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?