The day after Opening Day …

Hey, I love me some Opening Day as much as the next guy. A packed house, a marching band playing the national anthem and just the general buzz of beginning a new season.

The day after? Not so much.

Less folks in the press box (that’s a good thing), I’m sure far fewer fans (but loyal ones) in the seats. It’s the kind of baseball experience you’re going to see moving forward into the rest of the regular season.

What did we learn on Monday? Well, not a whole lot. It’s one game, though there were some signs of things we saw in 2008 that found their way back to PETCO Park — Peavy pitching reasonably well, no run support and an anemic offense that was 0-for-8 with RISP.

Whatever, it’s one game. But it’s the type of game the Padres played a lot last season and can ill afford to do that again, especially with questions in the back of the rotation. You can’t afford to lose with Peavy and Young and then have to wait for their turn in the rotation while Silva, Correia and Hill make their starts.

That’s why I think these starts Peavy and Young make, especially early in the season and against NL West foes, are so important.

Anyway, here’s a little snippet of radio I did with Josh and Brian from AM 1360 on Monday to tie you over until the game tonight. And, of course, a little reading from Monday’s game as well as notes on the bullpen and Cliff Floyd.

Cheers, Corey


Yeah, I agree that it’s only the first game. We’ve still got a lot of baseball ahead of us. But, I will be heading out the ballpark tonight to see if I can do anything to help these Padres (haha). I definitley think it will be a smaller crowd, but the loyals like me will be out there!

I know that you can argue this both ways, but I was disappointed with the decision to bat Peavy in the bottom of the sixth. He struck out, which limited a potentially game-changing rally, and then gave up the home run to Kemp in the next half inning. I know that Black and Torre run things very differently, but I’d like to see Black make aggressive moves more often, like Torre does. Peavy’s a decent hitter and your ace, so I know the temptation is to leave him in, but the Pads were down 2 at that point… bat Macias in that spot, rather than holding him to the 9th when he had to face Broxton, and maybe things turn out differently last night.

This year could reveal Kouz’s “ceiling.” A lot of guys have physical tools to succeed, but simply lack the analytical, psychological, and emotional makeup to become stars (see Kahlil Green). I hope that Kouz does, but he simply has to learn to adjust, to take what’s given and not try to do too much. He may be the biggest key to the Padres’ success this year… and that’s a lot of pressure for a guy who’s only… what… 25? 26? We’ll see if he’s up for it.

Dtobiass: Good post! Bud Black was asked about his decision not to pinch-hit for Peavy there and said that his pitch count to that point was still relatively low (84) and, of course, that Peavy can handle a bat pretty well for a pitcher. I can see both sides of the argument, though. As for Kouz, you’re right. He’s been pretty consistent in average, home runs, RBI and, well, walks (not enough of them) his first two full seasons here. I think he’s a key to the offense. He has to produce, otherwise Adrian is going to see more free passes than he did a year ago. — Corey

Christ !

Watching game 2 and is there a worse hitter with runners on than Kouzmanoff

Corey, how many time did Kouz come up last year with a runner at third and less than 2 outs and convert ?

He is consistently overmatched in these situations

Hey Corey,

Thanks for all your coverage; you’re really doing a great job. But your story headlined ‘Cabrera’s Potential Excites Padres’ was a little bit empty. In fact, every story on the rule 5 pick seems to repeat the same few facts: 73 stolen bases, has never played above A ball, has speed, blah, blah, blah. Then there are a couple quotes about upside.

It seems all sportswriters, except Tim Sullivan, not only follow the same formula, but the same script. When someone is as busy as you are, that’s understandable.

But as a reader, what I want to know is this: What does a team do prepare someone who has never played above A ball for a season in the majors? Reading your stories, as well as Krasovic’s, the best I can tell is the Padres simply drafted him, then crossed their fingers in hopes that his skills would magically upgrade themselves to major-league caliber.

If you read Paul DePodesta’s blog, though, it appears the Padres have a system for everything. So did the coaches put a system in place to prepare an inexperienced shortstop to spend a year on a major league roster? Did they have him come to Peoria early, or perhaps even San Diego to work with Jim Lefebvre? Did Cabrera get personalized instruction during spring training. What psychological ploys did they use to boost his confidence? What went into grooming a rule 5 draft pick who looked absolutely horrible at the beginning of spring training into someone who five weeks later was being touted as the guy who would be the starting shortstop before the end of the season, at least according to Kras.

After all their failed Rule 5 pickups of the past (Callix Crabbe, Donaldo Mendez, to name two), I can’t believe the Padres left things up to chance this year.

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