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San Diego Padres State Of The Union For 2014

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years.  It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.  How does this team jump from +2200 to +1700 in such a small time in the NL West.  Someone put a lot of cabbage on San Diego.  I think the Pad Sqauad are in the mid 60's wins range, stay away from this longshot.

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years. It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.  I think the Pad Squad are in the mid 60′s wins range by the time it is all said and done this year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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This season could get real ugly for the Padres in 2014.

As of right now, here are the injuries the team has endured for Spring Training.

Cameron Maybin is out till mid to late April with ruptured biceps tendon.  Josh Johnson will miss a month with a strained right forearm, Corey Luebke is gone for the year with his 2nd Tommy John Surgery, and Joe Wieland also had an elbow surgery.

Among the latest issues, Carlos Quentin is doubtful for the opener today with a sore knee, Catcher Yasmani Grandal is questionable, recovering from knee surgery – while Chase Headley (strained right calf) and Chris Denorfia (sore right shoulder) are probable for tonight’s North American MLB Opener. Read the rest of this entry

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San Diego Padres Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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I am not going to beat up the Padres in this article.  They have a tough division to contend with and need the new 2016 CBA to provide more of an equal playing field.

Here is some good news, the Padres only be losing 7 guys to Free Agency before the 2015 year, so if the young flock of talent can show some improvement, the future years look good.

Chase Headley, Chris Denorfia, Josh Johnson, Tim Stauffer, Huston Street, Seth Smith and Nick Hundley are up for the open market.  Look for the franchise to trade most of these guys near the Trade Deadline. Read the rest of this entry

The Players In All Of The San Diego Padres Organization: Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) Fall 2013

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years.  It is not from a lack of the coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

The Padres have not made the playoffs since 2006, and have only authored 2 winning seasons in the last 7 years. It is not from a lack of a good coach, rather the NL West has far superior talent, while the San Diego franchise has been trying to replenish the farm, went through an ownership change, and now the team needs to make some decisions this offseason, that will shape the fortunes of the club for the next several years.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

The Padres didn’t have very much go right for them in terms of organizational prospects panning out at the Major League Level.

Although, the franchise must be stoked about the development of Andrew Cashner.

Trading away Adrian Gonzalez was tough enough, and right after that, the club flipped Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs, after a sub – par rookie campaign.

The Padres have a tough hoe ahead of them – competing with mega spending Los Angeles will prove very tough considering that team has a payroll in the $230 MIL range, while the ‘Pods’ are not in the $100 MIL range.

Having said that, the team still competed all year, and put up 76 Wins on the board.

They have one of the better skippers in the game with Bud Black.

The key will be the youth of the franchise, as that is how they can keep their payroll down, is to have their top prospects work out, be under team control – much like the way of the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays models.

For the Up to Date Roster for the Padres all year around, please visit Jeff’s Website right here

For the Entire Page of teams links we have dedicated to Payroll, Rosters, Depth Chart, State Of the Unions and Roster Trees, please click right here. Please bookmark this page and check back, as we are busy on the analysis at MLB Reports always.

Andrew Cashner uses his bat and arm

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San Diego Padres: Within Striking Distance

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Tuesday June 18th, 2013

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the Padres sit just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36-34 record—a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10.  Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 - 24 in their last 58 games played

Within the first 12 games of the MLB season, the baseball world, after watching the San Diego Padres struggle, knew the team was headed for yet another rough year. This still might be the case. But, currently, the club sits just one game back from the top of the National League West standings. The team carries a 36 -34 record —a record that many would deem impossible to achieve after watching the team start off 2-10. Bud Black has seen his time ascend to near the top of the NL West by going 34 – 24 in their last 58 games played.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The NL West is not exactly living up to expectations, though. The Dodgers are having a disaster year with Matt Kemp, the team’s superstar, spending time on the DL. Hanley Ramirez, whom the Dodgers acquired last season to provide offense, has spent all but a few games on the DL. Carl Crawford, who the Dodgers expected to be healthy this year, has also caught the injury bug. 

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MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7

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Monday May.20/2013

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup.  Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around.  Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup. Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around. Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

The Braves (rose their division lead to 2.5 Games with a 4 – 2 week), and Padres (18 – 13 in their last 31 Games and have been clubbing the ball lateley) were the biggest movers up for the week standings by climbing 6 spots apiece. 

The biggest drops were the San Francisco Giants (hate their Starting Pitching right now – except for Madison Bumgarner) and the Baltimore Orioles (late inning magic might be dying – and still need a DH + a Veteran Starter or 2).

The Los Angeles teams keep losing ball games – and the Blue Jays lost 2 straight versus the Yankees just when they looked to be on track.

Cleveland is still ranked outside the top ten because I don’t have faith in their strength of schedule in the next month starting May 21st:  2 vs DET, 4 @BOS, 2 vs CIN, 2 @CIN, 2 vs TB, 3 @NYY, 3 @DET, 3 @TEX, 3 vs WSH and finally 3 vs KC.  If they are above .500 after this stretch, I will be impressed.

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 19th

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Monday, May.20, 2013

Miguel Cabrera has hit 332 HRs, 398 Doubles and 13 Triples in his 11th year in the Major Leagues. With 1170 RBI , and just barely being 30 Years of age, the man has a serious chance to chase the ALL - Time RBI record of 2297 By Hank Aaron. After his 3 HR night on Saturday, he has a 2013 3 Slash of .387/.457/1.116 (all lead the AL). He has added 11 HRs (tied for 2nd) and 47 RBI (1st in the MLB). He could challenge a 2nd straight Triple Crown in 2013. Something that hasn't happened since Honus Wagner in the 1920's

Miguel Cabrera has hit 332 HRs, 398 Doubles and 13 Triples in his 11th year in the Major Leagues. With 1170 RBI, and just barely being 30 Years of age, the man has a serious chance to chase the ALL – Time RBI record of 2297 By Hank Aaron. After his 3 HR night on Saturday, he has a 2013 – 3 Slash of .387/.457/1.116 (all lead the AL). He has added 11 HRs (tied for 2nd) and 47 RBI (1st in the MLB). He could challenge a 2nd straight Triple Crown in 2013. Something that hasn’t happened since Honus Wagner in the 1920′s.

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Cabrera’s mammoth night May.19th/2013

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Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 18th

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Saturday, May.19, 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago.  In just 24 Games Played this season - he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 - with 7 HRs and 29 RBI.  He is still the premiere DH in the AL - and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013

David Ortiz has been crushing the ball at an all time rate since rejoining the club just 4 weeks ago. In just 24 Games Played this season – he has a 3 Slash Line of .362/.408/1.089 – with 7 HRs and 29 RBI. He is still the premiere DH in the AL – and could go along way in Boston making a return to the playoffs in 2013.

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

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MLB Top Teams 1 – 30 + (Best 200 Stats of 2013)

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Monday May.06/2013

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season may have just become the New York Mets "ace". Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings - only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818  For his awesome 5 weeks we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

Matt Harvey with his stellar outings so far this season – may have just become the New York Mets “ace”. Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. Harvey has pitched 40.1 innings – only given up 21 hits, 12 Walks for a League Leading WHIP of .0818. For his awesome 5 weeks – we name him the MLB Reports NL Pitcher Of The Month

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Stats all Prior to May.06th games. 

The time has come for the 1sy May Power Rankings.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON

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Chase Headley: Contract Talks Or Trade Bait?

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Monday May 6th, 2013

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the LA Dodgers going forward.  Headley caaptured a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger in 2012. He ended up finishing 5th in NL MVP voting.  He hit 23 HRs and 73 RBI in just 75 Games after the 2012 ALL-Star Game.. Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Headley led the NL with 115 RBI in 2012 amongst 31 HRs, he will need to put up monster numbers for the Padres to compete with the NL West teams  going forward Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out this season with the fences newly drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

For the past few seasons, Chase Headley has been the one guy on the roster that the San Diego Padres can rely on. Last year, he put up MVP-like numbers, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs.

This year, he is really the only guy in the lineup that can truly produce runs. Yonder Alonso has that capability, but he is still a bit raw. Headley is signed to a one-year $8.58 million contract.

He becomes Arbitration-eligible in 2014 and is a Free Agent in 2015. The Padres are faced with a conundrum: should they trade Headley?

This third baseman is 28 years old—about the time when most players enter their prime. With the season we saw from Headley in 2012, I think it is safe to say that he has already entered his prime, and probably has two or three more years similar to 2012 ahead of him.

If the Padres are building for the future, which I sure hope they are, they need to trade Headley right away.

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MLB Monthly Power Rankings May 2013 (Podcast Version)

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Sunday, May.05/2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry

Anthony Rizzo: His Impact On The Chicago Cubs

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Tuesday April 30th, 2013

Rizzo looks in 2013 to improve on his strong short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI.

Rizzo looks in 2013 to improve on his strong short 2012 campaign, in which he hit .285 with 15 HR and 48 RBI.  He has struggled to carry a great Batting Average – but has launched 8 HRs and added 19 RBI in just 90 At-Bats heading into Monday Nights action, We at the ‘Reports,’ are calling him the NL Mendoza Line Masher.  The AL Mendoza Line Masher is definitely Adam Dunn.

By Bernie Olshansky (MLB Reports Writer):

Over the past few years, Chicago Cubs fans have not had a lot to cheer about. Anthony Rizzo is starting to break this trend. Rizzo was acquired by the Cubs from the San Diego Padres in early 2012.

The team sent Andrew Cashner—most notably—to the Padres and got Rizzo in return along with minor league pitcher Zach Cates.

Rizzo is exactly what the Cubs need in a power-hitting first baseman, and should hold down the position in the years to come. Andrew Cashner was a prized prospect at the time of the trade, but the Cubs evidently thought Rizzo was more talented and held more value.

The Padres wound up with Yonder Alonso to man First Base, so they did not lose a significant amount in the trade.

Anthony Rizzo Highlights and the song “Go Cubs Go”

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San Diego Padres 2013 Rotation: What To Make Of It?

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Wednesday April 24th, 2013

Volquez is coming off an up-and-down year with the Padres. He went .500 with an 11-11 record and had an average ERA at 4.14. He should be prepared for the 2013 season as he threw against real competition in the 2013 WBC so he'll already have all of his stuff developed for the duration of 2013.

Volquez is coming off an up-and-down year with the Padres. He went .500 with an 11-11 record and had an average ERA at 4.14. He should be prepared for the 2013 season as he threw against real competition in the 2013 WBC so he’ll already have all of his stuff developed for the duration of 2013.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

The San Diego Padres currently have one of the most boring Starting Rotations in all of baseball. I cannot think of a rotation with more average pitchers than the one the San Diego organization has.

If someone presented me with the statistics of each pitcher in the Padres rotation, I probably would not be able to discern between the number one and five starters. The ace of the Padres — if we can call him that — is Jason Marquis. So far this season in four games, he has a 4.63 ERA to go with a 1-2 record.

Now some pitchers do get off to rough starts, so we cannot judge him based on his ERA and record. But, after looking further into Marquis, I found that his career ERA is 4.60. Is this really the career ERA a team would want for their “ace”?

Tyson Ross, whom the Padres acquired from the A’s was penciled in and made three starts in the five-slot in the rotation. Ross recently went on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder subluxation.

This year, Ross made three starts, none of them more than 5.1 Innings. Although Ross has a solid 3.86 ERA through those starts, it is unlikely that he will keep this up.

Edinson Volquez at the 2013 WBC:

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San Diego Padres: How Will They Fare Without Chase Headley?

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Tuesday April 2, 2013

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of - .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of – .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

2013 was going to be a rough year for the San Diego Padres even before they got the news that their highest powered offensive weapon would miss a significant amount of time. Chase Headley was the only spark in the weak Padres lineup in 2012, hitting 31 HR and driving in 115 runs. A performance like this could not get the Padres out of second-to-last place in the NL West, so I am afraid to see how the Padres will fare after they start 2013 without their third baseman.

This year, the West is stronger as Zack Greinke has been added to the Dodgers most notably, the Diamondbacks have improved their team, and the Giants are the defending World Champions, having extended the reigning NL MVP. The Rockies also have power-hitting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki back in the lineup after missing most of last season due to injury.

If the Padres were going to contend this season, they would need to get off to a hot enough start to keep up with the rest of the teams. Without Chase Headley, I do not see how that is possible. Even with Headley it would be a very tough task. The Padres have not made any notable additions, so it looks like it will be more of the same in San Diego.

Headley Highlights _ Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised

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Edinson Volquez In 2013: Quintessential Ace Or Inconsistent Starter?

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Thursday March 21, 2013

Volquez is coming off an up-and-down year with the Padres. He went .500 with an 11-11 record and had an average ERA at 4.14. He should be prepared for the 2013 season as he threw against real competition in the 2013 WBC so he'll already have all of his stuff developed for the duration of 2013.

Volquez is coming off an up-and-down year with the Padres. He went .500 with an 11-11 record and had an average ERA at 4.14. He should be prepared for the 2013 season as he threw against real competition in the 2013 WBC so he’ll already have all of his stuff developed for the duration of 2013.  You are talking about a guy that has been traded for in a Josh Hamilton deal, plus the exchange that happened to bring him to San Diego (along with Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger for Mat Latos Prior to the 2012 campaign.

By Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Writer):

When the Texas Rangers signed Edinson Volquez as an amateur Free Agent in 2001 they had high hopes for the 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. They signed him along with John Danks and Thomas Diamond. The three pitching prospects for the Rangers were dubbed “DVD.”

After spending a few years in the Rangers’ organization, he made his debut on the big league squad on August 30, 2005 – and spent the duration of the season with them. He ended up starting 3 games and appeared in 6.  His final stat line at 22-years-old read an 0-4 record – with a 14.21 ERA.

Volquez spent the next two years bouncing in and out of the Minors. When he received the call-up in 2006, he did fairly better dropping his ERA to 7.29. His 1-6 record in 8 starts wasn’t very impressive – but I’m not one to judge a pitcher on his record. As far as I’m concerned, the ERA dropping by almost 7 points was a huge step in the right direction.

Volquez discussing his new team prior to the 2012 MLB season:

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San Diego Padres Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Thursday, February.21, 2013

San Diego GM Josh Byrnes did little in the off-season aside for signing Freddy Garcia.

San Diego GM Josh Byrnes did little in the off-season aside from signing Freddy Garcia. This team will surprise people with their lineup and their starting rotation. They will be Oakland Athletics of the NL West Division.

By Chris Lacey (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres 2012 season is one that can be split into a tale of two seasons. There was the first half of the season where they struggled to score runs and their record reflected that. They went 34-53 and only managed to score a total of 305 runs as a team. The first month is what really set them back; they had a team batting average of .215. The second half of the season the Padres did a complete 180 degree turn in the way that they played. They scored 346 runs and their record was 42-33 in second half of the season. The team batting average increased to a season high in September of .267. The Padres can carry over what happened in the end of 2012 season into 2013 this could be a very competitive division.

General Manager Josh Byrnes did not do much in free agency. He did sign former All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor league deal. The Padres have a history of not having a high payroll. They prefer to use their farm system to generate their major league talent, rather than spend money on Free Agents.

Chase Headley 2012 Highlights. Mature Lyrics – Parental Guidance is Advised:

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Anthony Rizzo’s Time Is Now

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Thursday, February.14, 2013

Rizzo had  a decent rookie campaign - with a 3 Slash Line of .285/.342/.805 with 15 HRs and 48 RBI in just 337 AB during the 2012 season.

Rizzo had a decent rookie campaign – with a 3 Slash Line of .285/.342/.805 with 15 HRs and 48 RBI in just 337 AB during the 2012 season.

By Alex Kantecki (Cubs Correspondent):

One winter ago, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer acquired First Baseman Anthony Rizzo from the San Diego Padres in exchange for hard-throwing Right-Hander Andrew Cashner, one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects at the time.

But this wasn’t Epstein’s and Hoyer’s first go-around with the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, who – along with Cubs Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod – drafted Rizzo while serving as Boston’s GM and Assistant GM, respectively, in 2007. The threesome reunited four years later and brought the 23-Year Old star-in-the-making over to the North Side:

“We believe Anthony has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order run producer for the Cubs for a very long time,” Hoyer said (link here). “He still has some development left. We feel what he’s done at age 20 at Double-A and Age 21 at Triple-A was remarkable.”

Anthony Rizzo Highlights From 2012: Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Petco Park: The Effect Of Moving In The Fences

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

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Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in.  He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year - absolutely abysmal power from the First Baseman Position.

Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in. He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year – absolutely abysmal power numbers from the First Baseman Position.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

By altering the dimensions of Petco Park, the Padres could be playing a very different brand of baseball in these coming years. Long thought of as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball, Petco Park might have a new identity in the future. Due to their decision to move the fences in, the Padres will have to build their team in a different way. For players like Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko, the new dimensions could be extremely beneficial to their success at the plate. However, for pitchers like Edinson Volquez and Eric Stults, they are going to have to learn to keep the ball on the ground more in 2013.

Petco Park As A San Diego Attraction:

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San Diego Padres Roster In 2013: State Of The Union

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Thursday January 10, 2013

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v San Diego Padres

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The San Diego Padres haven’t made a move that will conceivably make them contenders in a competitive National League West division. San Diego went 76-86 in 2012, which was good enough for fourth place in the NL West.

A move could still be made, and Padres’ pundits have went as far to suggest some type of signing and/or trade before Spring Training. Still, their aren’t a ton of options that would fit into their constrained payroll, especially after they signed Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions.  They still have a decent bullpen anchored by Street and set-up man Luke Gregerson.

Pending a significant addition, San Diego should be a bit better in the win department. Some of their key starting pitchers will be returning from injuries, and a couple of top prospects could take the fast track to the Major Leagues and make an impact by season’s end.  Most notably, they will need Clayton Richard to improve to the next level, having won 14 games in 2 of the last 3 years – while holding an ERA under 4.00.  Eric Stults was the surprise of the Starting Rotation of last season – posting a 8-3 Record, with a 2.92 ERA in 14 Games Started.

More importantly, they went on a nice streak in the final few weeks in 2012. Perhaps this could fuel a hot start in 2013.

Let’s preview this young team.

Chase Headley2012 Highlights for the NL RBI Champion

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: September 23rd, 2012

Sunday September 23rd, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am in a GREAT mood this weekend! Can you blame me? The MLB season is nearing the playoffs and the WBC qualifiers are well under way! While I love watching MLB action, my heart still favors the World Baseball Classic. If you have ever watched a game involving a team…say like Cuba, Venezuela or the Dominican Republic, you would understand why. In my book, nothing beats international baseball action. The passion of the fans and players simply cannot be beat. To have ones country advance in the tournament is one of the highest levels of joy that a baseball fan can experience.

Going into this week, I was keeping a special eye on Israel and Canada. As I am Jewish (check the last name), I will always root for anything and everything involving Israel. I almost fell out of my seat with excitement when I first heard that Israel was invited to the WBC qualifiers. Now watching this team in action, they certainly have a great chance to qualify for March. I have enjoyed speaking with Cody Decker, Padres prospect and a member of Team Israel over the past few days. To say that Cody is excited to be playing for Israel is an understatement. He spoke very highly of the atmosphere, the level of talent on the team and the feeling of playing with “Israel” across his chest. As Israel plays Spain today for the right to advance to the 2013 World Baseball Classic, I wish my fellow countrymen the best of luck. Behind ya 110%!

Canada has also advanced to the finals of its group, awaiting the winner of the Germany and Great Britain today. Canada will meet the winner on Monday afternoon. Due to its poor play in the 2009 edition of the WBC, Canada was forced to qualify for the upcoming tournament. After 2 strong games on its resume, Canada looks good to advance (will likely play Germany in the finals). As my family and I live in Canada, we have the bias of wanting to see a good showing from the northern squad. Hopefully my wish comes true, and both Canada and Israel end up qualifying. The fact of the matter is that the countries are in different positions. This is Israel’s first try at WBC action, and the team came in with little pressure and everything to gain. Israel will be thrilled to qualify, while Canada must qualify. Canada is known internationally as a strong baseball market and anything less than a victory on Monday for it would be a huge disappointment. To qualify, both Israel and Canada will need defeat strong opponents. Hopefully it will all work out at the end.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Catching Prospects in Baseball

Friday August 17th, 2012

Codey Harrison (Lead MiLB Prospect Analyst) – The second installment of a 3-part series featuring the top 5 prospects from middle of the field positions. This week we are focusing on one of the hardest positions in all of baseball to find superstars at. One of the biggest reasons is that catchers take a lot longer to progress defensively than any other position in baseball. Bryce Harper who was known for being a catcher in high school was drafted as an outfielder by the Nationals so he could make it to the Major Leagues much faster. Being able to call a game behind the plate, and knowing the angles that are needed to block pitches in the dirt can take several years to master. The wear and tear on a catcher can be a vigorous one, as most catchers only catch 140 games an entire season even if they are healthy the entire season. With current catchers in MLB who are stars like Joe Mauer, Matt Wieters, Buster Posey, Brian McCann, Yadier Molina, and Miguel Montero, it’s time to take a look at the potential future catching stars who replace the current MLB All-Star catchers. Plus teams look to move star catchers from their primary position to save their bats and extend their careers in the process.


Travis d’Arnaud (Toronto Blue Jays AAA) - Travis d’Arnaud was the prize prospect along with RHP Kyle Drabek the Blue Jays acquired in the Roy Halladay trade. d’Arnaud was named the 2011 Eastern League best catcher by the leagues managers. For the position, d’Arnaud has plenty of future plus tools (Hit, Power, Arm, and Fielding), and is on pace to supplant current Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia by the start of the 2013 season. d’Arnaud is currently on the disabled list, but for the season with AAA Las Vegas he’s batting .333, .380 OBP, .595 SLG, with 16 home runs, and 52 RBIs. One of the very few things scouts are drawn away from d’Arnaud is his approach at the plate, as he is very aggressive having walked on 19 times, while striking out 59 times on the season. Read the rest of this entry

Mat Latos to the Reds: Former Padres Ace Proving to be a Key Acquisition

Wednesday August 1st,  2012

                                                                                                                                

                                                                (Image Courtesy of Bigstory.ap.org)

Brendan Henderson: 

                The Reds made a big trade involving 5 players in the offseason (one player coming from the Padres and four from the Reds.) This deal benefited both teams in my opinion, as the Reds got an “ace material” starting pitcher in Mat Latos and the Padres got four players including proven MLB pitcher Edinson Volquez and solid prospects in Yonder Alsonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. Just how much has this trade benefited each team and who has benefited more so far? I will analyze that below. Read the rest of this entry

NL West: Value Picks, Up-and-Coming Players and Red Flags in Fantasy Baseball

Tuesday February 14th, 2012


Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports): As part of a six series installment to prepare for fantasy drafts, I examine the National League West from a strictly fantasy perspective. Instead of your run of the mill position-by-position rankings, I identify players who fall into the following three categories: value pick, buyer beware, and up-and-coming. The traditional rankings often do a disservice and give owners too close-minded of an approach, particularly in the ROTO format. An owner cannot have a clear-cut strategy and ranking system, as one must adapt to the circumstances on draft day. Remember that you are often building a team for five categories, and you cannot predict which categories you will need to target to offset weaknesses as the draft progresses. Therefore, the key to success is to understand which player’s are over and undervalued, by looking at determinants such as: performance trends, offseason movement, and skill development. We are all aware of the fantasy studs, but the way to build a winning roster is to identify players who provide sneaky good value. Read the rest of this entry

Who is the Padres First Baseman of the Future?

Wednesday December 21st, 2011

Sam Evans:On Saturday, the Padres pulled off a blockbuster deal with the Cincinnati Reds for Padres pitcher Mat Latos. One of the players the Padres received was first baseman Yonder Alonso. Prior to the trade, the Padres were heading into the season with Anthony Rizzo as their projected first baseman. Now, the Padres have some big decisions to make that will affect the outcome of their franchise for years to come.

San Diego acquired Anthony Rizzo in the Adrian Gonzalez trade a couple of years ago. In 2011, I watched Rizzo play once in Triple-A, and again in the majors. Rizzo came into the season as a top-fifty prospect, and solidified his stature with a strong start to the season. With the Tucson Padres in 2011, Rizzo batted .331 with a 149 wRC+. Rizzo made his debut on June 9 against the Nationals, and hit his first Major League homer two days later.

Unfortunately, that would be Rizzo’s only homer in the big leagues all year. Despite his dominance of the lower levels, Rizzo batted .141 for the big league team over forty-nine games. Rizzo plays with extreme intensity, and I would not be surprised (given that he is a young player), if he was down on himself after his poor performance in San Diego.

Rizzo struggled in the majors with making solid contact and squaring up the ball. He has a very long swing, which he might consider changing this offseason. If everything works out perfectly for Rizzo, he would project to be a .280/.350/.500 hitter.

Yonder Alonso is a very intriguing prospect. First of all, he is 240 pounds and two years older than Rizzo. He is not as athletic as Rizzo, and not a strong defender. In 2011, Alonso played shaky outfield defense because he was blocked by Votto at first base. From what I have heard, the majority of people think that Alonso can’t stick in the outfield. He lacks speed, and experience at the corner outfield positions.

Offensively, Alonso is an outstanding hitter. A great comparison for Alonso is a right-handed Carlos Lee. In his 69 games with the Reds over the last two years, Alonso has hit .299 with a .354 OBP and .479 SLG. If you add a couple more homers to those numbers, that would give you a good idea of what Alonso is capable of doing.

The San Diego Padres have a problem on their hands. However, some people are forgetting that this is a great issue to have. San Diego has the choice to either trade one of the above named players, or try to find a new position for one of them. If San Diego keeps both players, Rizzo will probably end up moving to the outfield. With his athleticism, he would probably do just fine. The Padres could also trade Rizzo, and they would probably get some decent to excellent players in return.

It will be interesting to see what the Padres do with this situation. They have several different options available to them. Personally, I would move Rizzo to the outfield and keep Alonso at first base. Nevertheless, I am still worried about Rizzo’s ability to hit Major League pitchers given his current swing. There is no doubt that this decision has a strong potential to change the course of the Padres franchise for years to come.

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter***

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Ask the Reports: Sunday November 27th

Sunday November 27, 2011

Jonathan Hacohen:  Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter and post on our Facebook Wall!

Let’s get to your top questions of the week:

Q:  I know this is off topic but with the Houston Astros moving to the AL West and constant interleague play, what exactly is the point of an American League and a National League, besides of course the DH?


MLB reports:  The existence of the designated hitter is the key to separate the American League and National League.  Without the DH, there is no difference between the leagues.  Otherwise, having separate leagues would simply be a way to divide up the divisions and teams.  With daily interleague games coming, the mystique of having separate leagues is starting to fall by the wayside.  An idea that was thrown around was to have the DH in play in National League parks and no DH in American League parks during interleague play.  That would create strong interest in the different styles of play in the different parks and peak strong interest in interleague play.  But unfortunately, it appears that idea has been scrapped for now.  Long term, baseball needs to decide if it will have a designated hitter or not.  There are arguments on both sides.  Traditionalists like myself would like to scrap the DH all together and introduce National League style baseball throughout baseball.  With the in-game moves and decisions that must be included with the pitcher hitting, I prefer the NL game.  But others see pitchers hitting as hurting the game with “automatic outs” and risking the health and safety of pitchers by having them hit in the NL.  This argument will continue likely for decades until a resolution is agreed upon one way or the other.  Until then, we will continue to have two different leagues in place.  One has a designated hitter and one does not.  With the increase in interleague play, the line separating the leagues has become even blurrier.  Great question!

Q:  What’s the scouting report on Luis Valbuena?  Andrew
MLB reports:  The newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays will be turning 26 this week (November 30th birthday)- so be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday!  Born in Venezuela, Valbuena is a utility infielder at this point in his career, playing second, short and third.  Coming up originally with the Mariners originally in 2008, Valbuena was traded in December 2008 as part of the Franklin Gutierrez swap.  Since then, Valbuena has played parts of three seasons with the Indians.  In 229 career games, Valbuena has 13 home runs, 57 rbis, 84 runs, .226 avg, .286 obp and .344 slg.  Considering that he was designated for assignment, the Jays picked him up for cash considerations makes sense.  He has shown little at the major league level thus far, but is young and known for a strong glove.  Valbuena has shown steady improvement in the last three years in the minors, with a breakout season in AAA Columbus in 2011.  Valbuena popped a strong 17 home runs in 113 games, with 75 rbis, 64 runs, hitting .302 with a .307 OBP and .476 SLG.  If those numbers can be replicated to any degree at the major league level, the Jays may have a hidden gem uncovered.  At worst, we could be seeing another Ramon Santiago type player or the Venezuelan John McDonald.  The Jays need a backup infielder on the roster and Valbuena could be the answer.  Or possibly their next starting second baseman for the next five seasons.  Doubtful…but it could happen!
Q:  Would Yonder Alonso look good on our team?  Would Xavier Nady be a good fit with the Indians or does the Tribe want something more? Martin
MLB reports:  Wow, that is a mountain of questions!!!   Firstly, Yonder Alonso would look great on the Indians.  In fact, he would look great in 29 other lineups.  The kid is a future superstar, no doubt in my mind.  It is just a question of finding him a permanent home.  The Reds have tried him in left field, but do not see him as a long-term solution there.  The team will either have to move him, or open up first by trading franchise star Joey Votto.  At this point, it looks like Alonso will be the one to go.  I am a big Matt LaPorta supporter, but long-term he does not appear to be the solution for the Indians.  He can always move to the outfield or DH, but a change of scenery is likely the best option for him.  LaPorta never lived up to the expectations of being traded for C.C. Sabathia and both the team and player need to move on.  The Indians have prospects to move, although not as many after all their 2011 swaps including the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.  I can’t see the team wanting to trade more parts, as they cannot deplete their farm.  Given what other teams can offer for Alonso, mainly the Rays, I don’t see an Alonso move in the future of the Indians.  It would be a nice acquisition, but not likely to happen.  Nady on the other hand would be a nice low risk pickup.  If healthy, he could bring the leadership and experience the team needs.  Championship teams need strong extra parts and Xavier Nady would be a strong fit in that regard.  As long as comes cheap and doesn’t expect to start, I would say that is a done deal.  The team may look for one or two more strong bats for its lineups, but that would not stop a potential Nady signing.
Q:  Can’t help but think of Scott Kazmir (compared to Gio Gonzalez being looked at but several teams in a trade).  Brandon
MLB reports: Poor Gio Gonzalez.  Why the harsh words? In all seriousness, I see where you are going with the comparison.  High walk, high strikeout pitcher.  After a 3.23 ERA in 2010, Gio lowered it more to 3.12 in 2011.  He has enjoyed near identical 1.31 WHIPs the last two seasons.  He does not give up a ton of hits, but the walks are very high.  He led the league with 91 walks after allowing 92 the year before.  The home/road splits tell a big part of the story.  This season, Gio went 10-5 at home, with a 2.70 ERA and 1.227 WHIP.  On the road, Gio went 6-7 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.424 WHIP.  Pitching in the Oakland ballpark clearly has a strong effect on his numbers.  Similar splits are found in his 2010 numbers as well.  Thus the conclusion is likely that taking Gio Gonzalez out of Oakland and putting him in a hitter’s ballpark (say Wrigley, Fenway or the Rogers Centre) and his numbers will likely balloon.  Pitching in Oakland likely masks much of his warts.  He just turned 26 in September so he still has time to develop.  The next two seasons will tell the tale.  He could become a superstar or the next Scott Kazmir.  Until those walk totals start to drop, you could be on to something.  The kid has a ton of talent, don’t get me wrong.  But he is far from a sure thing.  Until then, your comparison could be close.  Thank you for the comment!
Q:  (Final question:)  Will Kurt Suzuki ever become a superstar?  Bill
MLB reports: Thanks for the question Bill.  I chose this question because I have pondered that question for many seasons.  Suzuki, a 2nd round pick of the A’s in 2004 is now 28-years of age.  They say catchers take longer to develop than other hitters.  Suzuki has been steady behind in the plate, seen as strong defensively and a good game-caller.  The question has been the offense.  The perception has been that Suzuki has pop in his bat and able to take walks in the “moneyball” mold.  Looking at the numbers, that has not transpired in reality.  Suzuki had a career high 15 home runs in 2009 and walked a career high 44 times in 2008.  Suzuki has essentially regressed to a hitter that walks 30+ times, hits a dozen or so home runs in a year, has a .300 or so OBP with a SLG under .400.  He will play in the majority of his team’s games though.  Welcome to Jason Kendall territory.  That is where Suzuki is headed.  My heart says that he will still become a Jason Varitek type hitter as a catcher.  But my brain sees Kendall.  There are a lot worse things in life than becoming the next Jason Kendall.  But for a catcher that had high expectations, more was expected of Suzuki.  I can’t see him ever becoming a superstar at this point.  But I can see a 15-year major league career in his future, built mostly on his catching abilities.

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Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports:  You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)


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