Tag: San Diego Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr. to Padres: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was one of two minor league players the San Diego Padres acquired in the Saturday trade involving starting pitcher James Shields, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

The 17-year-old son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis is the No. 30 prospect in MLB‘s international prospect rankings. The White Sox signed him on July 2, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Sanchez says Tatis Jr. has “a strong arm” and good instincts in the infield. The right-handed Dominican shortstop is listed at 6’1″ and 175 pounds with the potential to develop into an everyday player for the Padres.

Tatis Jr. is a raw prospect but has shown glimpses of power at the plate. That’s a good sign for someone at his age, and Jim Bowden of ESPN.com thinks he can also turn into a quality third baseman:

The key to the trade for the Padres is Fernando Tatis Jr., [a] 17-year old shortstop that’s a two way player. Might need to move to [third base] in time but some scouts think [he] can stay at short. Has a chance to develop into a high end elite type prospect has the hit tool and size to eventually be middle of the order type impact bat. Good get here for Padres.

Tatis Jr. shouldn’t see the major leagues for another few years at least, but he has unlimited and untapped potential. San Diego should know what kind of player it will have by that time. 

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Erik Johnson to Padres: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

The San Diego Padres sent starting pitcher James Shields to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for two minor league players on Saturday. One of those is right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune

Johnson was a second-round pick in 2011 by the White Sox out of Cal. The 26-year-old made his big league debut on Sept. 4, 2013, against the New York Yankees inside Yankee Stadium. He went six innings and gave up three earned runs.

That began an up-and-down tenure as an MLB starting pitcher. Johnson went 7-6 in 18 starts with a 4.50 ERA. He made two starts in 2016, both losses to the Boston Red Sox (May 5) and Cleveland Indians (May 23).

Johnson played well in eight Triple-A starts for the Charlotte Knights this year, going 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA.

Despite the inconsistent numbers, Johnson has shown he has talent. He was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2015 after going 11-8 in 22 starts with a 2.37 ERA. That’s Felix Hernandez territory when he won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.

Based on that potential, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Padres insert Johnson into the starting rotation. San Diego came into Saturday at 22-34 and has nothing left to lose. It wouldn’t hurt to see if Johnson can be Shields’ immediate replacement.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Ron Fowler, Padres Executive Chairman, Comments on Team’s Performance

To say things have not gone well for the San Diego Padres since 2015 would be an understatement, a feat not going unnoticed by the team’s executive chairman, Ron Fowler.   

Following San Diego’s 16-4 defeat by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Safeco Field, Fowler spoke candidly to Mighty 1090 AM on Wednesday about the Padres’ 20-33 start by calling them “miserable failures” (via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports):

It’s been embarrassing. I don’t know how else to put it. Our performance on the road trip, 1-7, was pathetic. 

I’m a very competitive individual. I think I’ve won a lot more than lost in my life. This baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing. 

The performance by our team (Tuesday), I can understand how (former owner Ray) Kroc would have grabbed the microphone. It’s that frustrating.

Fowler then shifted focus of his criticism to call out starting pitcher James Shields—who allowed 10 runs on eight hits and four walks in 2.2 innings against the Mariners—saying the performance was “an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him.”

The chairman also made a not-so-subtle dig about Major League Baseball players having guaranteed contracts, noting that if a person in a regular job was as bad at their job as the Padres have been over the last three years, “you’d probably be unemployed.”

General manager A.J. Preller also seemed to be a target of scorn during Fowler’s interview: “It’s on the player, but the organization has to accept responsibility for probably having the wrong players. … Part of it is on the players. But our job is to get the right players who can be motivated and determined at game time.”

However, Fowler did say Preller “has done a spectacular job of building the player-development area” and acknowledged that some of the trades and signings over the last two years “didn’t come together as well as we wanted.”

San Diego surprised the baseball world last year by signing Shields to a four-year, $75 million deal and trading for Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton and Craig Kimbrel, bumping its payroll up to a franchise-record $108 million, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts

Things did not work out for the Padres in 2015, as they struggled to a 74-88 record, but they didn’t make any trades at the July deadline with the hopes of making a run in the second half. They wound up losing Justin Upton as a free agent, though they did receive a compensation pick for next week’s draft starting June 9.

Preller was able to get help for the farm system by trading Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for four prospects, highlighted by outfielder Manuel Margot and shortstop Javier Guerra. 

But there are still major problems the Padres don’t seem to have an easy way out of. Shields is rumored to be on the trade block, with Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reporting on May 28 the Chicago White Sox were in discussions with the team about acquiring the veteran right-hander. 

Kemp is still owed over $65 million from 2017-19 and will be difficult to move. Melvin Upton is signed through next season, making just over $17 million.

Despite those exorbitant salaries, things could open up for the Padres this winter. Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, they will have $41 million coming off their payroll after this season.

If things continue down the path they seem to be going, Fowler may not have the patience to let Preller go through another period of adding talent, considering how badly things have gone since the start of 2015. 

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James Shields Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Padres SP

With the San Diego Padres continuing to struggle in 2016, James Shields‘ solid start to the year could make him an attractive trade chip for teams seeking help in the starting rotation. 

Continue for updates. 

Report: White Sox, Padres Discussing Shields

Saturday, May 28

Per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago White Sox are engaged in discussions with the Padres about a deal for Shields. Lin noted the talks have “energy” at this point, though it’s not certain if anything is close to happening.   

The Padres have been looking to trade Shields basically from the moment they signed him in February 2015. He was supposed to be the anchor of their rotation after general manager A.J. Preller traded for Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers to bolster the lineup. 

Instead, the Padres never found their footing, and Shields endured one of his worst seasons in 2015. The right-hander did have 216 strikeouts in 202.1 innings, but he tied Kyle Kendrick for the most home runs allowed (33) and walked a career-high 81 hitters. 

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported last December the Padres were trying to push Shields on the market while noting he was owed $63 million from 2016-18. The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox also engaged the Padres in trade talks during spring training, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman

Shields’ value has likely increased so far this season. He’s got a 3.06 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 61 hits allowed in 64.2 innings. His salary is paying him like a frontline starter, though he’s more like a good No. 3 or 4 at this point in his career. 

The White Sox would be a logical fit because they got off to a strong start and have two workhorses in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana at the top of the rotation, allowing Shields to slot in right behind them without needing to be the face of the group. 

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Padres Apologize to San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Following Investigation

The San Diego Padres apologized to the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus on Sunday after investigating an incident where a prerecording played over their scheduled national anthem appearance Saturday:  

After a thorough examination of the events that occurred during last night’s National Anthem, we have concluded our internal investigation and have found no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved. Based both on the unintentional mistake that was made, as well as the failure to immediately intervene and correct the situation by those who had oversight, we have terminated our relationship with the third-party contractor who was responsible for the error, and taken disciplinary action against our employee who was responsible for the game production on Saturday.

The organization drew criticism Saturday when a prerecorded version of a woman singing the national anthem played over stadium speakers. No one in the game operations department corrected the error, so the prerecording continued as the men stood on the field.

“We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance,” the Padres’ statement read. “The Padres organization is proud of our long-standing commitment to inclusion—within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the league will investigate the incident to “determine whether there was intent on the part of the club.”

Members of the chorus said they were embarrassed by the situation and hoped it wasn’t done to be hurtful.

“We were just excited to be at a game and let the audience see us and hear us and let us know that we’re sports fans too, and we’re normal guys,” RC Haus, artistic director for the chorus, told Kirk Kenney and Deborah Sullivan Brennan of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And then a woman sings over us, and it was mortifying.”

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus executive director Bob Lehman was more critical, highlighting in a statement what he felt were slights by the Padres organization leading up to the game. Lehman said the team attempted to force chorus members to pay for their tickets rather than let them in for free. The Padres later rescinded the request, which “was not part of any previous discussion or written or verbal agreement and would have cost the small, community-based nonprofit thousands of dollars,” according to Lehman.

In reference to the prerecording playing, Lehman told Kenney and Brennan, “I really want to believe that it was an error. But the first thought was, ‘Did they do this on purpose?'”

The team has invited the chorus for a return performance. It’s unclear at this time if the chorus will accept.


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter

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Andrew Cashner Injury: Updates on Padres Pitcher’s Hamstring and Return

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner will be placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 9 after suffering a right hamstring strain, manager Andy Green announced Friday, per the team’s official Twitter account.

Continue for updates:

Cashner Not Expected To Be Out Long

Friday, May 13

The team has yet to announce a spot starter to fill Cashner’s place in the rotation. He was slated to pitch Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It could be the only start he misses, as sports writer Andrew Gruman reported Green expects this to be a “short stint” on the DL.

The Padres removed Cashner from his last start May 8 against the New York Mets in the sixth inning for precautionary reasons after he suffered what the team described as a “slight right hamstring cramp.”

After reaching base with a bunt single, Cashner was thrown out at home plate in the bottom of the fifth inning:

In a mediocre Padres pitching rotation whose WAR was at 0.1 (14th in MLB) entering Friday night, Cashner was the team’s No. 2 arm behind James Shields with Tyson Ross recovering from a shoulder injury.

Cashner is 2-3 this season with a 4.93 ERA. He hasn’t lasted more than six innings in a game this season and has allowed three or more earned runs in five of his seven starts.

But the 29-year-old has shown in the past that he can dominate, which makes him a solid option in the middle of the rotation:

Due to the expected short-term status of the injury, the Padres might call a player out of the bullpen to step in for Cashner on Saturday. If he’s out for longer than anticipated, though, the Padres may have to make a transaction to get another starter.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Mark McGwire Manages for 1st Time Following Andy Green Ejection

Following the ejection of San Diego Padres manager Andy Green, former single-season home run king Mark McGwire served as an acting manager Tuesday night for the first time in his major league coaching career. 

Green was tossed in the third inning of Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates after arguing a balk call against Padres pitcher Colin Rea. That resulted in McGwire being elevated from bench coach to manager for the remainder of the game.

En route to piloting the Padres to victory, McGwire was successful on one of the two manager’s challenges he attempted.

Big Mac is in his first season with the Padres after previous stints with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

McGwire served as a manager for some split-squad games for the Padres during spring training and admitted that being a full-time manager at some point is on his radar, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

I’ve never ruled it out. When I had the opportunity to come and be Andy’s bench coach, it’s just a fantastic opportunity. I love challenges, and there’s nothing better than challenging yourself, especially in the game of baseball. I did it as a player. Now I’m doing it as a coach. You just have to know your personnel, you have to check in with them every day, you have to know the opposition real well. Really, it’s a lot of baseball sense. So, here we go.

With the 52-year-old former 12-time All-Star at the helm, San Diego overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 by virtue of three home runs.

McGwire has 583 career home runs and set the single-season mark with 70 in 1998 before it was surpassed by Barry Bonds. 

Green joked about the correlation between McGwire and the Padres’ power binge following the game, according to ESPN.com: “They took some good swings. Clearly when Mark McGwire is managing, they hit home runs.”

While it was likely a coincidence, the numbers seemed to back up Green’s assertion following the Padres’ third home run of Tuesday’s game, per Kirk D. Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Green will reassume his managerial duties Wednesday when the Padres and Pirates meet again, but Tuesday’s come-from-behind win was a great audition for McGwire with regard to potential managerial positions in the future.

McGwire has already served in multiple roles from hitting coach to bench coach during his time in the dugout, so manager is the next natural progression.

If the Padres’ performance Tuesday is any indication, McGwire might have what it takes to excel in that position, much like he did at first base for 16 major league seasons.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Tyson Ross Injury: Updates on Padres Pitcher’s Shoulder and Return

The San Diego Padres placed starting pitcher Tyson Ross on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, per Nick Groke of the Denver Post.

Continue for updates.

Ross Dealing with Right-Shoulder Inflammation

Saturday, April 9 

The Padres announced Ross’ DL stint is retroactive to April 5. Ross said he expects to be out the minimum 15 days, per AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.

Ross was one of the Padres’ few bright spots in a disappointing 2015 campaign. General manager A.J. Preller bet big on building a contender as quickly as possible, and it backfired in a big way.

Some wondered if Preller would look to cash in on the right-hander. Jon Heyman reported for CBSSports.com that a number of teams were interested in Ross ahead of the 2015 trade deadline.

The 28-year-old finished with a 10-12 record and a 3.26 ERA. On its own, neither stat is all that impressive; however, Ross was at the mercy of the defense around him, which was one of the worst in the league. According to FanGraphs, he had a 2.98 FIP and 3.15 xFIP, which better illustrate his performance.

Control was one area of concern for the 2014 All-Star. His 3.86 walks per nine innings were the second-highest among qualified starters behind Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, per FanGraphs.

Even if Ross cuts down on the walks in 2016, it’s unlikely to make a major difference on the Padres as a whole. San Diego will have a hard time competing in a loaded—at least with regard to the top teams—National League West.

It will be important for the team to keep Ross healthy, though, if it plans on moving him at any point this season. He has been pretty durable over the last three years, making 30-plus starts each season. Potential suitors might shy away, however, if they feel he’s suffering from a lingering issue.

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Padres Snap 30-Inning Scoreless Streak: Comments and Reaction

The San Diego Padres are finally on the board in 2016.

Jon Jay hit an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning during Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, ending San Diego’s scoreless streak of 30 innings to begin the season, an MLB record, per ESPN Stats & Info.

That was the first of a six-run inning for the Padres.

The Padres’ rough start was not only evident at the plate but also on the mound.

The Los Angeles Dodgers swept them at Petco Park, and San Diego allowed 25 runs in those three games. The Padres only mustered 11 hits. Through four innings Friday, San Diego had recorded nine hits.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune thinks it’s time for the Padres to focus on more important things:

Sports on Earth felt it was appropriate to celebrate a monumental occasion at Coors Field:

While the Padres pitching staff has not been up to par, the biggest problem for San Diego was the lack of production it was getting from the No. 2 through 4 hitters in the lineup. Those who started in those slots batted a combined 5-for-33 against the Dodgers. Star slugger Matt Kemp recorded two of those hits in the series finale Wednesday but went 2-for-10 overall.

It took three-plus games for the Padres offense to finally come to life, but it wasn’t due to a shortage of talent. San Diego has talent in the middle of the lineup with Kemp and Wil Myers, and Jay has had a solid start to the season at the top of the order.

San Diego has plenty of time to turn it around, but now the test will be sustaining consistent offensive success.


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James Loney to Padres: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

First baseman James Loney agreed to sign a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on Thursday, sources told MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. ESPN’s Buster Olney confirmed the news.

The Tampa Bay Rays released Loney on Sunday after he had spent three years with the team.

Loney hasn’t provided much power at first base, which traditionally supplies pop in MLB lineups. In the past four years, he’s hit double-digit home runs just once.

The Rays were not satisfied with Loney’s performance and created a logjam at the position in the offseason, bringing in Logan Morrison and Steve Pearce, two more first basemen. Those acquisitions made Loney expendable.

San Diego, on the other hand, is in need of some help at first base, as Wil Myers, a natural outfielder, has been the team’s starter. As Olney pointed out, Loney’s signing can eventually return Myers to the outfield, where he can back up Matt Kemp, Jon Jay or Melvin Upton Jr.

Through the first three games of the season, Myers has just two hits in 11 at-bats, but that doesn’t mean much given his entire team’s struggles. San Diego did not score a single run in its opening three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who recorded 25 runs. 

Loney, who has a .285 career batting average, could inject some offense into San Diego’s anemic lineup if he does join the big league club.

A change of scenery to the West Coast could be beneficial. Loney spent seven-plus seasons with the Dodgers, hitting .284 with 71 home runs and 451 RBI during the most productive years of his career.

But his numbers over the last few years don’t suggest he’ll be able to kick San Diego’s struggling offense into gear.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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