A little over a week ago, Padres pitchers and catchers made the yearly pilgrimage out to the middle of no where to a little place called Peoria, Arizona. Yeah I know that’s crazy talk, I’d never heard of the place either but I Googled it and it actually does exist! That means 33 players were mandatorly summoned to the desert. Now as some of you may know, I’m going to be making the trip out to Spring Training this week, so I figured now might be a good time to see who exactly is out there. So as I searched the roster to see if Joey Hamilton was still on the team, I realized I had better start doing a little homework on these guys. This will be Part 1 in my “RJ’s Fro: Who the hizzy is at Spring Tizzy-2010 version, Volume 1 Pitchers & Catchers” but that may be a little long so let’s just go with my Pitcher & Catcher Roster Predictions for now.
40 Man Roster
#37 Adams, Mike (MLB) Set-Up
#21 Bell, Heath (MLB) Closer
#26 Carrillo, Cesar (AAA-Portland)
#29 Correia, Kevin (MLB) SP #3
#39 Frieri, Ernesto (AAA-Portland)
#63 Gallagher, Sean (MLB) RP
#27 Garland, Jon (MLB) SP #2
#64 Garrison, Steve (AA-San Antonio)
#57 Gregerson, Luke (MLB) RP
#52 Italiano, Craig (AA-San Antonio)
#38 Latos, Mat (MLB) SP #5
#49 LeBlanc, Wade (AAA-Portland)
#65 Liz, Radhames (Another team)
#45 Mujica, Edward (MLB) RP
#59 Perdomo, Luis (AAA-Portland)
#44 Poreda, Aaron (AAA-Portland)
#34 Ramos, Cesar (AAA-Portland)
#33 Richard, Clayton (MLB) SP #4
#55 Russell, Adam (MLB) RP
#46 Stauffer, Tim (Another team)
#54 Thatcher, Joe (MLB) RP
#58 Webb, Ryan (MLB) RP
#32 Young, Chris (MLB) SP #1
OK I think everyone can agree that the major league catching is set with Nick Hundley & Yorvit Torrealba taking the 2 spots with Dusty Ryan & Mitchy Slick Grand Slam Time taking the spots for the Beavers. Michael Collins and Chris Stewart are both long shots. I think they’ll either be dealt or released when all is said and done. That is unless the Beavers keep 3 catchers to start the season.
Next up are the starters. Obviously Chris Young, Jon Garland & Kevin Correia are locks for the first 3 spots. I’m also assuming that Clayton Richard would be a lock too, after all he DOES have a bobblehead this year. So that leaves 1 spot open for either Mat Latos, Tim Stauffer, Cesar Ramos, Cesar Carrillo, Sean Gallagher or Wade LeBlanc. Realistically I see Latos, Stauffer, LeBlanc & Gallagher being the only true options at this moment since Ramos & Carrillo can both benefit from a full ‘healthy’ season in Portland. Point blank the job should be Latos’ to lose. If he has a horrible Spring then he’s starting the year in AAA. If he has a so-so Spring and no one completely out shines him, then the job is his. If the Padres want to save some money, well then that’s a completely different story all together. I know there has been talk of limiting his innings this year to around 150. Great idea, but bottom line is whether he’s in Portland or San Diego, those innings are still going to count towards that number. Being a #5 starter on this team will not only give him some more major league experience under his belt, but it will also allow the team to skip one of his starts every now and then. They can also let guys like Edward Mujica or Gallagher fill in on occasion. Of those players I previously mentioned, both Gallagher & Stauffer are both out of options. I don’t see them getting rid of Gallagher. He did well out of the bullpen at the end of last season and also struggled with injuries last season, so I see a move to the bullpen for him this season and then getting a starting nod when needed. Stauffer on the other hand I don’t see sticking around. As much as I rooted for the guy, after he was honest about his injury when we drafted him and took less money, things just haven’t quite fallen into place for him here. Although he did show signs of getting things together last season, so we’ll have to wait and see if he can carry it over into the Spring and completely outshine other players. LeBlanc, despite showing signs of promise last season, still has options left and will be starting the year in AAA with Carrillo & Ramos making a pretty decent staff in Portland.
Now onto the bullpen! Obviously Heath Bell (barring trade) & Mike Adams (barring injury) are locks for bullpen spots but that leaves another 5-6 spots (depending on if they carry 12 or 13 pitchers) for the other guys. Despite starting out the year with tons of holes in both the rotation and bullpen last season the Padres finished with quite a few solid arms on the roster. I think Luke Gregerson based on his performance last season is a virtual lock. Also as I previously mentioned I see Gallagher moving to the pen at least to start the season. It also appears that after having a less than stellar 2008 season, Joe Thatcher seems to have fixed his flaws. 2009 saw him bounce back and forth between Portland and San Diego but one thing remained constant……he got out hitters. He finished 4th in the league by only allowing 7 of his 43 inherited runners score. Plus by him making the team it would give us that lefty out of the pen and most importantly, he wouldn’t make the team just because he was a lefty but because he actually earned it. I also previously mentioned Mujica. He is also out of options and had a solid year with the Padres last season. He also gave them the option to have a bullpen arm get a spot start every now and then. Will he still be needed to do that with Gallagher in the pen? Perhaps not, but consider before he was summoned to start the final 4 games of his season he was sporting a 3.51 ERA as opposed to the 3.94 ERA he finished with. He deserves a spot in the pen this year due to his lively arm. Mark Worrell just came off of surgery so he’s not going to be in the majors this year and everyone else just needs more time in the minors. So based on the process of elimination (great way to scientifically determine things huh?) the final 1-2 spots will be up in the air between Stauffer, Adam Russell & Ryan Webb. Stauffer has to really shine this Spring Training to win a bullpen spot. Russell and Webb both showed that they belong in the bigs last season so I’m giving the nod to them both. Sorry Tim but you were my final cut in both the 5th starter spot & the final bullpen spot if it’s any consolation.
Starters-Chris Young/Jon Garland/Kevin Correia/Clayton Richard/Mat Latos
Relief Pitchers-Ryan Webb/Adam Russell/Joe Thatcher/Edward Mujica/Sean Gallagher/Luke Gregerson
Set Up-Mike Adams
Catchers-Nick Hundley/Yorvit Torrealbano comments
I made a special guest appearance on our good buddies The Friarhood radio show last night. We talk all things Fro & go through the Padres lineup position by position. Go check it out and while you are there check out the rest of their site. They have a really cool Cory Luebke interview that they just did and I love the Mark Mud Grant interview.
A rapping catcher? I have to hear this! I typed in the words Mitch Canham Rap in Google and hit search. Apparently I didn’t have to look that hard because it was the first thing listed on Google. Go check out “Mitchy Slick Grand Slam Time™“. Yes it has the trademark on it….wait a second does that mean I have to pay him for posting this? Ahhh crap. Oh well check it out here….it’s pretty damn cool. My personal fav is “Still Ballin 07″.
PS-I wonder if him and Khalil would have rap battles with each other?no comments
For those of you that know good 'ol SDPads1, know that this isn't my first venture into the Padres blogging world. For my first go around I put no thought or effort into the blog name or layout, hence the creatively titled & extremely exciting looking SDPads1 Blog. So this time around I actually put quite a bit of thought and effort into those type of things. When it came time to come up with a new name I started brainstorming. First I thought of something with the word Friar in it. But it has been used for so many other blogs, I passed on that almost as fast as the current Padres front office has passed on the Friar. Next up I started thinking of some of the past Padres. Then it came to me while writing my Jeff Moorad interview. RJ's Fro!! What better Padre to honor than the great Randy Jones? A member of the Padres Hall of Fame, a number retiree, the first major award winner, the first All-Star starter, an ambassador for Padres baseball and one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. Of course let's not forget about Randy Jones BBQ too. I love me some RJ's BBQ and try and get my hands on it any chance I can get. So I reached out to him to seek approval before we started everything. He gave the go ahead & the site has become what it is today.
Which brings us to this past Friday. We finally met up with the Godfather of RJ's Fro, Randy Jones. We went down to the XX studios and we were going to do a little Q & A with him....which suddenly turned into a live recorded Q & A. Now I am normally pretty calm, cool & collected. Even before hand we were shooting the breeze with RJ and everything was fine....then that camera turned on and I turned into Chris Farley bumbling through an interview with Paul McCartney. I immediately forgot every question I was about to ask him and Beautown turned into the interviewer despite being behind the camera. But who cares if I look like a fool? I posted the interview anyways for your enjoyment!
A HUGE thanks goes out to Randy Jones, Darren Smith & Marty Caswell! Enjoy!!
Seriously, I think the title says it all. Was there a single person, out of the reported over 12,000 people in attendance, that DIDN'T have a good time? Free parking, free entrance, tons of players, tons of events, tons of deals & tons of fellow Padres fans. How could you go wrong?
Beautown & I got down there around 9:00AM and immediately went and got our voucher for the Rollie Fingers/Kurt Bevacqua autograph session. Now despite being a huge Padres merch freak, I'm surprisingly not a huge autograph seeker. I've got a small handful of autographs from various Padres over the years, but I've never really liked waiting in all the lines. This was different though...it was Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers!! In fact I've been growing my stache out the past couple of days and that same morning realized I can finally start to curl the ends of my mustache a bit. Was it a sign of how awesome the day was to turn out? All signs point to yes.
We here at RJ’s Fro got a sneak peek at the complete schedule for tomorrow’s Fan Fest and thought we’d share it with you guys. Beautown & I hope to see you all tomorrow!
Retro Zone (Section 105-109)
Celebrate the Brown & Gold with a special retro merchandise sale & alumni player autographs in section 109. Also sign up for the Frequent Friar & Junior Padres rewards programs.
SD Zone (Section 110-103)
Padres 2010 season ticket info, learn about the 10-game mini plan, the Padres Foundation garage sale & the “SD” merchandise outlet. Preview our promotions for the upcoming season & check out the Lake Elsinore Storm booth as well as many others.
Military Zone (Beyond the Right Field Wall)
Rock climbing wall, a humvee & a dog tag making station plus learn about the Padres Military Appreciation programs & get the latest Padres Military logo merchandise
Ditgital & Media Zone (Section 112-124)
Meet Padres.com beat writer Corey Brock, sign up for the Friar Wire & win some great prizes. Show your blue ‘SD’ pride for a special prize. Test your play by play skills at the Cox/Channel 4 San Diego display.
Hispanic Zone (Western Metal Supply Building)
Meet Padres Spanish broadcasters Eduado Ortega & Juan Avila while learning all about our Spanish programming and listen to interviews with our Spanish-speaking players & music at the La Poderosa radio booth
Kids Zone (Park at the Park)
Kids can enjoy a wiffle ball game, inflatable jump & pitching games. Plus sign up to win passes to the upcoming Dreamworks animated film “How to Train Your Dragon”. Also get your special discounted merchandise at close out prices!
10:00-11:00 Section 110 Chris Young/Cesar Ramos Section 113 Clayton Richard/Bud Black
10:30-11:30 Section 109 Rollie Fingers/Kurt Bevacqua Section 117 Heath Bell/Mike Adams
11:00-12:00 Section 110 Adrian Gonzalez/Rick Renteria Section 113 Kyle Blanks/Ryan Webb
11:30-12:30 Section 109 Tony Gwynn Sr./Dick Enberg Section 117 Chase Headley/Cesar Ramos
12:00-1:00 Section 110 Jon Garland/Aaron Poreda Section 113 Mat Latos/Sean Gallagher
12:30-1:30 Section 109 Mark Grant/Jerry Coleman Section 117 Scott Hairston/Jerry Hairston
1:00-2:00 Section 110 Everth Cabrera/Carlos Hernandez Section 113 Will Venable/Luke Gregerson
1:30-2:30 Section 109 Juan Eichelberger/Terry Kennedy Section 117 Tony Gwynn Jr./Glenn Hoffman
2:00-3:00 Section 110 Kevin Correia/Joe Thatcher Section 113 Mat Latos/Adam Russell
2:30-3:30 Section 109 Randy Jones/Broderick Perkins Section 117 Nick Hundley/Luke Gregerson
RJ’s Fro Prize Giveaway
The first person to come up to us and say the phrase “i love bbq” tomorrow will get a special prize!! We’ll be wearing the RJ’s Fro shirts so you can’t miss us.
Clinic/Activity with Player
12:00 Heath Bell Pitching Clinic (First 50 kids 13 & younger) – Pick up your wristband in Section 115 at 11:00
2:30 Tony Gwynn Jr. Batting Clinic (First 50 kids 13 & younger) – Pick up your wristband in Section 115 at 1:30
Home Dugout Top Q & A
10:00 Broadcaster Forum – Dick Enberg/Mark Grant/Mark Neely
11:00 Kings of the Hill – Chris Young/Jon Garland/Clayton Richard
1:00 Ownership Forum – Jeff Moorad/Tom Garfinkel
2:00 Band of Brothers – Scott Hairston/Jerry Hairston
3:00 Outfield of Dreams – Tony Gwynn Jr./Will Venable
Field Activities (ALL DAY) **Attraction may close temporarily during live clinics
Padres Clubhouse Tours – Line starts at the waterfall at the bottom of the stairs
Run the Bases - Section 115
Catch Fly Balls in the Outfield – Section 115
Pitch in the Bullpen – Section 115
Grounds Crew Tour - Section 122
First of all, I apologize for the lack of non-links posts on here lately. I made a venture up to Temecula for some wine tasting last week and didn't have much down time in between putting my pinky in the air mid sip & looking down on the less fortunate. Besides there was a glare on my computer screen from my monocle that would have made writing difficult. The posts will start to pick up again with another BIG interview coming real soon, the first Fro/Counter-Fro showdown, FRIARfest this weekend, some prize giveaways and then a trip out to Spring Training. Now onto the post!!
Let me start out by saying that I in no way think for one second that I am a real member of the media. I run a blog for fun & it keeps me motivated to follow the team that I love. Now with that said what is Bill Center's deal? He is a REAL member of the media. To the best of my knowledge he doesn't live in his moms basement. He has an editor. He has a team of professional writers working with him. All that and he has access to unlimited sources to check his facts 20 times before he runs a story, yet time and time again it comes out that he is wrong. Are his sources giving out bad advice? Is he just trying to create controversy? Case in point....the article he did regarding members of the Padres front office taking a trip down to visit the Padres Dominican Republic facility. I read that article and was immediately disturbed by that. A brief rundown for the people afraid to click on links.....Center basically says that it was a pet project of the old regime & that the current regime wasn't that impressed with it and are looking to possibly sell it. Not that I have visited that place myself, but from everything I've heard it is a Class A establishment and would help us build a strong following with the Latin players. On one hand if this article was true, then I think the Padres are making a huge mistake in letting that place go. On the other hand I thought to myself, well "it IS Bill Center after all" (just like I often hear myself saying "it IS Hacksaw after all" for the radio side). Regardless I brushed that article to the side for the time being. Fast forward 8 days after that article to the Padres Open House. During the opening speeches by Jeff Moorad, Tom Garfinkel, Jed Hoyer & Bud Black, Hoyer let it be known that they just visited the Dominican facility and loved it. He started ringing off names of players that have come through there and made it sound like it like he was directly responding to everything Center wrote about a few days earlier. I was going to attempt to ask a question at the Q & A but there was apparently an age requirement to ask questions and I fell about 30 years short of it. A few days later I asked one high ranking Padres official about it they told me flat out that "Jed is a more credible source than Bill". Why must you screw with my mind Bill Center?