Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Today's trade deadline passed with Chase Headley still a Padre. I asked Josh Byrnes why he held on to the third baseman. "As we did with a few players, we had dialogue with other teams," Byrnes replied by e-mail. "We did not get proposals that were more valuable than keeping the players. It is very hard to access prospects. In that respect, the off-season might be a better environment for trades."

Friday, July 20, 2012


Padres farm director Randy Smith tells me that Casey Kelly, recovered from an elbow injury, is to pitch Monday in a rookie league game in Arizona.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Today I asked a scout what he thought of how the Padres are playing. The first player he mentioned was Alexi Amarista. "He looks like he can be a true super-utility man, the kind of player who is really valuable in the National League, " said the scout. "He's stronger than I realized. He was a heck of a pick-up." The scout said first baseman Yonder Alonso has "tightened his swing a little," for the better.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Bud Black is encouraged by the state of Carlos Quentin's knees. Black today returned Quentin to the lineup after sitting the left fielder two games with a sore left knee caused, Black said, by a "tweak" against the Dodgers last Sunday. According to Black, Quentin had surgery on his left knee while he was with the White Sox. One week into spring training with the Padres this year, Quentin experienced pain in his right knee, leading to surgery and deferring his season debut until the 50th game. Black reported improvement today. "He's back in the lineup to stay, I'm saying that," said the manager. "The last month, he's been the closest to where a player wants to be as far as health." Of course, Black reserves the right to rest his players, and  he said Quentin's knee health probably will require monitoring through the season's end.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The Year of the Elbow today claimed another Padres pitching prospect with the unsurprising word that Joe Wieland will have Tommy John surgery in a week or two. As readers of this blog will recall, Wieland's medical outlook was murky 10 days ago. Wieland in his rehabilitation can compare notes with lefties Cory Luebke and Juan Oramas, who had the ligament-transfer surgery earlier this season.

TV picture

Promoting an upcoming article on TV ratings within major league baseball, Sports Business Journal told reporters in San Diego that the Padres "are posting their lowest rating since at least 1996." This isn't surprising given that 40 percent of the San Diego TV market doesn't receive Fox Sports San Diego and Bud Black's team in April took up residence on the ocean floor, where it remained along with the Rockies, the Astros and assorted starfish.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Over at ESPN.com, West Coast Bias, with support from Tony Gwynn, explains why the time is right for the Padres to bring back the brown. On top of producing a Padres victory, Everth Cabrera's recent theft of home plate inspired a Yahoo wag to bestow a nickname on the victim. My riff about Everybody Loves Raymond surfaced at ESPN.com a few weeks ago.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toledo's quarterback

The starting quarterback for the University of Toledo says he'll play two more seasons, with an eye on the NFL draft in 2014. The Padres wish Terrance Owens well. Should Roger Goodell's league not have him as a quarterback, Owens can turn to the Padres, who, intrigued by the left-hander as a pitcher, this week signed the 40th-round draft pick though seven years have passed since he pitched in a game. "He is obviously very athletic," said Padres executive Chad MacDonald, "and although we realize it's a long shot, it's one worth taking."

Friday, July 13, 2012


Potentially to the benefit of the Padres, the top end of the 2013 draft gained strength today when the Pirates and eighth-overall pick Mark Appel failed to reach terms and Appel announced he'll return to Stanford for his senior year. This afternoon, Josh Byrnes told me the Padres were "serious" in evaluating the 6-foot-5 pitcher for the recent draft. On San Diego's scouting board, Appel was fourth, one spot ahead of pitcher Max Fried, the Southern California high school lefty the Padres took No. 7.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


What should the Padres do with Carlos Quentin?

Here's a question worth equal consideration: if baseball reasons alone guide his pen, why would Quentin sign an extension with the Padres or return to them as a free agent in the offseason?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Justin Upton, both the person and the ballplayer, isn't likely a mystery to Josh Byrnes, who as GM of the Diamondbacks signed Upton to his first professional contract and, four years later, in 2010, an extension for six years and $51.2 million. Now that Upton is rumored a potential trade candidate, should Byrnes go after his former right fielder?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Remember the name Peter Seidler if the Padres are sold to a group headlined by Peter O'Malley. O'Malley, who owned the Dodgers for 20 years, has appeared in several media reports, giving name recognition to the bid. His nephew Seidler, I'm told, shouldn't be underestimated. Seidler, who holds a master's degree from UCLA, heads a private equity investment firm based in Marina del Rey.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Say it ain't so, Joe

On  the 27th pitch thrown from a bullpen mound on July 2, Joe Wieland, attempting a comeback from an elbow injury suffered on April 30, experienced elbow pain as he snapped off a breaking ball in Peoria. Wieland didn't throw another pitch. He went to San Diego late last week for an MRI exam.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


First mention of Ron Fowler as a potential successor to Jeff Moorad, in the role of Padres "control" owner or MLB designee, came here, in this blog, on Jan. 20.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Hours after the Padres drafted Florida high school pitcher Walker Weickel with the No. 55 pick, general manager Josh Byrnes and draft overseer Chad MacDonald described the 6-foot-6 righty as a first-round talent. The Padres in fact paid Weickel like a first-round talent. As reported yesterday by Baseball America's Jim Callis, Weickel signed with the Padres for $2 million, which is more than double the $925,900 assigned value for the No. 55 slot and equals MLB's assigned value of the No. 17 pick. Weickel had a scholarship to the University of Miami.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Padres attendance is up this year, by about 1,300 per game from last season. Angels attendance is down by more than 1,700 a game. Let's review: The Padres just completed one of the uglier first halves in franchise history. They didn't win a series in April. Even with the recent surge, they're still on pace to lose 100 games. The Angels, meantime, are in the thick of playoff contention. One of their young homegrown players, Mike Trout, has become one of the sport's most exciting performers. Letting everyone know he "wants to win," Angels owner Arte Moreno signed star free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last offseason, and both players are doing good work. These attendance trends may not be significant. I'm thinking they'll make for conversational fodder at your Fourth of July picnic.