About that starting rotation …

Jake Peavy, 1-1, 3.52 ERA and coming off a start where he struck out 10 and came within two outs of a complete-game victory. Everything looks good there.

Chris Young, 2-0, 1.38 ERA and nine hits allowed in two starts. This is about how Young began  the 2007 season when he was picked for the National League All-Star team. No worries here.

Walter Silva, Kevin Corriea and Shawn Hill. These three are 1-0 with a 4.79 ERA and 12 walks over 20 2/3 innings. Granted, two of these starts belong to Silva while Correia goes here today against the Mets. Hill, after a rotation shuffle, will go again Saturday in Philadelphia.

I imagine I’ll have more to say about Correia and Hill after their next starts but we’re free to pick away at Silva, who was entrusted with a 5-1 lead on Monday at Citi Field only to tire, lose his command, walk two in the fifth and then, in a decisive blow, allow a three-run home run to David Wright.

The Padres, of course, would eventually win the game, thanks in large part to more strong work from the bullpen. Yes, I’m impressed with what this group has done over eight games. No, I never saw it coming. Yes, it’s eight games but I’m seeing some good stuff among the relievers and while they might not continue at this pace, I think this group, as a whole, has what it takes to consistently get outs.

So back to Silva. As I mentioned, he’ll get his next turn in the rotation in Philadelphia but the Padres are clearly a little concerned with his command, which was supposed to be his calling card. I like his stuff when he’s on, how he keeps the ball down and command three pitches. I think he can pitch better than he did Monday. I think stamina is still an issue with this guy. He threw 69 pitches in his first start and was up to 84 when the at-bat with Wright started.

Again, we’ve talked about this at length but the back end of that rotation is going to be a key as we move forward. Peavy and Young can’t pitch every day. The back end of that rotation has to pitch better and pitch longer. That’s important because the bullpen was responsible for picking up the final 4 1/3 innings Monday. That’s a lot to ask.

The off-day on Tuesday allowed for some much-needed rest for those guys, especially Edwin Moreno, who had a big two-inning stint Monday. He’s likely down tonight to get another day of rest. The rest of the bunch should be ready to go.

So as you’re watching these games when Silva, Correia and Hill are throwing remember this: Are they laboring? Are they holding their stuff beyond the fourth inning? Are they throwing strikes? Remember, Chad Gaudin is now in Portland and pitching on Saturday for them. He’s not just there to enjoy the city — though there’s a lot to enjoy, but don’t get me started.

If one of these guys stumbles, he’ll be here in a heartbeat. Hot start or not, the Padres can’t and won’t wait for one of these guys to figure things out if they stumble too long.

Cheers, Corey

12 Comments

I’ll preface this by saying that I was listening, not watching, on Monday. That said, Silva seemed dominant going into that fifth inning. When he lost command, things went awry quickly, but Wright still hit what seems like an impossible shot (after looking at the replays). The pitch was around his ankles, and there are probably only two or three other guys in the majors who could hit that pitch out on occasion.

Buddy was trying to get him the win, and hoping that his command came back around. It’s Buddy’s modus operandi to trust a guy until he’s proven he’s not worthy of that trust. It’s a good way to work, because it leads his players to trust him, but it means getting burned sometimes. I still think the sample size is small, and I look forward to Silva getting at least a couple more opportunities to see whether he can put together a 90-100 pitch outing with consistent command throughout. I have a feeling that he will prove serviceable, especially at home.

I’m more concerned about Young in Citizens Bank Park… when you live by the pop fly, you die by the bandbox. I’m curious to see if he mixes in more pitches down in the zone, and more offspeed stuff that has a better chance to get under hitters’ bats.

By the way, Tim Sullivan wrote a great article about Jerry Coleman today, out on signonsandiego.com.

I just have one question for you: Where is Banks? Where is Banks? Where is Banks?

I’ll tell ya. In AAA. He doesn’t belong there. He was up almost the whole season last year. Now he’s on the disabled list (which is a bunch of BS!). He is a great pitcher and I can’t believe there hasn’t been more discussion about his disappearance.

Pitching has improved since last season and the bullpen is back to normal. I’ve seen this all along. Silva’s era is in the mid to high 4’s in MEXICAN LEAGUE. That is not Major League Baseball. I had a feeling that since his stuff is so good but his era is so high, that he would not last more than five innings per game especially when playing someone as stacked as the Mets. I’m a huge padre fan but I picked the mets to win by 4 runs with Silva on the mound. But winning was a huge Plus! With Peavy on the mound I say the padres win by 2 or 3 runs.
But for the life of me I don’t understand what is with Giles. He isn’t even hitting the ball hard. I say, put him down in the lineup. By the way, what happened to the FM radio broadcast? Last year the Padres were broadcast on 105.7 The walrus for games. Corey, is there an FM broacast any time soon?

Pitching has improved since last season and the bullpen is back to normal. I’ve seen this all along. Silva’s era is in the mid to high 4’s in MEXICAN LEAGUE. That is not Major League Baseball. I had a feeling that since his stuff is so good but his era is so high, that he would not last more than five innings per game especially when playing someone as stacked as the Mets. I’m a huge padre fan but I picked the mets to win by 4 runs with Silva on the mound. But winning was a huge Plus! With Peavy on the mound I say the padres win by 2 or 3 runs.
But for the life of me I don’t understand what is with Giles. He isn’t even hitting the ball hard. I say, put him down in the lineup. By the way, what happened to the FM radio broadcast? Last year the Padres were broadcast on 105.7 The walrus for games. Corey, is there an FM broacast any time soon?

I’ll get on the FM broadcast thing. As for Silva, he’s always performed better in the Mexican Winter leagues than in the summer for whatever reason. I don’t want to give the impression that the Padres have soured on him. The sample size is still very small. But what I meant to say is they won’t (and can’t) tolerate walks or short outings. As for Giles, give him a little time. He’s not seeing as many pitches, I’ve noticed that. Let’s see where he’s at by the end of this road trip. — Corey

jba24, Banks is on a rehab assignment I’m pretty sure.

justinmaiolo, I have been wondering the same – where is Banks? Where is Banks? Where is Banks? I believe you are mistaken saying that Banks is on a rehab assignment. He had a terrific spring training and was sent to AAA to start the season. He was recently put on the “phantom” disabled list to make room for Chad Gaudin. I hope someone starts to notice what a great pitcher the Padres have in Banks!

Banks is with Triple-A Portland and on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain. He is not in the plans for 2009. The Padres saw all they wanted to see of him a year ago. They liked him early, didn’t like him late, which is why he wasn’t put on the 40-man roster. That’s just how these things go. Now if a few people get hurt, he could find his way back to San Diego. Don’t get me wrong, Banks is a good guy and a good pitcher but the Padres front office has seen everything from Banks at this point. — Corey

Corey,

I’m just as worried as you seem to be about the rotation and just as surprised as you are with the relief pitchers.
Silva has been my concern. In the spring, he didn’t do all that great and after Monday, he might have a problem with being able to pitch long games. After a 5 to 1 lead, once the Mets scored again and made it 5 to 2, I thought he should have been taken out. My concern is that Silva maybe get tired to soon and lose focus on his command and then lose control of the game like on Monday. The bullipen has been very suprising, but yet exciting to see them pitch well in key situations for guys who were all brought here last minute and some with no or minimal expierence at the big leagues I’m quite surprised that the bullipen has held up so well. I’m not surprise that the Padres are 5-2. I know they have the offense to be in games, but will there pitching hold? I have no worries with Peavy, young.

harleygunther@cox.net

Well…the BBs in the bully finally caught up with them. How does Gregerson go from a 9 pitch inning to 9 consecutive balls? That was crazy how fast he crashed. Unhittable one inning, can’t hit the side of a barn the next. As for the rotation, the guys in Portland are off to good starts. Geer: 6.0ip 3h 1r 1bb 1k. Ramos: 5ip 4h 1r 1bb 6k. They struggled in AZ, but so did Young, but he’s earned the free pass. These AAA guys could find themselves with MLB starts sooner rather than later. Even Buschmann did well. LeBlanc…not so much.

How about putting Ramos in the rotation instead of Geer? I don’t trust Geer with only 1 strikeout in two starts so far. With Ramos, he’s a lefty who throws groundballs which is perfect against the phillies, who have that bandbox of a stadium and because Utley, Howard and Ibanez are all left-handed. If he has to make another start, the Pirates best hitters Adam Laroche and McLouth are both lefties also.

Thanks for all of the Twitter updates, Corey.

Keep up the good work!

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