Moorad on Peavy …

I wasn’t in San Diego yesterday for the big Jeff Moorad press conference, instead I opted to hang around the Minor League fields to watch Walter Silva and newcomer Luke Gregerson pitched in a game against the Mariners’ Triple-A team.

But my buddy Mike Ferrin from XM radio was kind enough to pass along (from an interview on XM with Holden Cushner) this little nugget about Peavy from Moorad press conference.

“[Jake] Peavy has been a terrific performer for the club at the same time I don’t think any player is untouchable. I think at some point I am sure Kevin Towers and I will visit about the issue and Kevin will have a point of view and frankly I’ll defer to it. I certainly want to be kept informed but I think Kevin will have a perspective on the Peavy situation and I really looking forward hearing it.”

So there you have it … sort of. Moorad will defer to Towers as they move ahead, which should be interesting. Do you keep Peavy and build around him as you increase payroll over time? Or do you dump a contract that will see Peavy earn $8 million this season, $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011, $17 million in 2012 and a $22 million club option ($4 million buyout) in 2013.

Speaking of Peavy, he will make his first Cactus League appearance since leaving to play in the WBC for Team USA. The Padres play a night game tonight in Phoenix against the A’s. I wonder if he’ll fare any better than Seattle’s Felix Hernandez did in his first post-WBC game?

I’m not so much interested in seeing Peavy tonight as I am newcomer Shawn Hill, who was signed on Monday after being released by Washington. Hill told me this week his hope is to build up to four innings by the time the Padres leave Arizona on April 2. This makes is highly unlikely he’ll be in the rotation — at least to start the year. Manager Bud Black even confirmed as much. But he could be in the bullpen.

As for yesterday, I was the only print/electronic reporter brave enough (stupid?) to spend part of his off-day watching … yes, baseball, and Minor League baseball as well. But I hadn’t seen Silva pitch and I wanted to see what Gregerson had to offer.

It’s funny watching these Minor League games on the back fields. No one is there except for the teams themselves, front office staff and maybe of handful of fans, though it’s mostly family watching their sons, husbands and boyfriends play. Zero vibe.

Some guy for the Mariners hit a wind-blown home run off Silva and no one cheered, including most of his teammates. He almost looked embarassed to be running around the bases! So that’s my little rant there.

Silva started fast, striking out five of the first six hitters he faced. He started to tire in the third inning and left a few balls up in the strike zone. In all fairness, the stiff wind didn’t help as far as his command. His slider looked good, though. I think he can help the team. Is he the No. 5 starter? Possibly, unless general manager Kevin Towers brings someone else in.

Gregerson’s ball was really moving, which I think is normal for him anyway. He had a little bit of trouble throwing strikes early but I think he got squeezed at least twice behind the plate. I saw one slider, which is supposed to be his best pitch, a wipeout slider, as Towers calls it. It moved, too. He worked one inning and sat about 90-92 mph. He’s in the mix.

So that’s it for now. We’ll have lineups for you later. Thanks to everyone to pitched me their questions for Moorad. I hope to meet him today and asked him some of these questions in the very near future.

But let’s get some more feedback here. What are your thoughts on Silva as the No. 5 and do you want to see Gregerson make the team or head to Portland for some Minor League work?

Cheers, Corey

 

12 Comments

With the way “our” pitching is going right now … heck, he’ll do!!! I think that you and I could also “do!!!”

On a serious note, yeah sure, why NOT Silva. From what I’ve heard, he’s got the “make-up” to survive.

If Gregerson can manage his control, then keep him on the team. The only SOLID folks in the BP are Cla and Heath. On the somewhat solid front, there’s Justin (Hampson).

Just goes to show you how “goofy” baseball is from year-to-year .. day-to-day.

FF17
(Oak Harbor, WA)

Great stories! That’s pretty funny about the Mariner. I think Silva’s the guy. I mean, we need a guy who can pitch and doesn’t give up too many runs. I think we need a bit more of a look at Gregerson before we can decide on that. I mean, if he can pitch, we can use him. Maybe if Hill gets a rotation spot, Gregerson can go down to the minors for a while until one of the pitchers can’t pitch. I’m really interested to see how Jake does tonight. I really hope he has a great game!!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

One other thing that’s been going through my mind (besides air) …

Every since “we” got rid of Ismael Valdez in the #5 spot, the team has had issues with a reliable pitcher. Weird.

I’m very excited about Silva but I worry he will suffer from the “Justin Germano” effect and dominate his first few starts then get hammered once guys figure him out

There’s always that chance.
Listen, the guy is 32 and hasn’t pitched professionally in the United States. As someone once told me about an independent league pitcher who made it to the big leagues … “there’s a reason he was in the independent leagues.” … so Silva is what he is and you might get some use out of him.
Remember Josh Banks? He paid for his $20,000 waiver claim in one start against the Giants last season.

— Corey

Thanks for the updates!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Hey Corey, I’m a guy who loves looking at stats. So recently I compared last year’s spring training vs. this year’s spring training. Last year in the spring, the padres averaged 5.6 runs per game with mostly major league players in the lineup. This year, they are averaging 5.9 runs per game without hardly any veteran mlb players in the lineups. We are losing more games this spring than last!! Does this mean that are pitching is worse than last year?! Does this mean that the Padres are going to be worse this year???!!!!!

Hey, thanks for stopping by the blog.
I would caution anyone looking too deeply into Spring Training stats … there’s a lot of factors here you won’t see in the regular season … hard infields, how the ball tends to carry more here, smaller parks, Minor League pitching.
Still, you make a good point about the offense. I think it’s going to be better. Let’s look at it.

C — Hundley: No reason to think he won’t be better with experience.
1B — Gonzo: What is there to say, really?
2B — Eckstein: HUGE upgrade over Iguchi and everyone else the Padres used there in 2008.
SS — Rodriguez: Steady, doesn’t have the offensive profile as Khalil has (or did), but won’t kill as many rallies.
3B — Kouz: Very steady, maybe he’ll walk a little more … some?
LF — Headley: See Hundley comment.
CF — Gerut: I think everyone would take a repeat of 2008.
RF — Giles: Did anyone else notice how good a year he had in 2008?

What you’re seeing in Spring Training is a lack of quality pitching across the board with the exception of a very few guys. And, remember, Peavy and Bell were in the WBC for three weeks.

— Corey

Gotta agree with alexeuph here. Silva will be serviceable for his first few starts, then guys will figure him out. The only wild card in his favor is that despite his age, he hasn’t been pitching that long so, oddly enough, he may have some upside. I wouldn’t rule out Geer or LeBlanc…if either of them can figure some things out in AAA, they will be solid back-end guys. I’m wondering how Inman is doing. I haven’t heard much from him. Maybe he’s the dark horse in all this. Anyway…I’m pretty anxious about how we’re starting out this season: no pitching and opening with the Dodgers…ugh!

Wouldn’t you agree that the padres are probably one big piece away from contending for a division title. If someone could produce a 30 hr-.300 avg-100 rbi other than Adrian. I think that Hairston, Gerut, Headley, and Kouzmanoff can do it since they have shown it in the minors. But they haven’t. Why don’t we spend 10 mil a get that one bat that could shield Adrian Gonzalez and propel us into the playoffs THIS YEAR. Why wait three+ years and lose fans. I know so many people who have turned from padre fans to cubs fans or diamondbacks fans just because they know that the Padres will not be a team worth rooting for in the next couple years. My own dad and best friend have turned away from rooting for the padres. My dad was the one that turned me into a Padre fan in 2007. But the next year, he couldn’t stand them.
ONE PIECE AWAY–a big piece. Two options:
1. lose fans for two years then get a good team when the fans have switched.
2. Get a big piece (like the dodgers did in M-Ram) this year and bring in more fans which equals more money for Moorad.
Do I sound reasonable or just a fan who is very Naive?

If the padres sign a real No. 3 pitcher like Pedro Martinez this club has a chance to really shake things up but we all know that there’s no way in god’s beautiful green earth of that ever happening. I for one will always stand by this team no matter how many middle relievers they try to pass off as No. 3 and 4 starters

The Padres are WAY more than one big piece away. You’ve gotta look at pitching first. Essentially, we have two guys in the rotation who can be counted on–that’s three big holes. Additionally, we have two guys in the bullpen that can be counted on–that’s 8-10 big holes. Then, you can start looking at position players. Besides, I don’t buy into the philosophy of throwing big money at a free agent. Many other teams have tried this approach, and it’s proven to be unsuccessful time after time. The only exception is maybe Manny Ramirez, but he demands HUGE money. To get back to Corey’s question earlier…I think we’ve gotta hang on to Peavy because help is on the way if we can just find some arms–shouldn’t be too difficult since pitchers ought to be tripping over themselves to come and pitch at Petco.

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