Eight games into the Cactus League season, the Padres are starting to heat up, winning three of their last five. 10 pitchers have yet to surrender and earned run this Spring, including Andrew Cashner (3.0 IP), Erik Hamren (3.0 IP), Alex Hinshaw (3.0 IP), Casey Kelly (2.0 IP), Cory Luebke (2.0 IP), Josh Spence (0.2 IP), Jeff Suppan (3.0 IP), Joe Thatcher (1.0 IP), Dale Thayer (3.0 IP) and Nick Vincent (3.0 IP). Leubke joins Dustin Moseley, Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer and Edinson Volquez in what has become a Spring Training rotation and could project to be the clubs’ starting staff come Opening Day. Those five have combined to post a 3.46 ERA, surrendering five earned runs in 13.0 innings of work while striking out 10.
On offense, the Padres are hitting at a .276 clip with a .332 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage. Leading the way are 10 Friars who are hitting .300 or better with at least five games played: Yonder Alonso, Matt Clark, Jaff Decker, Jonathan Galvez, Jeremy Hermida, Rymer Liriano, Carlos Quentin, Edinson Rincon, Blake Tekotte and Will Venable. Decker is the only Padre with multiple home runs, having gone deep twice while driving in a club-high four runs.
So that’s how camp is shaping up so far. With 28 games between now and Opening Day, there is still plenty of time for things to change. I’ll leave you today with some trick shots, compliments of Padres minor leaguer Connor Powers:
As part of their annual 30 Clubs in 30 Days series, the MLB Network will feature the San Diego Padres today at 2:00 p.m. PT. The crew was out at the Peoria Sports Complex over the last few days, shooting interviews and special segments for this afternoon’s episode.
Be sure to set your DVRs and watch the program. It is a great way to get an overview of the team and prep yourself for the upcoming season.
As for the team, the Padres are heading to Tempe this afternoon to take on the Angels. The two clubs will also meet in the regular season in 2012, with the Angels traveling south on I-5 for their first-ever trip to Petco Park (May18-20). Clayton Richard takes the hill today, making his 2012 Cactus League debut. The pitching rotation over the next few days lines up like this: Dustin Moseley (3/10 at CLE), Tim Stauffer (3/11 vs. ARI), Corey Luebke (3/12 at COL) and Edinson Volquez (3/13 vs. CWS).
While the home squad was battling Yu Darvish and the media frenzy that accompanied him in Peoria, half of the Padres were in Goodyear to take on the Reds yesterday. Led by starter Cory Luebke, the Friars tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out 13 over the course of the afternoon.
Luebke paved the way, striking out four while allowing one hit and one walk over his 2.0 frames. Casey Kelly followed with 2.0 perfect innings and two strikeouts of his own. Relievers Andrew Cashner, Dale Thayer, Matt Palmer, Erik Hamren and Brad Brach shutout the Reds over the final 5.0 frames, striking out seven. Brach put on a show in the ninth, striking out the side to close out the game.
After yesterday’s games, the Padres have now struck out 39 in 43.0 innings of work, averaging 8.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. San Diego’s relievers are averaging a strikeout per inning with 33 in their 33.0 innings this Spring.
The Padres jumped on the bus for their “second” road game today (first away from the Peoria Sports Complex). Tim Stauffer started, making his Spring debut with 2.0 innings of one-run ball. He allowed two-hits, throwing 24 pitches (16 strikes) during his outing this afternoon. Last year’s Opening Day starter, Stauffer had a strong year in 2011, setting career highs in wins, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts and quality starts.
Following Stauffer was newcomer Robbie Erlin. A highly-touted lefty prospect, he was acquired as part of the deal that sent Mike Adams to Texas at the 2011 trade deadline.
Erlin enters the season rated by Baseball America as the ninth-best prospect in the Padres organization, having gone 9-4 with a 2.99 ERA (49 ER/147.1 IP) in 26 minor league games last year, including a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA (4 ER/26.0 IP) in six starts after joining Double-A San Antonio. Like Stauffer, he also worked 2.0 innings in his Spring debut today.
Bud Black enters his sixth season as manager of the Padres this year. His coaching/managing career follows a 15-year playing career with the Seattle Mariners (1981), Kansas City Royals (1982-88), Cleveland Indians (1988-90, 95), Toronto Blue Jays (1990) and San Francisco Giants (1991-94).
He compiled a 121-116 career record with 32 complete games, 12 shutouts, 11 saves and a 3.84 ERA (876 ER/2053.1 IP) in 398 Major League games (296 starts). His career included two American League championships with the Royals, including a World Series championship in 1985.
When he was named manager of the Padres, he became only the third individual over the last 40 years to have won 100 games as a pitcher and serve as a Major League manager.
But enough of all that, let’s see who hit him and who didn’t…
Let’s start with the current Padres staff, including all members of the Padres Big League, front office, minor league and scouting staff. Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield were the only players to tally double-digit at-bats against the left-hander, with Winfield taking him deep three times. On the flip side, third base coach Glenn Hoffman collected six at-bats, striking out in half of them. Overall, the current Padres staff was pretty succussful, hitting at a .296 clip against Black. Click the picture below to see a full-sized grid of their numbers vs. the Padres manager:
Onto the current Major League managers and their struggle to hit our fearless leader. They posted a collective .160 average (29-for-181) along with a .214 on-base percentage. Among that group are fellow NL West managers and former MVPs Kirk Gibson and Don Mattingly. The two combined to go 13-for-60 (.217) with three home runs and nine strikeouts. Click below for a full-sized view of all current Major League managers’ numbers vs. Buddy:
The Padres announced today that they have locked up Cameron Maybin, signing him to an extension that keeps him in San Diego through 2016 with a club option for 2017. The extension buys out Maybin’s arbitration years and gives Padres fans (that’s you) a big reason to celebrate.
Maybin had a breakout year in 2011, establishing new career highs in nearly every offensive category, including games, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI and stolen bases, en route to being unanimously chosen as the Padres 2011 MVP by the San Diego Chapter of the BBWAA. He started 132 games in center field and led the team in runs, triples, stolen bases and multi-hit games.
On the year, he hit .264 (136-for-516) with 24 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs, 40 RBI and 82 runs scored. Maybin also stole 40 bases in 48 attempts, posting an 83.3 percent success rate that ranked 12th in the National League. He was successful in 21 consecutive attempts from May 18-August 8, including stolen bases in a franchise-record six straight games from July 19-24.
Originally signed by Detroit as the 10th overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Maybin made his Big League debut with the Tigers in 2007 and was traded to the Marlins prior to the 2008 season. He spent parts of three seasons with the Marlins before being acquired by the Padres in exchange for right-handed pitchers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica on November 13, 2010.
In summary, the whole thing gives Padres fans a good reason to join Cam’s son Trent in a little celebration dance (video via http://shenanniegans.com/)