Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hundley, Venable Homer in Smaller PETCO

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The Padres debuted in their smaller version of PETCO park today, and apparently the confidence of Padre hitters, shown by a rare offensive outburst by the San Diego Padres, has improved greatly. Nick Hundley and Will Venable both hit solo blasts during a 9-3 victory in the home opener. A solid performance in the home opener might be able to help the fans get over a miserable 6 game road trip (1-5). Mark Kotsay continued his amazing ability to pinch hit by providing a go ahead RBI double in the bottom of the 7th inning.

One of the main topics of discussion, provoked by the game, is how the 3 year, 24 million dollar project to move in PETCO's right field wall closer to home has added to the offense. Will Venable hit a homerun in the bottom of the first would have potentially been a routine flyout if not for the new dimensions, or even a continuation of the cold streak because of a lack of confidence. Which do you prefer, the Will Venable and Nick Hundley home runs (and more to follow), or Cody Ross (who also was available for 24 million dollars over 3 years)? I will let you pick.

The former Princeton alum Venable provided most of the offense, hitting the aforementioned home run, as well as a bases clearing triple that brought in three runs in the bottom of the 8th. He also walked twice and stole a base, potentially one of the biggest days for Will Venable ever.

Let's check in on the best performing and worst performing Padres of the first 7 games:

The Best:
Jedd Gyorko .269 3rbi 27ab
Eric Stults 1-0 0.00era 5ip
Yonder Alonso .231 1hr 26ab
Mark Kotsay .600 1rbi 10ab
Chris Denorfia .462 2rbi 13ab

The Worst:
Edinson Volquez 0-2 10.00era
Cameron Maybin .100 20ab
Everth Cabrera .192 26ab
Alexi Amarista .136 18ab

Analysis: As a team we are hitting .224, and our team ERA is 5.90. Edinson Volquez (10.00) and Clayton Richard (8.68) have posted high ERA's in the first week, and we will hopefully improve. Volquez has had major control issues and Richard looks like he is throwing batting practice, giving up home runs and other hits left and right. The hitting lost some talent when Chase Headley jammed his thumb, but this is the projected lineup he is back, the second lineup is the projected lineup for when Yasmani Grandal is finished with his suspension. Headley will be back in the next 10-15 days. Grandal still has 43 games left to serve on his suspension.

Cabrera
Venable
Headley
Quentin
Alonso
Gyorko
Maybin
Hundley

Cabrera
Venable
Headley
Quentin
Alonso
Gyorko
Grandal
Maybin

If Maybin can step up and put up a quality season, and Venable/Cabrera can be decent at the top of the order, this could be a very good offense. 

ADDITIONS AND DUE DATES:
Chase Headley, thumb
ETR: April 20th-April 30th
Projected Season Stats: .300 30hr 100rbi

Logan Forsythe, foot
ETR: N/A
PSS: .290 5hr 30rbi (200ab)

Yasmani Grandal, suspension
ETR: Early June/Late May
PSS: .280 16hr 50rbi (400ab)

Cory Luebke, Tommy John
ETR: June
PSS: 8-2 2.98era 75k's


Notes & Observations:
  • Eric Stults got a pinch hitting appearance in the bottom of the 5th, which confused a lot of fans! Bud Black said Stults is the staff's best hitting pitcher, and he wanted to save the bigger bench bats for later.
  • Tyson Ross also had an appearance, pinch-running for the oft-HBP and injury prone Carlos Quentin after a ball hit him above his wrist. No need to worry, the X-rays came back OK.
  • Tomorrow's match-up: Eric Stults vs. Chad Billingsly

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