series (see Padres Farm System). I think he knows just like we all do that you need a healthy player in center and right fields and you also need someone to play left. When you don’t have those things then you really don’t have a chance to win.

    This whole prediction thing you guys do has everyhting to do with our pitching staff. I believe out pithcing staff will win 70 games for the Pads this year. Then it is up to the hitters to win the rest. Will they get that hit in the bottom of the ninth? Can that happen 15-20 times so we can win 85-90 games and go to the playoffs? I think Moores knows that he has some players in the farm system that could turn into something in 2-3 years, but not this year and he doesn’t want to get his fan’s hopes up.

  17. Matt said,

    Just ask the Cubs, Yankees and Mets if “blockbuster trades” and overspending in free agency guarantees a World Series. None of these teams have won anything over the last few years and outspend everyone every year.

    We have a chance and that is more than alot of teams can say. Just find a way to get into the playoffs and hopefully we get hot at the right time a ride it to a title.

  18. out of thin air said,

    Anything is possible…i.e. the comeback win in soccer last night. Awesome!!!!

  19. danielbalc said,

    Could it have anything to do with expectations? If he sits here and says we want to win the World Series every year but then doesn’t go out and sign the free agents or make the blockbuster trades everyone is going to jump down his back even more.


    I think he says what he says because he knows his team is two to four years away from having a real chance at winning the Series (see Padres Farm System).


    I think he believes we do have a real “chance” at winning the World Series, however like every team that as a”goal” is very difficult. Only one team is going to win the World Series so if every team out there has the “goal” of winning a championship every year than every team fails in it’s expectations, except 1, (and the Padres, since it’s not their goal, assuming of course they don’t win the world series).

    I think Moores is a victim of being honest.

    I heard Michael savage on the radio yesterday saying “the only way John McCain is going to win the election is if he becomes a very good liar and starts telling lots of lies to sound like a conservative.”

    Same situation here from Moores, Would you rather he have the “goal” of winning the World Series each and every year, or would you rather he speaks honestly about his objectives to have a winning baseball team?

  20. danielbalc said,

    BTW did anyone else catch Brett Favre saying that part of the reason he’s retiring is because it’s really hard to get back to the super bowl. Saying things like “failing to reach the super bowl would be a disappointment even though it shouldn’t be.”

    It’s that “even though it shouldn’t be” part that Moores had the audacity to admit.

  21. out of thin air said,

  22. Matt said,

    Jim Edmonds is hurt? Where is the story here?

    Consider me worried.

  23. Out of thin air said,

    We knew this guy was injury prone. But he can’t even get through spring training without getting hurt. He’ll never make it through the season.

  24. Matt said,

    He’ll never make it through the season.

    No one ever expected him to make it through the season. The question is how much time he will miss and how productive he will be when in the lineup.

    If he misses 30-40 games during the season and is productive when playing we will be fine. If he misses a significant amount of time and cannot get into rythym we will have a problem.

    Lets see.

  25. Bruce S. said,

    If Mark Prior returns to form and stays healthy, the Padres will win the West. (Assuming no disasters happen to the rest of the staff).

  26. danielbalc said,

    So the Padres are in China to play the Dodgers this weekend…

    And I think this is an OK idea. I don’t have a big problem with it since it comes two weeks before the regular season and it will give the players ample time to recover. but the question I have is this….

    Which two team names would be the most difficult to explain to a foreigner with no concept of Baseball and limited understanding of American culture?

    Would it not be the Dodgers and the Padres?

    I can barely understand the origin behind the Dodgers name and if not for my 4th grade California missions project I don’t think I would know what the name Padres was all about either.

    Tigers, Cubs, Giants even Rays seems like easier team names to explain.

    What say you? In your opinion what are the two most obscure team names in baseball?

  27. out of thin air said,

    Dodgers and Royals. Nothing makes sense about the stupid Dodgers and I’m clueless about the origin of the Royals.

  28. Bruce S. said,

    I thought everybody knew the origin of the name Dodger. You know, dodging trolleys to cross the street to get into the ball park.

    The origin of the St. Louis Browns nickname is pretty obscure.

    KC Royals name undoubtedly traces back to the all black Kansas City Monarchs. A simultaneous take-off and tribute to that historic team.

  29. out of thin air said,

    Isn’t Dodger derived from the latin word “evil”??? 🙂

  30. danielbalc said,

    A royal is something that nearly every culture would understand. Royalty is common everywhere.

    I know the origin of the dodgers name but trying to convey that to another culture? good luck.

  31. danielbalc said,

    Way back in February (before Spring training) this was my prediction for the Padres 25 man roster.

    Looking over the 40-man roster and the Non-roster invites these are the guys I project to make up the 25 man roster on opening day.

    Starting Pitchers-




    The lineup shapes up to be…
    Giles L
    Iguchi R
    Gonzalez L
    Kouzmanoff R
    Greene R
    Edmonds L
    Bard S
    Hairston R

    The biggest question is if Headley will make the team and I don’t think he will because they want him to get as many at bats as possible and he can’t get them at this level.

  32. danielbalc said,

    Today, just 3 days before opening day this is what the roster looks like…

    I was wrong on the following…

    5th starter –
    Germano instead of Estes

    Gonzalez instead of Gardner
    Rusch instead of Cameron (who was injured most of Spring)

    Clark instead of Fick (The Padres didn’t have Clark so that would’ve been a tough one to predict)

    McAnulty or Justin Huber instead of DaVanon
    McAnulty will probably be released or traded when Edmonds is ready, either opening day or a week or so later. Huber is a guy the just traded for because they wanted a right handed option of the bench.

    While the outfield is still a bit suspect that pitching depth is tremendous and will keep the Padres in it all year.

  33. danielbalc said,

    BTW I was right on about Headely not making the opening day roster however if Gerut doesn’t live up to expectations in Left I think we will see Headley out there around may 9th or May 19th.

  34. danielbalc said,

    Well the season is off and running and the Padres in the first two games have lived up to the standard set the previous few years, at least as far as the style and outcome of the game.

    Pitching, pitching, pitching.

    and just in case you’re wondering about where the offense is going to be coming from have no fear. Once the Padres get on the road those deep fly balls they’ve been hitting are going to be getting out. Greene, Gonzalez and Giles I’m sure are well aware of this.

    Meanwhile our regular left fielder who is presently in center had a no doubter last night.

    I’ve still got a couple more weeks of jury duty so you’ll have to wait for new posts.

  35. Pablo Honey said,

    Well, Hoffman isn’t doing anything to help me forget the way we ended the 2007 season. Over the past few years I’ve found myself defending Hoffman when all the fans start to turn on him after a blown save, but this year I am still feeling bitterness for his repeated inability to close out one game to take us to the playoffs. Now I find myself thinking: “What if we miss the playoffs by 1 game this year?” and pointing to only the 3rd game of the season and blaming Hoffman. I hope he rips off something like 20 consecutive saves now, because I am finding it harder and harder to believe in him again.

  36. Bruce S. said,

    Yeah. I am no Hoffman defender. I’m sure he’s a nice guy though. He failed to get out the following:

    1) One journeyman – Cruz (junior)
    2) One rookie – Bourn (again)
    3) One 2nd year guy with not even a year under his belt – Pence (two)
    4) One bona-fide star – Berkman (the evangelical)

    Not getting Cruz or Berkman is forgivable. But not getting the rookie is a bad sign. If you study Cortese’s card tricks long enough, you’ll figure them out. Same with Hoffman.

  37. Matt said,

    Settle down guys he just saved a 1 run game. He is back to being the best closer ever.

    Seriously though, it is a long season and he will blow saves like he and everyone else does every year, but he will blow less than most closers and will end the year with 40+ saves.

    You have to love the fact that seemingly every game is super close and because of our pitching staff we rarely get blown out and have a chance to win each and every day.

    Should be a fun, anxiety-filled season lets hope it ends better this time.

  38. Out of thin air said,

    Cortese has some card tricks I haven’t figured out yet. I don’t think it’s that easy figuring out the changeup. They know it’s coming but they haven’t been able to hit it. It’s the fastball (or lack of) that is the problem.

  39. danielbalc said,

    I love it, the Padres first series is a great success and all the blog action is criticism. Typical.

    It’s too bad that the following players didn’t have a series worthy of commentary…

    Giles- 3 hits, 3 RBI
    Iguchi- 6 for 16 a hit in every game
    Kouzmanoff- 5 Hits and a 2 run shot
    Gonzalez- 4 hits including a home run and 3 RBI
    Hairston- 15 total bases, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 runs
    Greene- 6 for 17, 3 runs scored
    Bard- 4 for 11
    Barrett- 2 for 3 with 3 runs
    McAntulty- 5 for 11
    Clark- Pinch hit RBI single

    Or the pitching?
    Peavy- 7 ip 0 ER
    Young- 5 2/3 ip1 ER
    Maddux- 6 ip 3 ER
    Wolf – 6 ip 1 ER

  40. danielbalc said,

    If you study Cortese’s card tricks long enough, you’ll figure them out. Same with Hoffman.

    How long have we heard that kind of rhetoric?

    Criticizing Hoffman has been popular for what seems like an entire decade, but you’re not going to find a better closer for your team. The day he retires, no matter who takes his place, we will take a step back in the closer position.

    I’ll let a pro tell y’all how it is…

  41. danielbalc said,

    Japanese players give the best quotes (through their translators)…

    Kuroda on facing Iguchi tonight,
    “I’ve faced him many times, even in college. It may be really hard for me to try to suppress him.”

  42. Pablo Honey said,

    Are you happy with 3 out of 4 when we should have had all 4? Like I said before, I hope Hoffman tears it up this season. All the talk now is that his stuff is better then ever, so I hope we see that. All I’m saying is that after last years debacle, I don’t feel as confident with him out there anymore. Anyway on the positive side, a lot of our bats looked very impressive and our defense was solid. We are leaving way too many runners on base though, so that needs to be fixed. Hopefully we keep the momentum going this weekend, huge first weekend series.

  43. Matt said,

    This is the best part of the article…

    Of course, Towers, who can’t watch Hoffman close games, didn’t see Wednesday’s Berkman homer.

    “I was driving home, listing to KGB radio,” he said.

    How can the general manager not watch or listen to the end of the game? That is amazing to me.

  44. danielbalc said,

    Are you happy with 3 out of 4 when we should have had all 4?

    I’ll bet you a burrito that we win at least 1 game this season when trailing by a run on the road. By your criteria that would be a game the opposition “should have won”, thus we lose a game we “should have won” and we win a game we “should have lost”.

    Honestly the thing I was more upset about in that game was this situation (if my memory holds)….

    bottom of the 6th, score tied bottom of the order comes up to bat. 1st two guys get on base with the pitchers spot (Maddux) due up but Tony Clark in the on deck circle. The right managerial move in this situation would’ve been to let Maddux bunt the runners over. Instead Black allows Clark to pinch hit and he promptly hit’s into a double play.

    Clark wasn’t the guy to be up in that situation because he lacks the speed to avoid a DP and he doesn’t bunt. It was clear as day that Clark was the wrong guy and yet Black proceeded.

    Bad strategy bothers me much more than poor performance or even poor execution. Suppose Maddux fails to lay down the bunt or bunts into a DP, at least it’s the right strategy and Black is off the hook. But using Clark in that situation just didn’t make sense.

  45. danielbalc said,

    KT is superstitious when it comes to Hoffman closing games. By his accounting the only one he ever watched was the 06 all star game which ended in disaster.

    Superstitions like that just add to the greatness of baseball.

  46. Out of thin air said,

    As with most non hard throwers it’s all about location. So if Hoffy misses with location especially with the fastball it will most likely be sent over the wall. Location, location, location.

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